Much commentary and reporting on Egypt’s evolving crisis depicts these events as a relatively balanced conflict between protestors and supporters of toppled President Mohamed Mursi.
The grassroots opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood regime, some analysts say, could not have gathered the 22 million signatures it claimed in order to compel new elections. For voters not only had to sign the petitions, they also had to verify their signature by including the number on their national ID cards.
That 22 million does indeed seem a stunning amount to gather in less than three months. But it is not. I believe that the grassroots organizers succeeded where the Muslim Brotherhood did not in gaining support of Egypt’s largely Muslim population.
As an Egyptian computer scientist who studied at the Tahrir campus of American University in Cairo, I know the demonstration sites; I know some protestors at those sites — and I know numbers.