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RAISE YOUR HEAD HIGH; YOU ARE A COPT! إرفع رأسك فوق، إنت قبطي

May 14, 2011

Everywhere in Egypt, Copts, with women and men at the forefront, shouted stressing their pride in their identity that Islamists wanted to erase

CLEVER OBSERVERS MUST have noticed something of a revolutionary change in the recent Coptic protest against discrimination and oppression: everywhere in Egypt, in Cairo, Alexandria, Miniya, etc., the Copts are displaying an awareness of their newfound power: it is not enough to just pray and wait for God to save them from their temporal and spiritual oppressors and persecutors; they must organise themselves in mass protest and be vocal. This is a turning point in Coptic history which many have not yet realised. Historians will come in time to regard this as a new development. This is nothing short of a COPTIC REVOLUTION.

Proud and confident of their own internal power – the power of solidarity, the power to sacrifice for their own cause even unto death, the power that comes to them from a Faith in a personal God who looks after them, weeps for their sufferings, and will not be late in his retribution – they have loudly shouted their demands of wanting to see Egypt secular, democratic, religiously tolerant, and respectful of their history, contribution and religion. But their shouts reflected more than that: a new era of pride and confidence in themselves and their identity, publically announced. No more will they hide themselves or be hesitant in revealing their identity; so they shout:

Raise your head high; You are a Copt!

إرفع رأسك فوق، إنت قبطي

THIS IS REVOLUTIONARY. This will change many things. And this Coptic Nationalism very much welcome. Some criticise the Copts for showing pride in themselves – they say Copts should not talk about themselves as Copts but as Egyptians. And most of the criticism comes from Islamists, and those who are influenced by them – the hypocrites who day and night talk about their Islamic or Arabic identity; the oppressors who did not stop pushing us, by their exclusionism and despotism, into this.

Copts always cried for national unity, which was denied them by Egypt’s successive governments and the Islamists (photo by Amr Abdulla Dagsh)

Copts should be proud of themselves as Copts: their history gives them the right to do so; their allegiance to Egypt, and to Egypt alone, permits them; their contribution to Egyptian and world civilisation allows them. And they must not let others intimidate them into renouncing this new and powerful self-assertiveness. Copts are not saying that they are not proud of being Egyptian; they say they do not find any contradiction between being a Copt and a true Egyptian. For them, unlike with others, the two are one and the same. Yes, it is about time to say it loud and clear: Raise your head high; You are a Copt. And the voice of the Coptic masses at Maspero, in Tahrir, at the Bibliotheca Alexandarina, in Minya, and in every village and town of Egypt, must be heard and respected.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. gplaucio permalink
    October 11, 2011 9:17 pm

    The Egyptian Justice Department must use the weight of the law to prosecute the State TV staff responsable for incitement of violence. Also, all the army and police comanders who are responsable for the massacre must be prossecuted. The investigation must reach the military high command to see if there is any complicity in committing the massacre of the Copts ar Maspero on 9 10 11.

    • Dioscorus Boles permalink
      October 12, 2011 1:19 pm

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, all who are responsible for this terrible massacre of the Copts by the Egyptian Army & Security Services must be brought to justice. But I don’t think any Copt, or outside observer, will trust an internal enquiry. We call for an international enquiry.

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