Webinar Inclusive Citizenship September 26: sign-up now!

Sent On: 
Mon, 2020-09-14
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On June 22-24 we organized our first 2020 webinar about intercultural dialogue. We had excellent contributions about to dialogue with people different from us. Several former interns of ours spoke about their own experiences of interning with us.


On September 26 we go to the next stage: an entire day dedicated to inclusive citizenship in Egypt, a theme proposed by Anglican Archbishop Mouneer [Munīr].


Inclusive citizenship can be defined as an approach to governance and communal life which prioritizes and maintains the equal rights of all citizens, including political participation, access to justice, economic rights, and social rights. In addition, a commitment to inclusive citizenship attempts to identify and address obstacles, whether they are legal, cultural, or both. The term inclusive citizenship is often used by Christians in Egypt to advocate full equality with Muslims. We then have to distinguish between the constitution and various legal provisions: civil law, personal status law and practices in society. Arguments about lack of equality are often in four areas:

  • Conversions from one religion to the other. A Christian can convert to Islam and change the religion on his/her ID but vice versa is not possible.
  • Building houses of worship, it is argued that it is easier to obtain a permit for a mosque than for a church.
  • Incidents of violence of radicals claiming Islam as their religion against Christians.
  • Being equally represented in higher government positions (including military and police). 
    The argument of being insufficiently represented is directly linked to claims about the number of Christians in Egypt. According to the CAPMAS the percentage of Christians was 6,24% in 1976. This is the last year the CAPMAS asked a question about religion in the census. This is disputed by the Coptic Orthodox Church that claims its own statistics which, however, were never published and cannot be verified.

Our September 26 webinar also reflects on the ideal of inclusive citizenship in Egypt and Europe. In particular, we are interested in Muslim and Christian perspectives on this ideal and the obstacles that we encounter in seeking to make our societies more inclusive. Through this webinar, our esteemed speakers will address issues such as the following:

  • What theological and historical resources do Islam and Christianity bring to help us pursue the ideal of inclusive citizenship?
  • Many Christians in Egypt feel that they are disadvantaged in various ways in Egyptian society. How should we interpret this? What can be done to address the concerns of Christians in Egypt? How might Muslims and Christians help in this effort?
  • For the last several decades, the place of Muslims and Islam in Europe has become increasingly controversial. European far-right political movements and Islamophobia has been on the rise. What challenges do Muslims face in Europe? What effect did this have on relations between Muslims and Christians in Egypt?

Thus, this will be a highly interesting day. Anyone wishing to participate, however, must sign-up here and remain with us for the entire day.



Cairo, September 14, 2020


Cornelis Hulsman, Editor-in-Chief Arab-West Report