Egypt is the stage for a confrontation that is going to affect the relations between Muslims everywhere, and beyond that, between Muslims and everyone else. The issue is Islamism, the ideology resting on the belief that the God-given supremacy of Muslims is the natural order of things. Currently spreading throughout Muslim countries and further taking hold of Muslims in the countries of the West, the ideology is motivating growing numbers of them to resort to terrorism. What is happening in Egypt has implications for the world order, to be compared in importance to the nuclear program in Iran.
For years, everything in Egypt has been going from bad to worse. It is a classic autocracy. Of the last three presidents of Egypt, one died in office, another was murdered, and only the upheaval of the Arab Spring prised out the third, Hosni Mubarak, after his stint of 30 years. A president who repudiated strong-arm methods or resigned voluntarily would have to be an exceptionally self-sacrificing character.