STUDY IN THE BASHMURIC REVOLTS OF THE COPTS دراسة عن الثورات البشمورية القبطية
Coptic Nationalism will start a series of articles on “the Bashmuric Revolts of the Copts” in the first two centuries after the Arab occupation of Egypt in 640 AD. This is an important topic to study not just for reasons of historical research that should interest a lot of historians and Coptologists around the world; but also for its fundamental importance to the Copts – their understanding of their history and themselves as a nation.
But the importance of any proper study of the Bashmuric revolts by the Copts ought not to end there: it should provoke, if any lessons have to be learned from them, serious questions about the limitation of obedience to authorities; the value of national independence; the theories of just war and just revolution; the relationship between the laity and Church; etc. In all these fundamental questions of political philosophy our advance has always been limited and rudimentary – this is one of the reasons why we failed as a nation. If the reader thinks that the political makeup of the Coptic mind has changed much since then, after the passage of over a thousand years, I am sorry to disappoint him by categorically denying it. We have not achieved much advance yet in developing a mature political theory on how to deal with the enemies of our nation. Here lies one of the crucial roles of the Coptic nationalists – the political mindset of the Copts must be changed in order to equip the nation with the necessary political thinking that should help to provide it with its first line of resistance (by justifying resistance) against attacks and oppression.[i] [ii]
The Bashmuric revolts are a source of continuing pride for the Copts even though the brave Bashmurites failed in their attempts to shake off the Arab yoke. They are also a constant source of national mourning, self-blame and, possibly, regret.
We shall discuss every thing with intellectual honesty.
[i] In all this the writer is not advocating a similar Bashmuric response to our current situation; however, he does not apologise for the attempt to build up a Coptic culture of resistance to oppression. How and when to apply that is a different matter.
[ii] On more about our poverty in political theory, the reader is directed to my article: POLITICAL PHILSOPHY: OUR POVERTY IN الفلسفة أو النظرية السياسية – فقر الأقباط فيها