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WE HAVE CHANGED STRATEGY: HITHERTO OUR FIRST OPTION HAS BEEN WORKING WITH OTHERS FOR A UNITED, SECULAR, DEMOCRATIC EGYPT: HENCEFORTH, OUR FIRST OPTION IS PARTITION AND THE FORMATION OF A COPTIC INDEPENDENT STATE

April 8, 2013

STATEMENT BY THE COPTIC NATIONALISTS (8 April 2013): CHANGE OF STRATEGY

Our position has changed: from now on, Coptic Nationalists will work for partition and creation of a Coptic homeland for our beleaguered nation where it can live in security, freedom and dignity; and where it can prosper and reach its potential.

This is not a call for civil war; nor do we advocate brushing all Egyptian Muslims by the same brush. It is, however, a signal for building up the case, and conditions, internally and externally, for a Coptic national homeland. Let’s hope, meanwhile, that Liberal Muslims of Egypt will succeed in ousting the Islamists from power, and avoid us ultimate separation.

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Hitherto we have regarded our nationalism as merely cultural. Not anymore. The Khusus massacre on the 6 April 2013 and besiege of St. Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo on the following day have changed everything. The events are not the worst in our modern history, but they come at a time when our people has had enough; when we are fed up and could not tolerate it anymore. Henceforth, our nationalism is both cultural and political, and we shall work for the establishment of a Coptic homeland to provide our nation with security and dignity and ensure that it prospers and grows in peace.

This means that for us the Egyptian National Project, which was born in 1811, is now sadly dead for us: murdered by the Islamists. The myth of an Egyptian nation has been busted by Egypt’s Muslim majority which preferred Islam over the national ties of one’s patrie. How many times we prayed for one encompassing, modern nation; how many times we pleaded with them that they provide that national project with its ingredients of success; and how many times we urged them to base the Egyptian state on the principles of citizenship without distinction based on religion – but they preferred Islam to it or they could not curb the toxic effect of political Islam in politics; and so they failed miserably. Of course, there are great men and women within the Muslim majority of Egypt, people of strong convictions and high character, but they remain an ineffective, tiny minority that is in need of our assistance rather than us on their help – the majority are, however, the extremely conservative Egyptian masses that have not changed one iota with the advent of modernity, and who want to rule not only themselves but us too by their Sharia and religion.

We have realised that there has never ever been in truth an Egyptian nation – we have been lying to ourselves all along, partly because it was a wishful dream that it existed, and partly because we dreaded the consequences of denying it. But it is inescapable: the bitter truth is that since Islam entered Egypt in the seventh century, by its very exclusive and religionist[1] nature, there have been two nations living in Egypt side by side: Copts and Muslim Arabs; the one subjugated and oppressed, and the other subjugating and oppressing.[2]

But let’s sum up: There is no hope (it has been a discovery after two hundred years of hope against hope) of co-existing with the Muslims of Egypt in peace, equality, freedom and security. They will not allow us this luxury. Our position has, consequently, changed: from now on, Coptic Nationalists will work for partition and creation of an independent Coptic State – a homeland for our beleaguered nation. This shall be our first option until some new, credible hope unexpectedly emerges in Egypt’s horizon and reassures us that a one Egyptian nation, based on modern citizenship, is not impossible after all. The massacre of the Copts at Khusus has been a game changer.

No freedom lover will deny the Copts’ right to live freely in their own land if Muslim Egypt denies them dignity and freedom.

This is not a call for civil war; nor do we advocate brushing all Egyptian Muslims by the same brush. It is, however, a signal for building up the case, and conditions, internally and externally, for a Coptic national homeland. Let’s hope, meanwhile, that Liberal Muslims of Egypt will succeed in ousting the Islamists from power, and avoid us ultimate separation.


[1] Religionism (الدينية), in our definition, is “the belief, ideology, that the followers of one religion are superior to the followers of other religions; that these latter are inferior in value by some divine pronouncement, and, in consequence, they should be held in a lower place in society and the body politic: humiliated, discriminated against, and their rights and liberties seriously curtailed”. A religionist (ديني) is “someone who believes in religionism, and seeks to propagate or implement its ideology”.

[2] Again, we say it: we do not include the Liberal Muslims in that generalisation. They are, in fact, friends and comrades. Many of them agree with us, and can join us as equal citizens in a Coptic state.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Raed Mitry permalink
    April 9, 2013 12:05 am

    I will pass this article on my face book status and I will translate it to Arabic, so everyone can understand the case and build support to our coptic case.

  2. April 9, 2013 12:51 am

    This is nice and ideal – a beautiful dream. But if your not actually working towards these goals and making REAL gains – don’t release this position out to the genreal public. It will only cause separation and violence, interpreted as the Copts are interested in robbing the Muslim majority of land and resources. The reality is they are the rulers and yielders of power at this point. So if you pose breaking from under their rule, you better be prepared to face the consequences of endangering the Coptic populace. Just not realistic…

  3. mattmogram permalink
    April 9, 2013 6:14 pm

    Could you please specify who “we” are as you indicate in this post?

    To be clear, “we” does not include His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, or the Holy Synod, or any Clergy or Layperson authorized to speak officially on behalf of the Coptic Church. That I know for certain.

    But just to be clear to people who might read this and find it a grounds for conflict, please indicate who “we” are and who YOU are personally so people know where to address their responses.

    Do not endanger the 12 million Copts worldwide by claiming to speak on behalf of anyone but yourself and your association.

  4. mindthehat permalink
    April 13, 2013 8:15 am

    I think the author repeatedly makes it clear that he is not authorised to speak on behalf of the Coptic Church, so “we” means Coptic Nationalists. Accordingly, anybody who would like to falsely attribute the Coptic Nationalist approach to the Coptic church will be doing that with mens rea.

    Although I always try to distinguish between dignity and pride, I can unequivocally state that I am honoured to be a Coptic Nationalist. The equation is simple: full of equality or complete separation. For 14 centuries the Copts tried to pursue full equality, with little to show for it. Now the time has come to adopt the “complete separation” approach.

  5. February 25, 2014 7:08 am

    Reblogged this on SocialHumanRace.

Trackbacks

  1. EXPLANATORY NOTE TO THE STATEMENT BY THE COPTIC NATIONALISTS ON CHANGE OF STRATEGY (dated 9 April 2013) | ON COPTIC NATIONALISM في القومية القبطية

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