Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Why we are not arabs

13 October 2009 in Featured Blogumnist, Morris Sadek

The word Copts comes from the Greek word “Egyptos”, which means Egyptian. According to a lecture delivered by a Coptic Bishop at the Hudson Institute, located in Washington DC, the Arab invasion of Egypt in 639 A.D. has altered the identity of Egypt through Arabization and forced conversion to Islam. This Bishop added that “The Copts have been always focused on Egypt; it is our identity, it is our nation, it is our land, it is our language, it is our culture. But when some of the Egyptians converted to Islam, their focus changed away from looking to their own language and culture. They started to look at the Arabians, and Arabia became the main focus.”
Unfortunately, the process of Arabization and Islamization are still active working until now upon Copts. It is clearly manifested during the history that the Egyptian culture has been taken from the Copts and attributed to the Arabs. For Instance, Christian children has to study the history of the victorious Islamic invaders and how Islamic armies coming from Arabia saved Egypt from the Romans. The Egyptian government forgot to teach the Egyptian children that their great great grand fathers were Christians and they choose to convert to Islam.
During the rise of pan-Arab nationalism in the 1950s and 1960s, the economically prosperous Copts, who then represented 20 percent of the population but held more than 50 percent of the nations’s wealth, saw their businesses and factories nationalized under the socialist government of Gamal Abdel Nasser. Many of them left as a result.
Critics argue that a Pan Arabist will always support Arab unity and “Islam” at the expense of non-Arab and non-Moslem peoples. one would direct and manipulate the Western taste for self criticism, and all that does is deflect the world’s attention from Arab and Muslem atrocities committed against Christians, Kurds, Jews, Israelis, Coptic Christians, non-Arab Sudanese, etc.
Though, current actively Anti Copt attacks stems more often from Islamism, especially by Islamic groups.
In conclusion, I share my opinion with many Copts in Egypt that we are not Arabs but Egyptians. I am very happy to call myself a Coptic Egyptian despite the fact that I speak Arabic. I will also call upon the Egyptian government to allow the Coptic language to be taught in public schools like English, French and German languages.

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