The article deals with coexistence between Muslims and Christians in Egypt.
The incidents that have taken place in recent years which have led to sectarian tension between Muslims and Copts in Egypt indicate that coexistence, which has been a fundamental element of Egypt, is under threat.First, the author mentions some basic principles for establishing coexistence:According to the author, an important condition for realizing citizenship is the separation between the "political group" and the "religious group"; Egyptians should comprise of one political group and two religious groups: Muslim and Christian. This idea is clearly evident in the motto raised by the 1919 Revolution, "Religion for God and the homeland for all".Egyptians should not imprison themselves in history; Christians should stop speaking about the persecution that they faced after the arrival of Islam in Egypt and Muslims should stop talking about what the church committed against Egyptian paganism and boasting that they saved Christians from Roman persecution.There should be a mutual admission of the presence of some violations on both sides; Muslims should admit that some of them adopt extremist views about Christians and view them as kāfirs and likewise Christians should admit that there are some Christian extremists who view Muslims as heretics.A distinction between the holy texts and practices should be made clear. Both the Qur’ān and the Bible include values that guarantee coexistence and mutual respect if people abide by them. The holy texts should therefore not be blamed for what Muslims and Christians do to one another.There should be partial secularism based on the belief that separating religion from state authority is necessary but separating it from life is a crime.The general context should be changed; there should be a comprehensive political reform in which the basis for a democratic civil state based on the principle of citizenship and circulation of power is laid.Any problem of coexistence between Muslims and Christians in Egypt should be solved on a national ground and according to an Egyptian agenda.Second, the author argues that from the conditions for coexistence are the presence of dialogue, the ability to deal with the other with tolerance, and ensuring equal opportunities.Third, the author states that although there are some factors that may threaten coexistence, there are many chances for it to exist: