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Author Topic: Copts Demand Equality!  (Read 6667 times) Average Rating: 0
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Ibrahim
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« on: January 29, 2005, 06:22:27 PM »

COPTS DEMAND EQUALITY...

Copts (Christians of Egypt) are not asking for special treatment to compensate for centuries of discrimination and persecution. They are only asking for equality. They don't want anything more, and they will not settle for anything less. It is hard to believe that , at the turn of the 21st century,equality to Copts remains a luxury they still dream of. This at a time when the rest of the civilized world considers equality a birth right to be taken for granted.

1- Copts want the antiquated 19th Century Hamayouni decree be abolished. It is inconceivable to require that the president of Egypt must approve permits to build a church or even to repair a toilet in a church. Mosques in Egypt are being built with no restrictions.

2- Copts want equal air time on the government controlled TV and Radio stations to broadcast there belief to their people.  The 15 million Copts living in Egypt pay for the TV and Radio from their tax money and they should have time allocated for broadcasting.

3- Copts want to have the church's trust lands returned. The income generated by these lands was used to provide for needy Copts. The lands were seized by the Ministry of Islamic affairs, even though the courts had ordered that the lands must be returned to their legitimate owners; the Copts.

4-Copts want an end to forced conversion of Christian girls, who are kidnapped and raped by Muslim extremists. There are reports of police
protection given to the abductors. 

5- Copts want all Egyptian citizens to have the freedom of belief, including the freedom to change one's religion. Christians are welcomed to convert to Islam, so Muslims should be free to convert to Christianity, if they so chose. Those converts are usually subjected to imprisonment and torture.

6- Copts want religious affiliation be removed from national ID cards, job applications,.etc...so Christians could not be identified and discriminated
against.

7- Copts want educational curriculums to be revised to guarantee that they do not contain any denigrating references to Christians and Christianity, but to encourage students to accept and respect each other. Mandatory courses in human rights in all public schools is strongly recommended.

8- Copts want the Government controlled media to refrain from conducting a campaign of hate against Christians, labeling them as infidels, thus creating a climate of intolerance, in which attacks against the Copts can be easily propagated. The media should also allow Coptic programs to be aired.

9- Copts want an end to discrimination in job appointments and promotions. Very few Christians are appointed to key jobs such as ministers, or other government officials. At the present time there are no Christian governors, mayors, chief of police, president of City council or college deans in Egypt.

10-Copts want an end to discrimination in government controlled school admission against Christian students.  Very few Christians are admitted to the police academy, military schools.  Very few Christians are appointed to teaching assistance positions in all medical collages, pharmaceutical collages, engineering collages and all top education collages. 

11-Copts want the Egyptian government to be serious about apprehending those who murder Copts, and to punish them to the fullest extent of the law, and to adequately compensate the victims of these crimes. No killers of Copts have been sentenced to the same punishment as that of a killer of Muslims. Even the terrorist Haridi, who murdered thirteen Christians including small children, in Sanabu in 1992, did not get the usual punishment for murder for his horrifying crimes.

12-Copts want immediate orders be issued to rebuild Kafr Demian village, which was burned down by Muslim extremists in 1996, this must be done at the expense of the State.

13-Copts want certain mechanism to be established to create an adequate representation for them in the Egyptian parliament. One suggestion is to have certain areas be closed to Coptic candidates only. Political exclusion of Copts must stop. The governing national party failed to include any Copts in their list of candidates to the parliament.

14-Copts want the center for handicapped children, which was destroyed by the army in December 1996, be rebuilt at the expense of the government, and as soon as possible.

15-Copts want to be treated with honor and dignity inside Police Departments and in the Sermons of Muslim Sheiks in Mosques...etc. There is no
justification for humiliating somebody just because he is different in religion.

16-Copts want to see an end to the religious discrimination that prevails at all levels of the Egyptian educational system, especially in hiring of
teachers and professors, and unfair grading practices aimed at Christian students.

17-Copts want their history, language, and culture be taught in schools and colleges in Egypt where their sons and daughters attend.

18-Copts want to feel that Mr. Mubarak is a president for both Muslims and Copts. They want him to care for them and address their concerns. They want him to meet with their religious leadership, and perhaps pay visits to their churches, something other presidents used to do, but he has never done. This , no doubt, will break down walls of mistrust, and build bridges of tolerance and harmony between Muslims and Christians.

19-Copts want to be allowed to enroll in all schools, which are publicly funded, such as Al-Azhar University, police and military academies, without
any restrictions. At present time there is a 5% maximum place on Coptic enrollment to police and military academies, and this percentage is not even met by actual enrollment.

These are just a few examples of the discriminatory practices imposed on Copts. They represent a starting point, and taking care of them will show good faith. The most important thing is that there must be a will to correct the wrongs being done to the Copts. When the will is there, everything else will fall in place. Then, Muslims and Christians will live together, in harmony, as brothers and sisters on the land of our beloved Egypt.  This is our hope, and this is our prayer.



