During the fifties and the sixties, the Christian Copts, who at the time made up only about 9% of the total population in Egypt, faced many challenges presented by the Gamal 'Abd al-Nasser’s nationalistic ideology. Focusing attention on social and national issues, the ra'is tried to reduce sectarian conflict by integrating the Coptic community within the idea of a new state. The appeal for a strong nationalism rooted in the soil and an absolute and unchallenged leadership became the fundamental pillars of it. The Egyptian nationalism was configured as the glue of national unity and sought to resolve the difficult relationship between din and dawla by exorcising the religious factors under the authority of political power. A nationalization of religion which, in the ideology of the regime, planned to involve the university of al-Azhar and exclude the extremist Muslim Brotherhood in the competition for the control of the official religious references. Although the Coptic minority suffered the expropriations of the sixties and the exclusion from the main responsible political role, the Coptic community found in Nasserist Egypt, a new impetus and a temporary pacification of religious conflicts thanks to a strong national sense of belonging socially. The aim of the paper is to analyze the role played by the Coptic Christians in the political and social arena of Nasserist Egypt, which underlines the varied composition of the Coptic community and the intra-communal cleavages or factionalism. In addition, it’s important to highlight the role played by nationalism and religion within the political realm, specifically the mutual sphere of influence and the relationship with the structures of the governance. Through a collection of archival data, an analysis of several newspaper articles and a study of the literature, this chapter attempts to shed light on the Coptic question by understanding if the political action of the Free Officer and Gamal 'Abd al-Nasser and the call to Egyptian national unity, brought into question the juridical and political position of non-Muslims inside Egyptian society. Additionally, we will look at whether this encouraged the passage from the dhimma status to a status of equality.

'Under the Same Flag': The Copts of Egypt and the challenges of Nasserist Nationalism / Melcangi, A. - (2017), pp. 161-194.

'Under the Same Flag': The Copts of Egypt and the challenges of Nasserist Nationalism

Melcangi A
2017

Abstract

During the fifties and the sixties, the Christian Copts, who at the time made up only about 9% of the total population in Egypt, faced many challenges presented by the Gamal 'Abd al-Nasser’s nationalistic ideology. Focusing attention on social and national issues, the ra'is tried to reduce sectarian conflict by integrating the Coptic community within the idea of a new state. The appeal for a strong nationalism rooted in the soil and an absolute and unchallenged leadership became the fundamental pillars of it. The Egyptian nationalism was configured as the glue of national unity and sought to resolve the difficult relationship between din and dawla by exorcising the religious factors under the authority of political power. A nationalization of religion which, in the ideology of the regime, planned to involve the university of al-Azhar and exclude the extremist Muslim Brotherhood in the competition for the control of the official religious references. Although the Coptic minority suffered the expropriations of the sixties and the exclusion from the main responsible political role, the Coptic community found in Nasserist Egypt, a new impetus and a temporary pacification of religious conflicts thanks to a strong national sense of belonging socially. The aim of the paper is to analyze the role played by the Coptic Christians in the political and social arena of Nasserist Egypt, which underlines the varied composition of the Coptic community and the intra-communal cleavages or factionalism. In addition, it’s important to highlight the role played by nationalism and religion within the political realm, specifically the mutual sphere of influence and the relationship with the structures of the governance. Through a collection of archival data, an analysis of several newspaper articles and a study of the literature, this chapter attempts to shed light on the Coptic question by understanding if the political action of the Free Officer and Gamal 'Abd al-Nasser and the call to Egyptian national unity, brought into question the juridical and political position of non-Muslims inside Egyptian society. Additionally, we will look at whether this encouraged the passage from the dhimma status to a status of equality.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11573/1284467
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