There was hope for minorities in Egypt during the recent overthrow of the Mubarak regime.
Dramatic images of revolution streamed into the West including women handing soldiers flowers, Christians making protective body barriers around Muslims praying in the streets during protests, and food handouts in Tahrir Square. However, the days of rebel-momentum are over. Minority groups in Egypt have faced uncertainty with the ousting of the previous 30-year leadership, all trying to determine their new place in a rapidly changing political and social landscape. Religious groups, women, and Egyptians at large appear to be in a type of existential crisis. ‘Where is the government headed?,’ and ‘Will my rights be secured?’ are the two questions looming in the collective Egyptian mind.
This bewilderment faced by many came to the forefront with Morsi’s recent election and Islamist political parties taking center stage. Naturally, those concerned about human rights have been keeping a close eye on developments in Egypt affecting minorities. But one story throughout Egypt’s history and until now has been the story of many minority groups in the Middle East, and their story is important for understanding what the future may hold for minorities in Egypt: The Coptic Christians.