These demands do not seem troublesome at all. What is the hold up?
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At any rate, I do not believe that there is a man in the USA who accepts to live in illusion who says that peace will be recognized between the Arabs and Israel even if the occupation of the occupied Arab territories does not come to an end.
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Ibrahim
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« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2005, 06:22:59 PM »

http://www.copts.net/demands.asp

I forgot to add the link.
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At any rate, I do not believe that there is a man in the USA who accepts to live in illusion who says that peace will be recognized between the Arabs and Israel even if the occupation of the occupied Arab territories does not come to an end.
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2005, 06:52:23 PM »

What is the hold up?

Good question!  Here are two more:

1.) Does the government have any rebuttal?
2.) Why does the world tolerate this situation?
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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2005, 07:30:16 PM »



Good question! Here are two more:

1.) Does the government have any rebuttal?
2.) Why does the world tolerate this situation?
1. No. Why should they ? The official response is that everything is alright, Copts have their rights, and that is it.
2. Because the World is an evil place, has been always cursed and will be till the end of days under the dominion of Satan.
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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2005, 08:45:29 PM »

+Irini nem ehmot

To be honest, and this is with respect to my fellow Copts,  I am not sure if I want all of the things on this list.

I rejoice that we get to be persecuted and I accept that God allows it. I have been taught to seek God's will, not ours. I am confident in and have observed what the Apostle says, that where sin abounds, grace abounds more abundantly (Romans 5:20). My usual request in our situation is prayer, not defense.

May the Lord have compassion on all of us.
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ania
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« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2005, 11:26:52 AM »

Fortunatus,
I'm glad for your sake that you would enjoy being a martyr.  However, other people just want to live normal lives, and want normal lives for their children.  In the time of the Romans,there was little to no chance of a "democratic" solution to Christian persecution.  Therefore, Christians abandoned hope in the earthly life (granted, this would be a good thing) more easily, and for the most part went gladly to their deaths.  However, now-a-days, there is hope to change things for the better.  Just imagine the good they will do as soon as this persecution stops?  Their children will be able to go to schools and become doctors.  Perhaps one of those children will cure cancer?  Perhaps if they are allowed to participate in politics, one of them will draft an agreement that will bring peace to the Middle East? 
Martyrdom is all well and good, but most people prefer to live for God, rather than die for God. 
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« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2005, 11:55:37 AM »

2.) Why does the world tolerate this situation?

The main reason is because it's politically expedient to do so. Egypt has been a cornerstone ally of ours in the Middle East since Sadat made peace with Israel and left Syria hanging in the wind. This reversed the course set by Nasser who was openly hostile to Israel, pan-Arabist and willing to receive help from the Soviets. Sadat was assassinated by officers influenced by the underground Islamic Jihad, and succeeded by the current president Mubarak. It goes without saying that he will go to great lengths not to antagonize groups like Islamic Jihad or the Muslim Brotherhood by appearing to give any support to Christians. I would assume they also view the periodic attacks and victimization of the Copts as a pressure valve on society that will keep militant Islamic groups from turning on the state.

The west is mostly unaware of the plight of the Copts, and sticking up for persecuted Christian minorities is not something that in general garners much attention or support. Nobody will push Mubarak on the Copts, because we don’t want to see the power of political Islamic groups increased, or worse yet in the eyes of America an Egyptian government brought about that opposes our main ally and largest foreign aid recipient in the Middle East - Israel. It’s also why Egypt has been the second highest recipient of foreign aid behind Israel since the 70’s.

It’s basically a vicious circle, and the Copts like most of the other Christian groups in the Levant are the losers. They don’t really have friends on either side.
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« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2005, 02:45:25 PM »



The main reason is because it's politically expedient to do so.

Exactly...and why there hasn't been any meaningful pressure (or enough) on the Sudanese gummint wrt the Christians in the south.
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« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2005, 05:00:13 PM »

My dearest brother Fortunatus,
I see your point, and I agree with you. Persecution is a blessing, but should not be sought after nor invited. I know the love of martyrdom, and the blessings we received through the blood of martyrdom that made us surviving till now just a living miracle.
I also do not approve of other sites and organizations that have used unchristian methods , using slander, open verbal hostility and other means to get political advancement for the Copts. Not only because it is not christian, it is naive, immature pollitcally and it backfired. It angered the government and invited more persecution. The West (as Rilian correctly observed) does not care. Even if it does, we will be in a very odd situation. In addition, I would like to rely on God's hand that kept us alive till now and prospering rather than the arm of men. Also, comparing the state of churches under persecution in Egypt and the ones outside, I must say that the ones in Egypt reflect more fruits of the spirit.

