Posts Tagged ‘Coptic Orthodox Church’

February 9th, 2016

Religious Difference in a Secular Age: A Minority Report—An introduction

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Saba Mahmood | Religious Difference in a Secular Age: A Minority ReportIt is no exaggeration to say that the religious diversity that characterized the Middle East for centuries is in precipitous decline. The reasons for this are multiple, including civil wars that have ravaged Iraq, Syria, and Libya; territorial expansion of militant Islamist groups (like ISIS); and steady erosion of political and civil rights in the region. The US invasion of Iraq and subsequent intervention in Libya have left wide swaths of the Middle East in utter disarray and brought the plight of religious minorities to a new impasse.

Religious Difference in a Secular Age: A Minority Report is an exploration of the minority question not so much in the context of warfare but of stable governance where the promise of civil and political equality continues to hold sway. Because I am interested in how religious difference has come to be regulated and remade under secularism, I focus on the problem of religious minorities rather than groups defined by ethnic, linguistic, or other attributes.

April 30th, 2013

Citizenship and minorities in Egypt

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Over at Jadaliyya, Mona Oraby addresses the relationship between religious affiliation and national belonging in an article on citizenship debates in Egypt.

May 18th, 2012

Coptic Christians and Egypt’s future

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Yasmine Saleh recently reported on the dilemma many Coptic Christians face in the upcoming Egyptian presidential election.

April 16th, 2012

Paradoxes of “religious freedom” in Egypt

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The place of religion in the political order is arguably the most contentious issue in post-Mubarak Egypt. With Islamist-oriented parties controlling over 70 percent of seats in the new People’s Assembly and the constitution-writing process about to begin, liberals and leftists are apprehensive about the implications for Egyptian law and society, including the rights of Egypt’s millions of Coptic Christians.

March 5th, 2012

Religious freedom, minority rights, and geopolitics

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Conventional wisdom has it that religious liberty is a universally valid principle, enshrined in national constitutions and international charters and treaties, whose proper implementation continues to be thwarted by intransigent forces in society such as illiberal governments, religious fundamentalists, and traditional norms. Insomuch as the Middle East, and the Muslim world in general, are supposed to be afflicted with the ills of fundamentalism and illiberal governments, then the salvific promise of religious liberty looms large. In this brief post I would like to question this way of thinking through a consideration of the career of religious liberty in the modern Middle East.

November 8th, 2011

Politics of Faith—The Role of Religion in Divided Societies

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America Abroad, the award-winning documentary radio program, has released a new documentary, “The Politics of Faith—The Role of Religion in Divided Societies.” Drawing from interviews with locals and experts, the documentary examines the religious undercurrents that are sharpening societal divides, from Egypt to China, from Russia to Malaysia.

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June 14th, 2011

(In)Visible Copts

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At Jadaliyya, Anthony Shenoda reflects on the simultaneous visibility and invisibility of the Coptic Christian community in Egypt.

July 1st, 2010

Another reason why divorce is messy

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An interesting debate is taking place in Egypt regarding a controversial court ruling that ordered the Coptic Orthodox Church to allow its members to divorce and remarry. Regardless of whether the court is robbing the Church of its religious freedom (as the Church claims) or whether the Church is robbing its members’ of their individual rights (as the court claims), these developments present a huge setback for advocates of meaningful political change in Egypt.