Die-Hard Mubarak Supporters: A Cultural Perspective
Hani M. Henry
Psychology Unit, American University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt
This study examined the persistent sympathetic response of some Egyptian citizens towards ousted president Hosni Mubarak despite his indictment for killing hundreds of peaceful demonstrators. These individuals have been occasionally characterized as victims of the so-called "Stockholm Syndrome," which was defined by mental health professionals as the tendency of victims to develop positive emotional bond towards their victimizers. However, a thematic analysis of interviews conducted with ten Mubarak supporters suggests that their sympathetic response towards the former president might be attributed to their observance of certain collectivistic values, such as filial piety and communalism. These collectivistic values might help explain why these supporters respected Mubarak as both a father and authority figure. Further, the analysis suggests that this sympathetic response was influenced by religious values and outgroup blaming. Social and political implications of this study are discussed.