However, should we have the chance to defend our christian bretheren in a holy and christian way, we should not hesitate to take the necessary actions. We enjoy relative freedom in the West. It is for a reason that God brought us here, and it is for a reason that COpts are generally wealthy in the West. Note that not everybody has the same faith. Should we leave the weak and not strong in faith to perish in a very hostile way ? I know that "they" should be firm even to death, but I do not find the courage to ask them to do so while I enjoy my life her, away from all persecution.

The disagreement is on the methods used to defend our bretheren in Egypt. Note, that in the last incidents, the Pope was very firm in his defense. He never resorted or asked the COpts for hostility, yet he did not compromise the truth.



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« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2005, 05:13:00 PM »

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Rilian:Sadat was assassinated by officers influenced by the underground Islamic Jihad, and succeeded by the current president Mubarak.
Your assessment is correct, allow me to add:
Saddat was one of the members of the islamic brotherhood in the 40's, was imprisoned because he assassinated a political figure and after the revolution in 1952, he was a near the top member in the government. He mastered a plan to chase the Copts out of the top positions and he made his intentions clear in the islamic council in 1956. When he became president, he got the full support of the US to carry out his plans in supporting the islamic groups. After he got rid of the Israeli occupation, he turned full power to persecute the Copts. He got to taste his own medicine when the beast he raised killed him.
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In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. (Isaiah 19:19)

" God forbid I should see the face of Judah or listen to his blasphemy" (Gerontius, Archmanidrite of the monastery of St. Melania)
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« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2005, 05:37:02 PM »

+Irini nem ehmot

Dear Stavro,

I do agree wholeheartedly on considering the means.


Ania: Smiley I agree - but what I am arguing is not that everyone should be a martyr, but rather that Copts should not seek worldly protection from foreigners or protest injustices. God knows which of us is called to martyrdom and knows the extent that each of us can handle - and what each of us can aspire to... I'm not saying that everyone should desire to die (though it would be amazing to). Smiley

Again, I would agree that in the right form at the right time, we should respond...

Prayers...
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Agape,
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« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2005, 06:39:29 PM »


Your assessment is correct, allow me to add:
Saddat was one of the members of the islamic brotherhood in the 40's, was imprisoned because he assassinated a political figure and after the revolution in 1952, he was a near the top member in the government. He mastered a plan to chase the Copts out of the top positions and he made his intentions clear in the islamic council in 1956. When he became president, he got the full support of the US to carry out his plans in supporting the islamic groups. After he got rid of the Israeli occupation, he turned full power to persecute the Copts. He got to taste his own medicine when the beast he raised killed him.
 

Interesting, I had never heard that aspect of the story.  Lie with an asp, and I guess sooner or later you'll get bit...
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« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2005, 12:42:06 PM »

Hi everyone
Ever since the 911 incident,I have been doing research into Islam and I really cant beleive their legacy of terrorism in the world.
They always cry about the fact that European colonialism destroyed their culture but that happened first with the Arabs and Mohummad.
I happened to come across a section in Ibn Warraqs book 'Why I am not a muslim'. There is a section about the Coptic Church and I became intrigued with the history of the Coptic Church. I have been on the internet trying to find out about this ancient heritage of Egypt.It has given me a new perspective on the middle east and that this land had a rich heritage before Islam.As an American we sometimes equate the word middle east with Islam which is an erroneous mistake. Keep up the great threads,I enjoy reading everything about the Orthodox Church! Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2005, 01:32:08 PM »

May the Armanious family's memory be in our hearts, and may God give their souls rest. 
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Ibrahim
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« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2005, 03:39:57 PM »

Quote
They always cry about the fact that European colonialism destroyed their culture but that happened first with the Arabs and Mohummad.


That's not true. Romans, Persians and lord knows how many others were exherting their influence over the Levant prior to Islam. I'm not seeing how the Arabs could destroy their own culture by expanding it, but what you are getting at is quite offensive to me as an Arab (as if there was never anything positive about us).
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At any rate, I do not believe that there is a man in the USA who accepts to live in illusion who says that peace will be recognized between the Arabs and Israel even if the occupation of the occupied Arab territories does not come to an end.
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« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2005, 06:41:51 PM »

It is not me saying this,it is history. Do you  find the truth about history offensive? Why?
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Stavro
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« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2005, 06:54:06 PM »

Quote
I'm not seeing how the Arabs could destroy their own culture by expanding it, but what you are getting at is quite offensive to me as an Arab (as if there was never anything positive about us).
How can you be an arab ? There is nothing wrong with being arab, but I understand you are a christian and your family has been a christian, so how can you be ethnically arab ?
By arab I refer to the invaders from Saudi Pennisula from the 7th century. They were muslims. Any chance of converting would mean to flee to other places outside their rule, which was not an option in these days, or being killed as an apostate. In both cases, you would have ceased to be in Syria. Muslims nowadays are either completely arabs or a mix between the ethnic groups in the conquered lands (Copts, Caldenians, Assyrians, Greek, Syrian,Jews, ....) with arab. Likewise, christians in the Middle East cannot be arab, for they would have been converted to Islam long ago.
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« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2005, 07:14:21 PM »

It is not me saying this,it is history. Do find the truth about history offensive? Why?

