First, the ongoing crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood did not tame political Islam in Egypt. In fact, the opposite is true. Al-Azhar wants to be the sole guardian of Islam in Egypt, while the anti-Muslim brotherhood Salafis want to be the protector of Sunni doctrine, and all the while the junta wants to enlist Islamism to serve their nationalist agenda.
Both al-Azhar figures and Salafis are passionately defending the army, but they are also defending the role of religion in the state. In their opinion, religion should not be abused in politics, but it should also not be banned. Pro-coup non- Brotherhood Islamists are fighting hard to weaken the most organised Islamist group in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, to capitalise on its downfall, and to enlarge their political base. Despite this, they are not united on a clear vision on how religion should be framed inside Egypt’s new constitution. The Salafi Al-Nour party is fighting hard to keep article 219 unchanged, while other scholars advocate removing it. Interestingly, other “moderate” Islamists such as Abul Fotouh have decided not to participate in the constitutional assembly. How all this will work out at the end is still unclear.