2. Egypts' military government promoting xenophobia to control protests
Fahmy and other critics say the current government – the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, or SCAF – is taking this very real sense of outside threat and whipping it up into fullblown xenophobia through State TV and radio. “There is a deliberate use of this xenophobic language, of this suspicion of foreigners by SCAF and by the Minister of International Cooperation,” he said.
There have been verbal and physical attacks, as well as citizen arrests. Baghat said foreigners are caught in the crossfire as the Egyptian government tries to undermine the continued protests. “It presents the political protest movement in Egypt as being primarily pushed by the famous foreign agendas. And the foreign agendas are normally understood to mean western agendas,” he said.
Even so, Historian Khaled Fahmy said it’s clear there is a concerted campaign against foreigners. And he said the Egyptian government shouldn’t just worry about the safety of tourists, but about the very foundation of Egyptian society. “Egypt throughout its long history thrived not by being shunned off and shut out and inward looking, but rather by being open and engaged, and by interacting.”
It serves the purpose of the military government in Egypt to portray the protests there not as an indication of the massive discontent with the military's reluctance to give up power, but rather as a foreign plot against Egypt. Why would anyone not want the army to rule the country indefinitely?