So you are saying we are inherently "messed up". Ok. I am not aware of history saying that my culture was destroyed by my culture. I see the Ottamans hindering it, the Byzantines, the Persians etc. by keeping Arab kingdoms in subjugation devoid of self rule and enrichment. I see this happening now in certain areas (ie Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco etc; countries that embrace backward and archeic practices) but I do not see it being the fault of them only. I do not also see the culture destroyed. It is alive and well in many states. Free spirit and movement despite illegitamate central authority lives in Mauritania, remote areas of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Libya etc. Religion is well protectedin my country. Nobody's people are perfect, but I see nothing "destroyed" within the Arabs as a result of us being Arabs. You say as Americans people equate the Middle East with Islam. You are correct. Do not equate the Arabs with Islam. To be an Arab is not to be a Muslim to be a Muslim is not to be an Arab. The two are cooexistiing concepts. Arabs predate Islam and Muhammed, despite what the Islamists say. There were the Arabs of Ghassan and Lahkmid and several other kindoms many under the subjugation of Byzantium and Rome and Persia. Even in what is now shamefully named "Saudi" Arabia, there are the decendence of ancient Arab Christians in the far north. I am Syrian, Arab and Christian. You say we ruined the Middle East, this is what the nationalists in Lebanon said as they massacred innocent people for being Arab (yes including Christians who said they were Arabs along with Muslims). It is the flip side of the people who say Persian influence "destroyed" Arab culture, when in fact it improved it greatly with science, new ideas and other benefits. Colonialism is only a part of many problems in the Middle EAst (egoism, sectarianism, racism etc as well). You say "they always cry". I do not cry that my country was colonized by anyone. I am proud of it because now we are free of them. We would not be a people had we not had struggle. Every people has struggle and problems. This is humanity. If we were not, we would not be human. I am proud of Arab history, all of it. I am proud that Arabs are humans, the children of God. All peoples are and what you say will not change that. You can hold on to your racist idea all you like but you cannot change history or the reality that like all other people Arabs have contributed our share to world society.


Quote
How can you be an arab ? There is nothing wrong with being arab, but I understand you are a christian and your family has been a christian, so how can you be ethnically arab ?
By arab I refer to the invaders from Saudi Pennisula from the 7th century. They were muslims. Any chance of converting would mean to flee to other places outside their rule, which was not an option in these days, or being killed as an apostate. In both cases, you would have ceased to be in Syria. Muslims nowadays are either completely arabs or a mix between the ethnic groups in the conquered lands (Copts, Caldenians, Assyrians, Greek, Syrian,Jews, ....) with arab. Likewise, christians in the Middle East cannot be arab, for they would have been converted to Islam long ago.

I respectfully disagree brother Stavro. My first language was Arabic. My first words we in Arabic. Until a few years ago, I only thought in Arabic. I was born in an Arabic state. The Arabs were many religions before Islam. The Arabs of the penninsula were pagan with many 'gods" before Muhammed. There were Arabic speaking Christians and many areas, including Syria. Arabs are not a race. They are all mixed. On the penninsula, they have African blood, Middle EAstern blood, Persian, Indian you name it. In Syria we have a long and varied history which makes us what we are today. In Algeria, they have Berber blood going back. Look at our "leaders" (however crummy they may be), take Dr. Bashar and compare him with the president of Sudan. Sudanese Arabs look like black Africans. But they see themselves as Arabs and live in the Arab fashion. Arabs do not behave as they should often. This includes drinking, killing, conquering and not worshipping the God of the Bible. I understand that you as a Copt in Egypt with a language and religion, culture predating that of the Arab Muslims who took your country would not see yourself as an Arab. I am glad that you and many other have this courage to stand for what you believe. but I belive that Arab is nothing more than an ethnicity. Yes many are Muslim, but many are Christian too. Many have beenChristian for centuries, thounds of years. It is the idea of the fascist and the fascist imitator, the Islamist to say Islam is Arab or that ARabs must be Muslims. They say this because they hate Persians and nonArabs. They hate Christians as well and they want to reel us in. It isn't and hasn't worked and it will not. We do not believe it and in order for us to hang on to ourselfs as ARab Christians, we need others to back us up on it other wise we will b swept away by the sccourge of such people. The Muslims in Syria and Lebanon have backed us up when they came with these chauvanists. In Jordan, Syria, Lebanon we have held on. In Palestine the Christians were run out and have not been able to return because they were intimidated by that idea. It is a scary one. I think of it this way; the supposed church of England is Anglican. but not every Englsihman is an Anglican. I do not think of Arabs being only from the penninsula, we were around other places and in many places (including where I am from) we were Christian. They (Muslims) refer to us in their texts (I just read it in Ibn Khaldun for example) we are spoken of before Islam by the Babylonians. Islam is not integral to being Arab, this is a Muslim myth.
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At any rate, I do not believe that there is a man in the USA who accepts to live in illusion who says that peace will be recognized between the Arabs and Israel even if the occupation of the occupied Arab territories does not come to an end.
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« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2005, 08:08:03 PM »


