But Morsi’s ouster has already brought tangible benefits, reinforcing the sense of accomplishment among those who took to the streets to force him out.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, whose governments fear challenges from their own Muslim Brotherhood affiliates, have pledged $12 billion in loans and gifts to the new Egyptian government, a bonanza that will help Egypt ease its economic crisis and perhaps lift pressure to adopt the austerity measures demanded by the International Monetary Fund in order to secure a loan.
The power cuts, gas shortages and bread lines that plagued the final months of Morsi’s rule have abated, prompting Brotherhood members to allege a conspiracy to undermine their rule.
Egyptians who joined the demonstrations cite the return of services as evidence of the Morsi government’s ineptitude, and there seems to be little remorse over Monday’s killings. With Islamist and Brotherhood newspapers and television stations shuttered by the military, most media outlets seem to have embraced the army’s version of events, which has Brotherhood demonstrators shooting first.
“People are happy and optimistic just for the fact that we took them out of power. Nothing has been fixed entirely, but at least we got rid of them,” said barber Mohammed Badawi, 64, as he lathered shaving foam onto the face of a businessman in his little shop.
“We supported those people because we thought they were Muslims and we wanted to live in Islam. But they used Islam to hijack the revolution,” added his customer, Hassan Mahmoud, 63, who voted for the Brotherhood and said he feels betrayed.
“They used religious texts to control and direct the minds of lost people,” he said.
Sitting in the doorway of his small printing shop in an alleyway nearby, Qadri Annan, 41, offered another dissenting view. “I am not with the Brotherhood, but logic tells me we have to respect the legitimacy of the ballot box because if we don’t do it now, no one will ever again,” he said.
But his nephew, stepping out of the shadows of the shop, dismissed his concerns with a cheerful wave. “The revolution changed everything,” said Alaa Mawady, 29. “Egypt has changed, and soon we will be one of the world’s greatest nations again.”