MER 267

Copts Under Mursi: Defiance in the Face of Denial

Published on 1 July 2013

Throughout his 2012 presidential campaign, Muhammad Mursi was keen to emphasize that he would be a president for all Egyptians, not just supporters of the Society of Muslim Brothers, and that he believed in equal citizenship for all, irrespective of religious affiliation.

The majority of Egypt’s Coptic Christians were nonetheless suspicious of the Muslim Brother candidate, and in the first round many voted for one of the other main contenders, Ahmad Shafiq or Hamdin Sabbahi. Almost a year into Mursi’s presidency, it is clear that the Coptic minority – roughly 10 percent of Egypt’s population – did not overestimate either the threat to their rights or the strain on social cohesion that would attend a Mursi victory.

Sectarian violence has increased in both frequency and intensity. The record is incomplete, for many cases go unreported. But data from Egyptian press reports show that the number of sectarian attacks rose from 45 in 2010 to 70 in 2011, the year of the revolution that toppled Husni Mubarak, to 112 in 2012.


Mariz Tadros

Director (CREID)

Publication details

published by
Middle East Report
Tadros, M.
Middle East Report, volume MER 267, issue Summer 2013


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