My source of information is from an apostate muslim named Ibn Warraq who is a very enlightening author.You should read his book"Why I am not a Muslim"Chapter 8" Arab imperialism and islamic colonialism.
I came onto this thread for enlightenment and to stretch my mind, I dont come here to pick a fight and make accusations!That might be in your nature but it is not in mine.
As it says in the New Testament scriptures: a servant of the Lord does not need to fight.I think I will log off and go to the evangelical  forum instead!
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« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2005, 08:25:10 PM »

Dear Ibrahim,
I am not sure we disagree. I was talking about ethnicity, but you are talking to culture as in speaking arabic, reading arabic books and being influenced by arabic culture. I personally have benefitted a lot from the arabic philosophers like Taufik El-Hakim, Zakki Naguib Mahmoud and have came to admire Ibn Rushd, being the first anti-terrorist voice to emerge from this world. I also speak arabic fluently, but I do not think that I have adopted the arabic culture.





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In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. (Isaiah 19:19)

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« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2005, 08:47:22 PM »

Dear Ibrahim,
I am not sure we disagree. I was talking about ethnicity, but you are talking to culture as in speaking arabic, reading arabic books and being influenced by arabic culture. I personally have benefitted a lot from the arabic philosophers like Taufik El-Hakim, Zakki Naguib Mahmoud and have came to admire Ibn Rushd, being the first anti-terrorist voice to emerge from this world. I also speak arabic fluently, but I do not think that I have adopted the arabic culture.





 

Well, I consider myself ethnically Arab given my background, culture etc. There are a lot definitions of "Arab", you know? I don't agree with the common one that because you speak Arabic you're Arab. That's unfair to Maronites and Copts and such. But, historically my people were Christian and Arab. My history is that of the Levant, the Arabic Levant and certainly the Levant before and after Islam and Christianity. I do not consider myself Arabized you know? how do you define ethnicity? I am glad we find agreement and it is good we both share the knowlege of Ibn rushd, I wish more people whould hear him out.


Quote
My source of information is from an apostate muslim named Ibn Warraq who is a very enlightening author.You should read his book"Why I am not a Muslim"Chapter 8" Arab imperialism and islamic colonialism.

I have read his book, I am well aware of it. I wrote a book report on it. I have also however, read a variety of other works which are not focused on the reason why the author is not something, more just plain fact. For example, Albert Hourani's A History of the Arab Peoples. An excellent book about the history of the Arabs, though it is Islamo-centric (it starts in the 7th century). Another is The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon. It has a rather dated but nonetheless fairly accurate description of Arabs before Islam. Ibn Khaldun's masterpiece the Muqimaddah also does this. I read not only from the Arab view, but the western, the Persian, etc. views. I am not a Muslim and I am not worried about why anyone else is a Muslim or not. However, to focus on and then denegrate the Arabs for having practised empire and excuse Europe, the Ottomans/Turks, Persians, Russians, Egyptians, Romans, Byzantines/Greeks, Phoenecians etc from doing the same thing is unfair and intellectually dishonest. To base your view seemingly on one book is also similar. I suggest getting a breath of information from a breath of sources.

Quote
I came onto this thread for enlightenment and to stretch my mind, I dont come here to pick a fight and make accusations!That might be in your nature but it is not in mine.


It was not my intention to pick a fight or to make accusations. I merely infered from your post which came of as quite racist and offensive to me that I needed to correct you. This comment you just made crystalizes my position that you are a racist in regaurds to the Arab people.

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As it says in the New Testament scriptures: a servant of the Lord does not need to fight.I think I will log off and go to the evangelical  forum instead!

Is that where it is ok to defame national/ethnic groups?
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« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2005, 09:28:02 PM »

Hi everyone
Ever since the 911 incident,I have been doing research into Islam and I really cant beleive their legacy of terrorism in the world.
They always cry about the fact that European colonialism destroyed their culture but that happened first with the Arabs and Mohummad.
I happened to come across a section in Ibn Warraqs book 'Why I am not a muslim'. There is a section about the Coptic Church and I became intrigued with the history of the Coptic Church. I have been on the internet trying to find out about this ancient heritage of Egypt.It has given me a new perspective on the middle east and that this land had a rich heritage before Islam.As an American we sometimes equate the word middle east with Islam which is an erroneous mistake. Keep up the great threads,I enjoy reading everything about the Orthodox Church! Smiley
It is a fact that muslims (who were arabs) have invaded North Africa, Iraq and Asian Mediteranian countries and conquered it, like all other Empires did. It was a reign of terror like all Empires did before. But there is one big difference between islamic empires and the Roman, persian or greek ones. The latter did not eradicate the conquered countries cultures and replace it by their own culture by force, but muslims did impose the arabic or islamic culture, they imposed their language and religion on the inhabitants. I am talking about Egypt in this particular case, for it was a Coptic nation before the islamic rule.

