Synopses & Reviews
In the light of the escalation of sectarian tensions during and after Mubarak's reign, the predicament of the Arab world's largest religious minority, the Copts, has come to the forefront. This book poses such questions as why there has been a mass exodus of Copts from Egypt, and how this relates to other religious minorities in the Arab region; why it is that sectarian violence increased during and after the Egyptian revolution, which epitomized the highest degree of national unity since 1919; and how the new configuration of power has influenced the extent to which a vision of a political order is being based on the principles of inclusive democracy.
The book examines the relations among the state, the church, Coptic citizenry, and civil and political societies against the backdrop of the increasing diversification of actors, the change of political leadership in the country, and the transformations occurring in the region. An informative historical background is provided, and new fieldwork and statistical data inform a thoughtful exploration of what it takes to build an inclusive democracy in post-Mubarak Egypt.
"Tadros explores the shifting societal position of Egypt's Christian minority, the Copts, over the past 50 years, with a particular focus on the 2000-2012 period. She addresses the relations among the state, the Church, Coptic citizens, and civil and political society and considers the impact of changing political leadership following the fall of Mubarak (although the timing of publication has precluded consideration of the recent military coup deposing Mohamed Morsi). The analysis is characterized by a multidisciplinary approach drawing on history, politics, sociology, and anthropology and combines a case study of the micro-level dynamics of church-state relations, insider-informant perspectives, macro-political analysis, and quantitative analysis of sectarian incidents from 2007 to 2012."-Reference and Research Book News
"Far from falling into the easy trap of reducing the history of anti-Coptic discrimination to a peak during the Islamists' year in office, Tadros takes a step back and looks at the accumulation of discrimination across the last decade of Mubarak rule that included, in addition to anti-Copt violence, a wide range of injustices that incrementally fed into the demonstrations of 25 January 2011. Copts at the Crossroads is not just about lamenting the state of affairs for Copts. It also aims to suggest options for ending sectarian violence and promoting an inclusive democracy."--LAhram Online
"A highly readable, sophisticated, and timely text which will serve as a valuable resource on the Coptic predicament in the early 21st century."--The Middle East Journal
About the Author
is a research fellow at the Institute of Development Studies in the UK. She was formerly a professor of political science at the American University in Cairo. Her most recent publication is The Muslim Brotherhood in Contemporary Egypt: Democracy Redefined or Confined?
Table of Contents
A future of crescent without cross?
Copts of Egypt
Overview of sectarian incidents (2008-2011)
The Patriarch-President Pact and the people in between
The politics of backstage vendettas: the State Security Investigations Apparatus vs. the Coptic Church leadership
Mitigation, management and resolution of sectarianism under Mubarak
Against all odds: The Copts in the 25th of January revolution
The beginning of the end of the Tahrir spirit
Coptic protest and Copts in protest
Egypt's Bloody Sunday and its ripple effects
The Copts' Islamist experience
Winning for God: sectarianism in the parliamentary and presidential elections