Talk:Coptic identity

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Removal of relevant sourced info[edit]

Lanternix, you removed this, saying the link does not work. You also removed it earlier from Arab Christians. The information is sourced to the book Arab Detroit: from margin to mainstream by Nabeel Abraham and Andrew Shryockon. In the chapter on "Egyptian Copts in Detroit", authored by Richard R. Jones, on page 231, it reads: "While in Egypt, I observed that Copts and Muslims alike, when asked, unioformly insisted that they were Arabs. It is interesting that in the West at least some members of the Coptic immigrant community are beginning to think of themselves as "non-Arab," yet continue to believe that they are Egyptian."

Given that this information is relevant to this article, I would appreciate it being restored. I would also appreciate that you cease deleting it from this article and the article Arab Christian, which you have done again most recently just after deleting it here. Please stop deleting reliably sourced information simply because it does not accord with your well-known POV. Thank you. Tiamuttalk 08:57, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

You are indeed linking to a blank page; furthermore, it sounds like the personal travel-account of one individual that does not seem to support a general statement like the one you were trying to insert into the article. For a general statement like the one you gave, one would expect to see some comprehensive survey with statistics. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 09:06, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm not linking to a blank page. I'm linking to page in a book available for viewing at google books. [1]. Furthermore, I've cited the page number, title, the author's names and the text pertaining to this article on this talk page. It's not a travel account. It's an entire chapter in a book published by an academic press (Wayne State University Press) on Egyptian Copts in Detroit. Richard R. Jones, who uathored the chapter is an assistant professor of anthropology and the book was peer reviewed. researched for five years, and funded by a National endowment in the Humanities. Tiamuttalk 09:12, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Furthermore, there are a number of statements in this article currently that are unsourced entirely or sourced to Egyptian Coptic prists whose words are used to make OR conclusions about how all Copts everywhere in the world view themselves. I find it strange that you do not find any of those statements problematic and instead have chosen to focus on the one statement actually sourced to an academic press. Its the only statement providing some balance in this incredibly POV presentation of the issues. Tiamuttalk 09:15, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
The link you give now works. The one before that did not. I took out the "travel-account stuff" but kept the author's name. Can't hurt. Besides, I agree with the rest of your concerns, I had barely glanced over the article (it's fairly new) Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 09:16, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I have no objection to attributing the idea to its author. In fact, in identity articles, where there is some contention between different members of the community as to how they define themselves, I believe this is preferable. And I'm sorry that the link I provided before did not work. I've fixed that in th article now. Thank you for responding fairly to the issues raised and I'm sorry if I came off a little edgy. Tiamuttalk 09:31, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Like hane said, the link you provided before did not work. The link you provide now is an observation made by an American that Copts in Egypt identify as Arabs, which everybody knows is not true, and which is clearly contradicted by the several statements made by Egyptian Copts provided in the article. The book itself contradicts this observation (which is erroneous to begin with) a few lines later, as the author states that Copts in the West identify as non-Arab. If you want to provide statements by Egyptian Copts stating that they are Arabs, I would be happy to include them in the article. But you and I know very well that Egyptians are NOT Arabs, and in fact take offense in being called so. --Ⲗⲁⲛⲧⲉⲣⲛⲓⲝ[talk] 09:26, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Lanternix, the author does not contradict himself. He says Copts in the West are more likely to identity as Egyuptian and play down or reject an Arab identity while those in Egypt, like their Muslims coiunterparts, tend to identify as Arab. I'm aware of your POV on this issue. I understand that you do not identify as Arab, but there are many Copts who do (my uncle by marriage among them). So please try to leave space for the viewpoints of others in your community who may not define their identity as you do. I understand its challenging, but its necessary for NPOV. Tiamuttalk 09:31, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
...and if this ambiguity or these differences in self-identification actually exist, then it could warrant a separate article. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 09:35, 22 December 2009 (UTC)