Also, in Constaninople, that was definitely a great christian greek city, and so was all Asia Minor, it became now Turkish through Islam. It was certainly not a peaceful process. The arabic language, for example, was imposed by threating to cut the tongues of everybody who talked in Coptic in Egypt,even in churches.

So, there is evidence of severe persecution under the arabic-islamic rule and afterwords under the turkish-islamic rule in these countries, but there was also persecution under the Romans in the first six centuries a.d.. I believe it does not matter which rule it is , there will be persecution for the Church till the end of times.


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« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2005, 11:37:24 PM »

WEll said brother. Here are some links about preIslamic Arabs as vassals to Byzantium these are about teh Ghassanids (my favorite), who were based out of Golan and ruled at their hight from Golan through Jordan, some of Iraq, northern Arabia and into the Yathrib. http://198.62.75.1/www1/ofm/sbf/Books/LA51/LA51285Shahid_Nitl.pdf That is about a Ghassid church from the 6th century in Jordan.
http://www.iraqandiraqis.com/Arab%20history.htm this one is about Arab civilization in general. "Contrary to some popular Western misconceptions propagated by many Western "experts" and "authorities" on the Arab world alleging that Arabs did not have any civilization before Islam, or that Arabs were nothing more than a collection of nomadic warring primitive tribes, confined solely to the Arabian Peninsula, who spent most of their existence looking for food and water, the historical record proves otherwise. In fact, centuries before the birth of Islam, the Arabs had several civilizations, not only in the Arabian Peninsula itself, but also in the Fertile Crescent, some of which were highly advanced with elaborate development and culture. Although Arab civilization before Islam might not have had a noticeable impact on Greece and Rome, it is nonetheless important to briefly mention here the following pre-Islamic Arab civilizations in order to dispel this wrong conventional Western notion that Arabs had no civilization before the birth of Islam, were nothing but wandering nomads, and were confined only to the Arabian Peninsula." It notes many Arab kingdoms and civilizations before Islam, many of them Christian inculdin Ghassan, the Lakhmid, Hiymar, the Nabataeans and Palymra. Just some food for thought and some ammo when the Islamists try to say that we (Arabs) have to be Muslims or that Islam is Arab. Its no more so than Chsitianity is Jewish. I would even say that as a Syrian Christian, it makes me more Arab to be Christian, following the same faith my ancestors did. Let me not that the second article is not without bias, particularly when talking about Iraq, "systematic bias". It's written by a Saudi, but it's information on pre-Islamic Arabs is accurate and informational.
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« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2005, 05:14:01 PM »

I agree, Ibrahim, that the Arabs had previous civilizations in Jordon, South Iraq/ Syria and North Saudi, and Yemen, Oman. I also know that "christianity", although divided among many Nestorian, Arian, Ibionian and Orthodox sects, and Judaism were flourishing in Mekka, Medina, Taef, and many other tribes. In fact, Islam has its very rootes in the Ibionioan heresy, which Muhamed and Waraqa followed and then turned to islam. A comparison between the  Hebrew Bible and the Quran of Mekka shows amazing agreement.

However, with the domination of Islam, the seeds of civilization were heavily affected. Civilization needs a system of thought that allows for development. If you cannot think about your own religion, or reject it, then the whole process of science and civilization comes to stop.Islam does not allow for thinking, it only allows for submission. When the other countries were conquered, they already had a flourishing civilization to which the muslims added little.

We are not discussing race here, rather ideology. I think you read arabic, and there is one book by Tarek Heggy, a progressive arabic thinker, titled "Values of civilization" , in which he  analyzes the reason for the obvious state of uncivilization of the islamic countries.
A good book.....
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« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2005, 12:08:09 PM »

Since when were Syrians considered Arabs?  True Syrians come from an ancient organized civilization, whereas Arabs from the deserts of Saudi Arabia and far east. 
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« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2005, 04:55:42 PM »


I think I will log off and go to the evangelical forum instead!


LOL!  Have fun!
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« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2005, 07:00:31 PM »

Since when were Syrians considered Arabs? True Syrians come from an ancient organized civilization, whereas Arabs from the deserts of Saudi Arabia and far east.


