Strategically located between Asia, Africa, and the Mediterranean Sea, Egypt ranks as one of the most influential Muslim countries in the world. It is the most populated Arab country and the second largest recipient of American Foreign aid (after the state of Israel). Its government is the first Arab entity to have signed a peace accord with Israel and has managed to build itself the reputation of being a major human rights violator. Nonetheless today, the Egyptian government is faced with several endemic challenges such as the constant need to create new jobs for its emerging young population entering the labor force along with the necessity to provide basic needs for its sizeable population which is increasingly dependent on foreign imports to meet them.
In a time when the Muslim world map is being reconstituted and political alliances are shifting, the future of the 1400-year-old Islamic-Coptic relations may play an integral part in shaping the long-term stability of Egypt. Will the Egyptian Coptic community side with its Muslim neighbors to reform the currently corrupt government as it did more than half a century ago or will external forces and short-sighted Egyptian individuals fuel hatred among the Copts and Muslim to disrupt the historically delicate harmony and peaceful coexistence? Will the Copts ask for an autonomous or independent state in Egypt like the Southern region of the Sudan or will the Muslim and Coptic leaderships carefully re-evaluate their often good but sometimes sour relationships to re-craft them for a longer lasting peace?
Author Sohirin Mohammad Solihin states in his book 'Copts and Muslims in Egypt: A study on Harmony and Hostility':
The term Copt is used to refer to the indigenous Christian of Egypt. After the Muslim conquest at the hands of Amr bin al-As, in 639 CE, under the command of the second caliph, Umar ibn al-Khattab, Copts, by and large, having experienced the cruelty of the Roman Empire which opposed Christianity and massacred hundreds of thousands of the followers of St. Mark, founder of the Coptic faith, turned to Islam. Cyrus, the archbishop of Alexandria, following the fall of Babylon described Muslims in these words:
'We have witnessed a people to each and everyone of whom death is preferable to life, and humility to prominence, and to one of whom this world has the least attraction. They sit not except on the ground and eat not but on their knees. Their leader (Amir) is like unto one of them: the low cannot be distinguished from the high, nor the master from the slave. And when the time of prayer comes, none of them absents himself, all wash their extremities and humbly observe their prayers.'
In view of the position of Egypt, as the home of the Copts long before he reached Egypt, the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had clearly warned his Companions: 'If God bestows His grace on you to conquer the country (Egypt), take mutual advice from its inhabitants as I have marital kinship with them'. As Islam guarantees free choice of religion, a number of Egyptians retained their indigenous Coptic belief.
The long, peaceful co-existence between the two communities, particularly prior to (Egypt) independence, deserves special attention. They jointly struggled to Liberate Egypt from foreign domination. In taking the liberation campaign to the masses, priests and Muslims Shaikhs used both religious platforms - church and mosque - in an endeavor to bring to an end the British occupation. Surprisingly, the Copts resented the entry of Western Christian mission into Egypt. The efforts of Western Christian mission to bring the Copts, before an approach was made to the Muslims, into their faith was not successful. Relations between the two communities ebbed and flowed.'
Janet Patel you are very *** to think otherwise. I am neither
muslim nor copt but I am educated. Open the news and look around you
!!! RIP all Coptics who have been murdered by Extremist Foul Muslim
and Rip to the good muslims who had their lives taken away for
interfering. I have family in Egypt and I know what is going on. Thank
In Gujrat a thristy 6 month old baby was poured in his mouth gasolene and a devil put a burning match stick into his mouth !!!
In another event, a fully pregnant woman was stabbed and took her foetus out and put the foetus on a "trishul" and asked the foetus to utter their man-god "ram ram" who was indeed an ideal human being in his life time.
If a Muslim does not believe that Jesus as a Prophet of God,heceases to be a Muslim.
I met them in egypt and i was treated with kindness and brotherhood they made me feel like a special guest ...i have a very high consideration toward them and a special love for all the inhabitant of Egypt.
After briefly reviewing one article at a Coptic Orthodox website I was left a bit distressed by the emphasis they appear to place on the (rather more extreme) Nicene Creed - which declares that the Messiah is true God from true God. (Astagh-firullah!) However, they also appear to be disinclined to propagate the Doctrine of Trinity - at least perhaps among their neighbors. May peace be upon them - as well as upon their neighbors.
As-Salaam Alaikum Wa-Rahmatullahi Wa-Barakatuhu
My comments pertains to the fist part of the opening statement on this article.
"Strategically located between Asia, Africa, and the Mediterranean Sea," ....
To put it correctly, Egypt is located in North Africa unless the Geography composition of the continent of Africa has been changed recently.
It would be ideal if we can abstain from distorting geographical facts as is the tendencies of the power brokers.
as being MUSLIM ..
I much rathr call myself Parsi Hindu,Christiam ..for who wants to die for 7th sectury promises not full filled in 1500 yrs with declining hope or chances with Egyptian Syria Iraqi Guf, Saudie like 2nd citizen of the world to AMERICAN judeo christians !!!!