It is interesting to watch this uprising because in some ways it reminds those of us who know history of the Iranian Revolution. The people are taking to the streets in larger numbers over the past couple of days. These crowds are not just gathering in the capitol, but in various places all over Egypt. This protest also sports a cast of characters that, although not as strident and powerful as the Iranian ayatollahs, are nonetheless fairly radical in their Islamic orientation and philosophy. So the question arises for us as we watch this situation develop, is this going to be another Iranian Revolution?
There are very clear differences in Egypt that will probably not make this Iranian Revolution, take 2. First of all, according to several articles written by those watching these things from an Islamic vantage point, the protesters are rising up far more due to economic reasons, than religious ones. The Mubarak regime is having similar problems with their economy that the rest of the world is experiencing. Their problem is that many are so poor already that the only step downward is total destitution. So for them, there is nothing left to do except riot and protest.
Another difference is that there does not seem to be an overall leadership led by powerful religious figure-heads presently. Mohammaed ElBaradei, the former head of the UN Atomic Energy Agency seems to be wanting to step us as a possible leader. He has returned to Egypt to participate in the protests with the hope that he will receive support and be able to possibly head up an attempt to change the government. We need to remember him as the one who did his dead-level best to tell the world that Iran did not have a nuclear weapons program - while they were establishing one in full sight of every western nation in the world. He also is not a man we should consider as pro-western. Another group who has supported the protests it the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical Islamic group who, although they have not struck recently with terrorist activity, is still a very radical Islamic group in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood seeks to transform Egypt into an Islamic regime that they hope will stand at the forefront of the global jihad. They have grown closer in recent years to Iran, Hamax, and Hizbullah - actually having their attorneys represent their terrorists who were arrested in Egypt in 2009 for plotting to bring down the current regime with a series of spectacular attacks.
What does all this mean though for the prophetic picture painted for us in the Scriptures. I believe the destabilization of Egypt would move a peace deal forward much more rapidly. Unlike the terrorist groups that currently surround Israel, Egypt has a very, very powerful military presence that can threaten Israel on a whole different level. The Mubarak regime who continued the peace deal initiated under Sadat - has benefited from purchases of U.S. military materials. They have an air force that boasts 300 F-16's, their army is outfitted with the M1A1 tank similar to ours, the largest navy in the region, an army twice the size of the IDF, and an air defense system that would cause the Israeli air force serious problems that would hamper their effectiveness greatly. If the government were to fall into the hands of ElBaradai and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, there would be a radical Islamic group with this kind of military power at their disposal. Israel would be far more motivated to sign some kind of regional peace deal than ever before. This might play directly into the hands of a worldwide leader, who would come on the scene promising peace in a region so plagued with problems.
As I watch, though, I see some serious problems with this happening without things getting far worse. The military is still solidly behind Mubarak - and are starting to crack down with increasing severity. All we can do is continue to look at what is happening - and hope that this nation does not fall into radical Islamic control like Iran did. If that does happen, the region will be further destabilized (if that is possible). Although this does not bode well for our current peacefulness and security - it may be another piece of the puzzle falling into place for the coming peace treaty between the Antichrist and Israel. I would counsel us to watch and pray - as Scripture tells us to do. Oh, and I would also advise us to take advantage of every opportunity to live for and share Christ with those around us. Who knows - we may not have as much time as we think to do so.