Syrians in ancient times were mixed. Various peopels controlled our country. In the south there was Ghassan which was Arab. In the eastern part the was there was Lahkmid. In other areas, Phoenecias, Greeks, Jews, Kurds and a whole lot fo others ruled or lived. Today we are mostly Arab. There are Armenians and Kurds but most of us are Arabs. We are a "true" Syrians as any other. This is why we are the Syrian ARAB Republic. We are more Arab than Iraq. We speak the most traditional Arabic. We have had more Arab kingdoms than other Arab states, even Saudi Arabia (ours have been more respectable as well). Arabs are not from the far east. If I am not mistaken that is where Indians and Chinese people are. Arabs had organized civilization as well, that is what I was talking about. We had Christians, Muslims, pagans and on and on. However, today most Syrians consider themselves (myself included) to be Arabs ethnically and culturally.
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« Reply #27 on: February 10, 2005, 03:24:09 AM »

It is not a difficult matter to lay clear. Employing the simple, general, and unconvoluted meaning of the word, we are Arabs. This is certainly true in culture, language, and in a restricted sense (considering the boundaries of geography and time - ours is distinct from the Arabs of say, Tunisia, and from the Arabs of pre-Islamic times, though they constitute an element in the newly formed gene pool), ethnicity.

When the meaning of the word is to be considered within the context of the broader expanse of time (i.e. when speaking of an Arab identity over the long stretch of history), a Syrian identity based on geography becomes more suitable and more long-lasting than an Arabic cultural identity. Hence, in the context of historical discussion and in speaking of both the past and present inhabitants of Syria in the span of several periods of time, the word 'Arab' will require qualifiers in order to further clarify its meaning as it is held within a specific time frame. If I were to work on the assumption that my family has lived in Syria (in the sense of Blaad ish'Shaam as opposed to the country identified by today's borders) since quite long ago, my identity as a Syrian would supercede mine as an Arab (though that does not necessarily say that an Arab lineage stops at the Islamic Futuhaat, as Arabs have lived in Syria since before that time), or rather, it should be said so of the identity of the country and region as a whole, since it underwent many cultural changes due to the process of cultural and historical stratification.

The fact of the matter is that before the conquests, a mix of ethnic and cultural groups - Arabs included (they had penetrated the Syrian desert during a period as far back as that of the Assyrian Empire) comprised the population of Syria. Arabic was learned quickly after the conquests, though original languages persevered for a good period of time. When those disappear and Arabic finally predominates, we reach a new Arabic identification, one that conforms to our contemporary use of the word 'Arab', and to the present meaning the word carries and the somewhat ethnic, but certainly cultural identity which it implies, namely, when used with the qualifier ' Syrian', a gene pool or collection of such limited by geographic boundaries, that consists of the descendants of local pre-Islamic Syrian Arabs, Arabised Syrians, and immigrants, Arabs or ortherwise, who migrated to the region over the centuries, all of whom speak the Arabic language and hold to its culture. These are the Syrian Arabs, who along with other groups such as Kurds and Armenians, constitute the Syrian population.

So in my case, when I am asked what my cultural identity and ethnicity are, I respond 'Arab' or 'Syrian Arab'. In the case of ethnicity, I use 'Arab' in the contemporary sense of the word I described above, as I haven't any way of knowing what ethnicity or ethnicities my ancestors belonged to during pre-Islamic or early Islamic history. As for my historical identity, I identify myself as Syrian rather than Arab, since I see geography as a more reliable and long-lasting factor over the centuries than either language or culture (or, if we are to see culture as a series of stages of cultural accumulation, particular phase of a Syrian culture).

But, putting all complicated qualifiers aside, I identify myself as an Arab without hesitation.

In IC XC
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« Reply #28 on: February 10, 2005, 07:04:33 AM »

Well said SamB!  Afro Where in Syria are you from?
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« Reply #29 on: February 10, 2005, 09:03:18 AM »

.+ú+¦+ä+è +à +å +»+è+¦ +¦+++è+¬

+º+ä+ú+« +à +å +º+ä+¦+º+à +ƒ

+î+ü+è +º+ä+à +¦+è+¡
+¦+º+à +¦
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« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2005, 01:39:08 PM »

I spoke with a Syrian Orthodox friend of mine, and he says that Syrians are indeed not ethnic Arab, but are Aramaic in descent.  He says to be Syriac is not Arab, but derived from the ancient Syrians mentioned in the Old Testament, and not the desert tribal Arabs.  Two different things, as I understand it.
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« Reply #31 on: February 14, 2005, 06:52:59 PM »

I spoke with a Syrian Orthodox friend of mine, and he says that Syrians are indeed not ethnic Arab, but are Aramaic in descent. He says to be Syriac is not Arab, but derived from the ancient Syrians mentioned in the Old Testament, and not the desert tribal Arabs. Two different things, as I understand it.

