I find these stories fascinating and adds another interesting understanding of Coptic history. A group of Nile delta Copts, called the Bashmurians, seemed to be the "Coptic Spartans" of the time, giving the new Arabic invaders a hard time for about a century.
Well, I thought maybe I could share this with all of you for an interesting look at what seemed to have been a group of Copts who were not influenced by Church politics or other more submissive cultures of Coptic peoples, but did not stay silent to protect their people and their culture. Their subject came up when rumors about a new Mel Gibson movie that features these people was circulating. Unfortunately, there's only one source of the rumors:
It has bee reported that the American Producer and director Mel Gibson’s next movie about Peshmurians Copts war against Islam in Egypt .
Which received their sources from an Arabic site called Senksar, which is pretty much a tabloid-like site, thus putting to question the validity of this claim.
Nevertheless, it's a fascinating subject to read about, which is presented in the Coptic Nationalism blog:
The Coptic Encyclopedia has an excellent article titled “Bashmuric Revolts” which has been written by Mounir Megally. It gives a summary of the Coptic revolts in the first two centuries of the Arab occupation of Egypt. He gives a list of eleven sources to his article. Megally also gives a valuable opinion as to the reason why these revolts failed. As a good introduction to the topic, I take the liberty to reintroduce it here for the benefit of my readers:[ii]
Source:THE EXCELLENT ARTICLE ON THE BASHMURIC COPTIC REVOLTS BY MOUNIR MEGALLY IN THE COPTIC ENCYCLOPEDIA
Dionysius I (or Dionysius of Tell-Mahre) was patriarch (818–845[ii] AD) of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch, which had historically close ties with the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. He wrote an account of history, Chronicle, but it was lost. Lengthy extracts of it, however, were preserved in the chronicle of the later Syrian patriarch, Michael the Syrian (1166-1199 AD).
Dionysius, who had good relationship as it seems with the Abbasid rulers, visited Egypt twice. His first visit to Egypt was in 826 or 827 AD in a matter related to the Syrian Church in Edessa and Nisibin, where churches in the former were demolished by the Abbasid authorities and those of the latter, where Dionysius resided, were threatened by the same fate. Dionysius journeyed to Egypt to plead with Egypt’s Muslim governor, Abdulah ibn Tahir (726 – 827 AD),[iii] in order to prevent his brother, Muhammad, governor of Callinicum (Raqqa), from continuing the destruction of the Syrian churches. During this visit he met with the Coptic patriarch, Jacob or Ya’kub (819 – 830 AD),[iv] and saw the suffering of the Copts, particularly those of Tanis,[v] under Muslim oppression. He wrote about those of Tanis: “We had never seen poverty such as that of its inhabitants”.[vi] [vii]
The second visit was in February 832 AD when he accompanied the Abbasid Caliph, al-Ma’mun (813 – 833 AD),[viii] in his visit to Egypt to crush the Bashmuric rebellion which his governor, Isa ibn Mansur,[ix] and dispatched military leader, al-Agh’sheen, had failed to achieve. Al-Ma’mun, who reached Fustat,[xi] the centre of the Muslim governor, on 16 February 832 AD, he summoned the Syrian patriarch, Dionysius I, and the Coptic patriarch, Joseph (or Yu’sab) I,[xii] to intercede with the Bashmurites to end their revolt.
Source:THE ACCOUNT OF THE SYRIAC PATRIARCH DIONYSIUS OF TELL-MAHRE OF THE LAST COPTIC BASHMURIC REVOLT OF 831 – 832 AD