22. Building up of sectarianism is the consequence of the absence of nationalism

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The influence of sectarianism on Egyptian political life.

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The growth of religious sectarianism represented in the 20% of the parliament seats that the Muslim Brotherhood won in the last elections in 2005, along with the weakness of the civil parties, have annoyed some people in Egypt, not only the Christians. According to the author such an event represents a threat to the historical Egyptian struggle which began before the revolution of 1881, and extended after the revolution of 1919 which established the necessary components of the modern state. Such struggles transformed Egypt from an Ottoman province into a modern state.

The Egyptian national identity lead to the failure of the British policy “divide and conquer” that Great Britain tried to apply in Egypt throughout its occupation. Lord Cromer, the British agent in Egypt, [see: http://www.touregypt.net/hbritish.htm] stated that he did not notice any difference between the Muslims and Christians in Egypt other than where they would pray, as Muslims would pray in a mosque and Christians in a church. Coherent members of Egyptian society also refuted the British’s justification for their occupation of Egypt. The British came in under the pretense that they were defending the Christians in Egypt, which Egyptian Christians themselves refuted, who sacrificed everything and put up with being jailed and tormented to maintain their national identity.

The transformation process from the sectarian into the national state that took five centuries in Europe occurred in Egypt in a short period of time thanks to the revolution of 1919 that rejected sectarianism and confirmed nationalism.

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