Tiamut, you and I very well know that Copts do NOT self-identify as Arabs, and that they are NOT Arabs by any stretch of the imagination. In the article, I provide statements by prominent Coptic figures inside of Egypt stating that Copts are Egyptians NOT Arabs. This pretty much refutes the claims/observations of that American author. If anything, even millions of Egyptian Muslims do NOT self-identify as Arabs. You can google articles by Muslim authors Okasha, Qandil, Gaara, Sisy and Younes and you'll see that even a good number of Egyptian Muslims reject Arabism. You can even listen to Amr Adib's "el Qahera el yom" to realize how much Egyptians are repelled by the idea. I am sorry to say that this American guy knows very little about Egyptian identity, let alone the Coptic one. I understand you are a Palestinian pan-Arabist, but we Egyptian are something else; we are NOT Arabs. Bottom lines: Copts do NOT identify as Arabs, not inside Egypt and not anywhere else. --Ⲗⲁⲛⲧⲉⲣⲛⲓⲝ[talk] 09:42, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
(I have from the start noticed that you both have some sort of POV here. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 09:44, 22 December 2009 (UTC))
I'm sorry, but unlike Lanternix, I do not delete reliably sourced information that does not accord with my personal POV. I definitely have one, but I try to respect the POVs of others when I believe they are editing in good faith. Past experiences with Lanternixx lead me to believe s/he is not. Tiamuttalk 16:35, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

merger?[edit]

Having looked over it, I don't see why this cannot be merged into Copt. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 09:29, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. Currently, it seems to be somthing of a WP:POVFORK. Further. Coptic identity is a natural subsection for the Copt article. Tiamuttalk 09:35, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Strongly disagree. The article Copt would be otherwise too cumbersome. --Ⲗⲁⲛⲧⲉⲣⲛⲓⲝ[talk] 09:36, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
This article is a POVFORK. And Lanternix, []http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Coptic_identity&curid=25522710&diff=333225701&oldid=333224774 this edit] you just made, doesn't even pretend to be NPOV. Placing info from an author who says most Copts in Egypt identify as Arab under a subsection entitled "Copts are not Arabs" is really incredible actually. Further, you have distorted what he said and ended with a non-sequiter that is intended to refute his position in the aformk of an article titled after youir subsection. This article need to be dismantled immediately. I'm going to tag it as POV in the meantime. Tiamuttalk 09:39, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
I'd find it much more interesting to include both views, possibly clearly labeled as difference/split between East/West (see above). I think that these sentiments are not all too unusual for a minority that geographically divided into ancient homeland and diaspora... Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 09:42, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
no no no! Please! There is NO split between East or West here. The only split is in that author's head. All the statements made by Copts in the article are made by Copts who live inside of Egypt, not by members of the Coptic diaspora! Both Bishop Thomas and Bishop Pecenti are bishops of bishoprics located in Egypt. All Copts everywhere in the agree that Egyptians are NOT Arabs. In fact, you can even look for a Facebook group called "I'm Egyptian NOT Arab" and you'll realize that the vast majority of its 13,000+ members are Egyptian Muslims and Copts living inside of Egypt! So please, there is no split within the Coptic community about this issue! --Ⲗⲁⲛⲧⲉⲣⲛⲓⲝ[talk] 09:51, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
hey, calm down, I'm just asking questions... I am indeed skeptical of a single source that makes such a sweeping claim (see above), and I would again ask Tiamut to possibly bring more than one book to back it up. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 10:05, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
