• 06:43
  • Wednesday ,28 March 2012

The illusion of dividing Egypt

Monir Beshai

Article Of The Day


Wednesday ,28 March 2012

The illusion of dividing Egypt

I understand very well why some people are thinking about the division of Egypt, though I don’t agree with them. After many terroristic attacks on Copts which have increased alarmingly during the previous decades, Many Copts have lost their hope in coexistence with Muslims in Egypt. They now believe that the only solution is separation. But, is it really the solution for the Coptic problem in Egypt? 

When war between Arabs and Israel over Palestine broke out, this resulted in the problem of Palestinian refugees who are forced by war to leave their homes and live in camps away from their homeland. Since then, the refugees’ problem occupies the first place in any negotiation about the Palestinian issue as the return of Palestinian refugees has become a fundamental requirement that Palestinians will never waive, even after more than 60 years had passed. Even though some of them have left their homeland as children and now they are elderly dreaming of the day in which they return to their homeland!
When the problem of African Americans flared in America, some whites suggested that blacks should be moved to a separate state to get rid of their problem. But, the blacks refused to be treated as a separate community from America. So, they declared they are American Citizens that should be treated equally as American people. They persevered until one of them has become the American president.
When some extremists of Al-Ameria village in Alexandria decided the displacement of Coptic families from the village, Copts and many honorable Muslims, considered this a tragedy and violation of all principles of human rights. They had no rest until those families regain their right and returned to their homes to live among their neighbors. 
The idea of dividing Egypt and forming a Coptic state appeared upon the increasing persecution, but church has been always against it. It’s said that Pope Cyril VI was offered to displace the Copts to Abyssinia, but he refused this idea completely. President Sadat claimed that Pope Shenouda is planning to establish a Coptic state in Assiut, the Pope made a joke out of this idea saying: What would I do then with all our bishops? Shall we make each one responsible for a lane?
How come we think now about it? How come the Copts accept to be in a situation which was refused by the Palestinians and African Americans? A situation was not accepted for the Copts of Al-Ameria!
This idea cannot be implemented. Copts and Muslims have been living together in every city and village, in every street and building, working together in the same state institutions and private companies as well. Their shops are mixed together in every place, Christian churches and monasteries are scattered all over Egypt. How can anyone uproot the Copts like this? Will Copts sacrifice all their life, memories, history and the lands of their fathers on which blood of martyrs was shed? Are Copts going to solve a problem by destroying their whole life?
At the beginning, we were thinking that such talk is a joke, but some people believed it. They thought there is a real coptic country. Then, they started to announce some really strange ideas like drilling a Coptic channel parallel to the Suez Canal from Eilat to Arish! This is beyond imagination, and I tell those: You need to be rational while day dreaming so that other people may talk to you seriously. Otherwise, few years later, you will be asked questions about such canal, a question that you won’t be able to answer!
Where in Egypt can such Coptic state be achieved? Where is that natural border that is secure? Is Sinai peninsula is that ideal place for the Coptic State? Will the Copts leave their homes, churches and monasteries to live in the desert? Does this place have the elements of a state? Where are the economy, infrastructure, public utilities, schools, universities, hospitals, houses, army and police of that State? Where are the vital services such as water, electricity and telephone? Where are their jobs, the factories and agricultural land that produce their needs? And where are the churches to pray? 
One may say that achieving a secure homeland for the Copts deserves to offer many sacrifices. But, will such secure homeland be achieved?
I remember a terrorist attack over a village called the Copts’ village. All of its inhabitants were Copts. On February 24, 1996, terrorists wanted to kill as many Christians as they could. It was an easy mission with no need of shooting skills. Each of them squeezed the trigger of his machine gun and shoot everyone of the village till their guns were empty.
Those who want to divide Egypt and establish a homeland for the Copts, want the Copts to live in a large Coptic village, a place where any terrorist can kill them easily. It can even achieved by a lucky missile that will never miss its destination. 
In conclusion, Egypt will never be Egypt if the Copts left it, as they are its origin. Coptic state will never be unless it have all historical land of egypt. No Egypt without Copts, and no copts without Egypt. Furthermore; the problem of sectarianism will not be solved by isolating Muslims and copts, as the majority of them can co-exist peacefuly. Officials should try to isolate the terrorism from some sick souls and to teach people the God is love.