EXPLANATORY NOTE TO THE STATEMENT BY THE COPTIC NATIONALISTS ON CHANGE OF STRATEGY (dated 9 April 2013)
April 9, 2013
- The above statement (dated 9 April 2013) has been made by the Coptic Nationalists and not by the Coptic Church or any other group within the Coptic community. It is a statement of change of heart and direction: for us, Egypt has ceased to be a nation; it is not even a divided nation – it is a myth of a nation. And this sad discovery has been forced on us by the Islamists and their frequent attacks on Copts and their fundamental freedoms and human rights. No one, no one, particularly the Islamists, can accuse us of being unpatriotic or of failing the Egyptian national project. Let them blame themselves for the death of the dream of an Egyptian nation and nation-state.
- From now on, we shall work for our nation while standing as always to assist in the struggle of Egypt’s oppressed women and liberal Muslims – our nationalism shall now be both cultural and political. But our work will be peaceful: we have no army, militia or weapons: our ordnances are our political agitation to describe to the world our plight and the careful articulation of the justice and necessity of a national homeland for the Copts since the Muslim Majority in Egypt has denied us security and freedom. And we shall appeal even to our opponents: if they want to necessarily apply Sharia to themselves then perhaps partition would assist them in doing so. But, in the spirit of Abraham Lincoln, “When the [Muslim] man governs himself, that is self-government; but when he governs himself and also governs another man, that is more than self-government – that is despotism.”
- This is not a racist, sexist, religionist, or chauvinistic movement. This is a movement for freedom and respect – it is not anti-Islam but anti-Political Islam; it is not anti-Arab but anti-oppression by Arabs. We identify with all peoples who suffered historical persecution and oppression on the same scale as ours. We are in it to build a better world – not a world based on hate or mindless violence but a world based on freedom and justice.