I would encourage you to be skeptical Seb, and contrary to your claim above I am not trying to push a POV here. I don't think all Copts identify as Arab, but there are some who do. I also think Jones' opinion is a simplification - it is true that some Egyptian Muslims do not identify as Arab (though that is, I believe, much rarer). My problem with Lanternix is that s/he refuses to acknowledge the opposing viewpoint based on her strong belief that a Coptic identity is wholly separate from Arab identity. That's fine for her personally, but not for articles on the subject which need to represent all relevant POVs.
There are more sources discussing these issues. I will list some relevant excerpts below:
  • In the book Race on pages 189-190, Soheir A. Morsy discusses egyptian identity and notes: "In addition to some Egyptians' opportunistic detachment from African identity, U.S. residents of Egyptian origin are also likely to shun their Arab identity in favor of nation-state, Islamic or Coptic affiliation. While the emphgasis on religious identity is an extension of post-1967 developments in Egypt and the surrounding region, the suppression of Arab identity is also understandable in light of U.S. foreign policy."
  • More to come ....Tiamuttalk 16:33, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
  • The book Secularism, gender and the state in the Middle East: the Egyptian women's movement by Nadje Sadig Al-Ali and published by Cambridge University Press discusses egyptian identity more generally, covering the work of a number of important egyptian thinkers on pages 42-44. [2] I don't want to excerpt it all here because it is only remotely related to the issue of Coptic identity itself, but needless to say, it is not as simple as Lanternix makes it out to be. One thinker describes, for example, the seven pillars of Egyptian identity as being made up of four civilizations (Pharonic, Greco-Roman, Coptic and Islamic) and three georaphical regions (the Arab world, the Mediterranean, and North Africa). Certainly for anyone to claim that they know how all Egyptians identify and they all do in X way is simply wrong given the scholarship available to anyone interested in reviewing it. Tiamuttalk 17:07, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't see anywhere in the sources you put forward that Copts are saying we are Arabs, or even that non-Copts are saying that Copts are Arabs! I'll leave this to Seb to decide what he/she thinks. --Ⲗⲁⲛⲧⲉⲣⲛⲓⲝ[talk] 18:00, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
I wish you would actually read the links I give you and look at them in the context of the wider discussion on Egyptian identity which you yourself raised here. I found it very intresting and relevant to the article and discussion here for example that the second source I linked to discusses how "territorial nationalists" in Egypt in the 1920s tried to disassociate from their Arab identity, with some advocating that "the Egyptiaqn Copts, as the legitimate heirs of ancient Egypt, must aboandon Arabic and return to Coptic, a dead language." The footnote explains that the transition from Coptic to Arabic in Egypt occurred in the 11th century. The text goes on to explain how these same "territorial nationalists" tried to explain the introduction of Arabic into Egypt in new terms: "To do that, some territorial nationalists projected the seventh-century conquest of Egypt as an Arab invasion or occupation, and Arabic as the foreign language of that invader or occupier."
In any case, I found the information helpful in understanding where you seem to be coming from, as opposed to my uncle's view which is that he is as Arab as I am, and that Coptic is his religious background, just as mine is Greek Orthodox. Tiamuttalk 20:45, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
And by the way, for a scholarly paper that directly addresses the issue of Coptic identity, please see this. While you may not be able to read it all without a subscription, please note that the following sentence is in it (do a google search for it if you don't believe me): "Likewise, it is of paramount importance to note that Coptic Christians share an Arab identity with their Muslim neighbors." Perhaps this article and others can begin to express a POV that may not be yours but is in fact represented in many scholarly sources (and held by Copts themselves, though more so in the Arab world than in the West, as the sources themselves note). Tiamuttalk 21:03, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

