In case you don't know, 1981 was the year during which, on October 6th precisely, president Anwar El-Sadat was assassinated in the middle of a military parade commemorating the 6th of October victory of the Egyptian forces against Israel in 1973.
Somehow lesser known events, are the mass arrests of September 1981. Under the pretense that Sadat wanted to make sure that nothing will go wrong before Israel completed the last stage of withdrawal from Sinai in April 1982, hundreds of politicians, journalists, professionals, activists, artists, etc.. were arrested. Some historians think that these arrests were perpetuated by some elements which infiltrated the regime in order to agitate the different groups, and divide the blame of his subsequent murder among many different parties, so that the state would be helpless in retaliating (There is a saying in Arabic which translates to "His blood was divided among the tribes").
If you watch close enough, you'd find out that what we have today is a somewhat similar situation. Everybody is pissed off at the regime, and each group for its own reasons. Here is the rundown:
- Muslim Extremists: The regime, after tolerating them for a very long time, decided to crack down on the Muslim Brotherhood, just out of the blue sky. Hundreds of MB members were detained during the last couple of weeks.
- Copts: Copts feel that the government didn't protect them (and even some go as far as saying that it facilitated) the April 14th attack on three churches in Alexandria.
- Reformists: Kifaya members are detained almost daily during the numerous protests that take place in different parts of Egypt. (But are more frequent nowadays in support of the judges movement)
- Judges: Judges are pushing for more autonomy, but are being paid back by suspending two of them from work, and asking them to appear before a disciplinary committee, for exposing elections fraud during the last parliamentary elections. Some judges are even physically abused.
- Bedouins: The natives of Sinai, and most of the Egyptian desert. They see themselves as outcasts of the Egyptian political system, with meager share in any sort of development happening anywhere in Egypt. And if that wasn't enough, hundreds of them were hurdled and arrested after the Taba and Sharm attacks last year. They were treated so badly, that some believe they are actively participating in the recent attacks as some form of retaliation.
- Sudanese: Because of the inhumane way the Egyptian police dealt with the Sudanese refugees striking at the middle of Cairo.
- Shiaa: Because of Mubarak's less than diplomatic comments about their loyalty to Iran.
- Hamas: Because Egypt has withdrawn all sorts of support for the Palestinian government, and its foreign minister even refused to meet his Palestinian counterpart.
It will be completely plausible that any, some, or all of those groups would take part in any action that is aimed at toppling the current regime in Egypt. It is only a matter of time.
Following the recent pattern of Sinai attacks (October 6th for Taba, July 23rd for Sharm, and April 25th for Dahab; all national days), the next appropriate slot would be Revolution day on July 23rd.
Or could it be May 4th??