Citizens or Dhimmis? The Muslim Brotherhood and Political Rights of Copts in Egypt

​This paper deconstructs Muslim Brotherhood perceptions about the political rights of Copts in Egypt. It argues that the group has an ambiguous understanding of the concept of citizenship generally, which is reflected in their perceptions of the political and civil rights of religious, political and sectarian minorities. This study proposes a socio-political approach to understand this ambiguity. It argues that this position can be interpreted through several considerations, the most important of which are: ideological commitment, maintaining organizational cohesion, constraints on social acceptance and competition with conservative religious forces. The paper deconstructs these factors in order to explain and interpret the Brotherhood stance on Copts in Egypt. The study uses discourse analysis to examine statements by Muslim Brotherhood members and leaders about the Copts from 1981-2013.

Download Article Purchase Issue Subscribe for a year

Abstract

Zoom

​This paper deconstructs Muslim Brotherhood perceptions about the political rights of Copts in Egypt. It argues that the group has an ambiguous understanding of the concept of citizenship generally, which is reflected in their perceptions of the political and civil rights of religious, political and sectarian minorities. This study proposes a socio-political approach to understand this ambiguity. It argues that this position can be interpreted through several considerations, the most important of which are: ideological commitment, maintaining organizational cohesion, constraints on social acceptance and competition with conservative religious forces. The paper deconstructs these factors in order to explain and interpret the Brotherhood stance on Copts in Egypt. The study uses discourse analysis to examine statements by Muslim Brotherhood members and leaders about the Copts from 1981-2013.

References