This article is a POVFORK. I strongly recommend a merger. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 23:00, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

(Waking up to some amazing edit warring...) I got involved here 'cause I thought I might be able to learn something. All I have learned thus far is that the issue apparently isn't as clear-cut and easy as either one of you would like to make it look... Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 01:16, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

this article wasn't so much a pov fork as an explicit op-ed piece. Whoever gave you the impression it was ok to create Wikipedia articles in order to write essays about your political opinions? Unless somebody sits down and writes an actual encyclopedia article about Coptic identity, this should be merged into Copts asap. --dab (𒁳) 10:47, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Contesting a Section[edit]

User Tiamut is adding exerpts that have nothing to do with Coptic identity, such as this one:

According to Gamal As'ad Abdul Malak, an Egyptian Christian intellectual, "a group of Egyptians, including party leaders, politicians, intellectuals, journalists, university professors and actors issued a statement in which they denounce and reject this unpatriotic speech that does not conform to the church's attitude and national history." He also writes that Bishop Thomas had no authorization from the church to make such a speech and, "the Evangelical and Catholic churches rejected his speech and called on the church to hold him accountable for this. There are top Egyptian writers who issued articles denouncing his speech."[1]

What exactly does all of that have to do with Coptic identity? Some Muslims agreed and some Muslims disagreed with Bishop Thomas' words. How exactly does this influence the question at hand? --Ⲗⲁⲛⲧⲉⲣⲛⲓⲝ[talk] 22:36, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Forgive me Lanternix, but isn't Abdul Malak a Coptic intellectual himself? Aren't his views relevant? You keep saying the views of non-Copts who say copt identify as Arab are not correct or not as important as what Copts have to say. Then when I find a Copt who is critiquing what Bishop Thomas had to say (who is your primary source for how copts identify themselves in this article - indeed half the article is an extended quote from his speech at the Hudson institute) suddenly, its not important what Copts have to say? Even if Abdul Malak wasn't a Copt, his article describes the widespread rejection of what Bishop Thomas had to say, which I believe, given the prominence you accord to his opinion here, is absolutely relevant. Tiamuttalk 22:44, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
1. Abdel Malak a Coptic intellectual???? Abdel Malak is a member of the Muslim brotherhood!! I would NOT call him a Coptic intellectual.
2. What exactly are his views on the issue??? That paragraph you posted does not say what Abdel Malak's take on Coptic identity is. All it says is that he disagrees with Bishop Thomas. On what exactly does he disagree? If the topic is about Bishop Thomas' speech, then sure that paragraph would be relevant. But the article is about Coptic identity, and the paragraph has nothing to do with the issue at hand. If you find an article where Abdel Malak says that Copts are Arabs, I'll gladly incorporate it into the article. --Ⲗⲁⲛⲧⲉⲣⲛⲓⲝ[talk] 23:16, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Sorry Lanternix, but I don't think you read the source properly. It says he's an Egyptian Christian in the byline and the headline describes him as an "Coptic intellectual". Furthermore, this source describes him as "a Coptic writer", though it does say he is supportive of the Islamists. Where did you get the idea that he's a member of the Muslim Brotherhood? And can Copts be members too? Tiamuttalk 00:31, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
Tiamut, I am an Egyptian living in Egypt. So think twice before asking your kind of rhetorical questions. Again:
  • 1. Did Abdel Malak say that Copts are Arabs? No. Whether or not he disagrees with Bishop Thomas is irrelevant, because we don't know what exactly he is disagreeing with.
  • 2. No Copt would ever agree that Abdel Malak is a Coptic intellectual. It's like saying that Ariel Sharon is a Palestinian nationalist.
  • 3. It is a well known fact that Gamal Asaad is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and that he ran the parlimentary elections in Assiut as member of the Muslim Brotherhood. More on Gamal Asaad here:

(this by the way answers your last question about whether Copts can be part of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the answer is: Copts who would sell themselves for money and who have no allegiance whatsoever to the Copts can and do run under the slogan of "Islam is the solution")

and here:

and in Arabic:

--Ⲗⲁⲛⲧⲉⲣⲛⲓⲝ[talk] 00:43, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

To Lanternix[edit]

Please make a valid argument against The Pew forum that states that Muslims in Egypt number 95% of the population, i.e., making Copts 5% or less. Also, please provide a reliable source for your number of Copts ranging between 15-20%, contrary to what all the other reliable sources say. Also, please explain how http://www.copt.net is a news source.... Is it Reuters, The Associated Press, the New York Times or similar? -Medjool (talk) 07:46, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Well, obviously, you have no evidence to present in support of your edits, so Lanternix, please stop reverting the article. -Medjool (talk) 04:00, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

These comment here above were made by Arab Cowboys sock puppet, the strike out of them shouldn't be removed, it must be shown what kind of account that has made these edits:[3] --Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 15:40, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

True Egyptian Identity[edit]

Last night there was a program on the German television channel Deutsche Welle (DW-TV), entitled شباب بلا حدود (Youth Without Borders). The youth in the program very eloquently expressed the factors that shape their true identity as Egyptians and Germans, respectively. Basically, Egyptian youth (both Cristian and Muslim) viewed their identity as a mixture of all the cultures that have formed the history of Egypt, with the Arab and Ancient Egyptian cultures being the most important players. One (most likely Coptic) young lady named Sally who is an amateur photographer saw the Fatimid culture to have been the predominant player in shaping the Egyptian character. Another young Egyptian viewed, and many of the other partcicipants concurred, Umm Kulthum as the most important personality that has helped unify the Egyptian culture. By contrast, the German youth saw German culture as fragmented and either localized to each one the German cities or towns, or entirely absorbed into the global culture. They declared that Germans show pride in their German identity only during football games.

Below is a brief abstract of the program as posted on DW-TV's website.

Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: موضوع الحلقة القادمة هو الشباب وهويته الثقافية. ستعرض الحلقة يوم الأربعاء 30 ديسمبر / كانون الأول الساعة السادسة مساء حسب التوقيت الدولي

تكتسب الهوية الثقافية في عصر العولمة أهمية خاصة، فالمدافعون عنها يحذرون من مخاطر الذوبان في الثقافية العالمية التي لا ملامح لها، في حين يدعو منتقدوها إلى تخفيف قبضتها من أجل تسهيل الاندماج في ثقافة عالمية مشتركة تسمح للجميع بالتحاور والتفاهم. لذلك اخترنا أن يكون محور حلقتنا الجديدة، التي تأتيكم هذه المرة من سفح الأهرامات في منطقة الجيزة، هو الملامح الثقافية للشخصية الألمانية والمصرية.


الشباب المصري أوضح لزملائه الألمان أن الشخصية المصرية هي محصلة تلاقح الثقافة العربية والثقافة المصرية القديمة، وأن الإنسان المصري يشعر بالتوازن والاستقرار في ظل هذين الثقافتين. أما الشباب الألماني فأوضح أن الملامح الثقافية الألمانية ترسمها المدن التي يعيشها في الشباب، وأنه ليس هناك ملامح محددة للإنسان الألماني، فالبرليني يقول إنه قادم من برلين وليس من ألمانيا، كذلك يقول البافاري. فكل مدينة لها طابعها الثقافي الخاص بها.


شاهد معنا الحلقة وتعرف على المزيد من الملامح الثقافية للشباب المصري والألماني.

Medjool (talk) 06:06, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

These comment here above were made by Arab Cowboys sock puppet, the strike out of them shouldn't be removed, it must be shown what kind of account that has made these edits:[4] --Supreme Deliciousness (talk) 15:40, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

read, any Egyptian public figure who even tries to dis-associate with Arabism is prone by the Arab Media of being refered to a Zionist or trying to divide Egypt when truth is that All Arabism does is divide people under the notion it and the islamic culture is sperior http://nationalcopticassembly.com/showart.php?main_id=1724 ♥Yasmina♥ (talk) 19:04, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

GREAT ARTICLE[edit]

I dont get why 100 pan-arab articles can be created and not deleted for being POV yet any article that informs people that a certain community in an arab country follows another identidy than the Arab one. Its automatically considered POV and recommended for deletion by arab nationalists who want to shut them up. I actually endorse on more articles like this being created i.e Maronite Identity,Lebanese Identity, Assyrian Identity,

patient my friend, I'm sure Arabs will pay for their deeds. Israel is just a start, we will finally throw away Arabs in Syria, Iraq and Egypt, push them back to where they come from. But before that, be patient and let Pan Arabs make screams, they will not last for long. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 210.73.78.62 (talk) 04:57, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

that's probably because you have no clue what Wikipedia is trying to do. Please read WP:5P. Look, there are plenty of free web providers where you can express your opinions, there is literally no reason to use Wikipedia for that. There are lots of reasons not to do that, in fact. For one, bona fide Wikipedians will keep tearing your articles down. I understand this must be frustrating, which is why you shouldn't publish them here, but on your own blog. --dab (𒁳) 10:48, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

The impact of the Six-Day War[edit]

The Egyptians' attachment to Arabism, however, was particularly questioned after the 1967 Six-Day War.

Hi. Can someone please clarify in the article how and why the Six-Day War inspired doubts about Arabism? Was pan-Arabism viewed as a catalyst of the war? Thanks. By the way, while I'm at it, how common is non-Arab identity among secular/irreligious Egyptians? I mean, Nasser-ism is secular, after all. 213.109.230.96 (talk) 15:32, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Gamal As’ad Abdul Malak (August 7, 2008). "Egyptians Reject Bishop Thomas Lecture: Coptic Intellectual". 
  2. ^ http://threatswatch.org/commentary/2006/04/the-muslim-brotherhood-and-the
  3. ^ http://www.amcoptic.com/n2008/magdi-khalil-anba-tomas-reaction-in-egypt-press.htm