To be Syrian isn't Arab. You can be Syrian and just about whatever you like, but most Syrians are ethnic Arab. There are Aramaic speakers and Aramaic Syrians today (I have met one there a few of them around Aleppo I think). Aramaic is different from Arab, this is true. I think Maronites spoke Aramaic for a long time (until the 20th century even) this is why some of them have accents in Arabic.
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« Reply #32 on: February 14, 2005, 10:37:14 PM »

I think you all should read "The Multiple Identities of the Middle East" by Bernard Lewis. He addresses how these terms like nationality, ethnicity, religion, and culture, are used by different people in different ways, having been sort of forced onto the Middle East from the West (culturally speaking) and creating sometimes confusion when different people using the same word mean different things. It's available at amazon.com and is pretty reasonably priced.

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« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2005, 04:24:52 PM »

I think you all should read "The Multiple Identities of the Middle East" by Bernard Lewis. He addresses how these terms like nationality, ethnicity, religion, and culture, are used by different people in different ways, having been sort of forced onto the Middle East from the West (culturally speaking) and creating sometimes confusion when different people using the same word mean different things. It's available at amazon.com and is pretty reasonably priced.

Anastasios

I have read this book.
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« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2005, 12:16:54 PM »

I must differ with you on the point that Aramaic Syrians are to be considered ethnic Arabs.  That is like saying Coptic Egyptians are ethnic Arabs, which is of course false.  Ethnicity should describe heritage, and not just the speaking language of the people.  One cannot say that the Aramaic Syrians have any connection to the Arabs, who in fact invaded Syria in 639 A.D. (prelude to the Arab invasion of Egypt).
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« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2005, 12:24:39 PM »

I must differ with you on the point that Aramaic Syrians are to be considered ethnic Arabs. That is like saying Coptic Egyptians are ethnic Arabs, which is of course false. Ethnicity should describe heritage, and not just the speaking language of the people. One cannot say that the Aramaic Syrians have any connection to the Arabs, who in fact invaded Syria in 639 A.D. (prelude to the Arab invasion of Egypt).

Saint Shenouti,
I highlighted the part of your post which says that Ibrahim is right.
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« Reply #36 on: February 16, 2005, 01:22:52 PM »

Elisha,

Just because the Arabs invaded a region does not make the original people there Arab. It is more than speculation to believe that intermarriages between invading Arabs and native Syrians were extremely rare. Therefore, since I'm talking about heritage, the Aramaic Orthodox Syrians of the region were not ethnic Arabs, but merely assimilated into the Arab world via language, much like us, the Copts. Can we call the ancient Egyptians Arab? Or how about the ancient Syrians? If not, then ethnically speaking, neither Syrians or Copts are Arab.
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« Reply #37 on: February 16, 2005, 04:24:31 PM »

I wish to thank all of the posters in this thread. I actually learned some things and needed the paradigm shift, so to speak, in order to dispel some stereotypes I never questioned. Anyway, just because I use English (now) as my main language does not make me a "Brit" <grin>

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« Reply #38 on: February 16, 2005, 04:57:17 PM »


Agreed Demetri.  In a way, the situation in the Middle East could be compared and contrasted with Western colonialism in other parts of the world, although this is really a vast over-simplification and there are some MAJOR differences.  Just because Cherokees, Lakotas, and Australian Aborigines now speak English, and for the most part wear Western clothing, etc., this does not make them Europeans.  In the same way, Copts, Syrians, Berbers, etc., are not Arabs, even though they now adhere to the dominant culture.

Again, this is a very glib assessment, but I guess the major differences are that Western discriminatory practices were based on notions of so-called "race", while Muslim discrimination was rooted mostly in religion.  Also, Islam seemed content, for the most part, to absorb the conquered, while the Westerners, by-and-large, sought to supplant them.
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« Reply #39 on: February 16, 2005, 05:37:47 PM »

I must differ with you on the point that Aramaic Syrians are to be considered ethnic Arabs. That is like saying Coptic Egyptians are ethnic Arabs, which is of course false. Ethnicity should describe heritage, and not just the speaking language of the people. One cannot say that the Aramaic Syrians have any connection to the Arabs, who in fact invaded Syria in 639 A.D. (prelude to the Arab invasion of Egypt).

I am going to say that however many years of living as Arabs would make one Arab. It is not based on blood or "heritage"(which I admit I am not sure how you are meaning it) necissarily. Most Arabs are not "real Arabs". The ones in Sudan are this way and the ones in Algeria, Syria and LEbanon. Lots of people who probably are not decended from "Arabs" call themselves Arabs.  But the Muslims invaded Syria in 639, not Arabs, Arab Christians were there already and sided with (unwisely trying to get back at the Byzantines) the Muslim invaders.

Quote
Just because the Arabs invaded a region does not make the original people there Arab.  It is more than speculation to believe that intermarriages between invading Arabs and native Syrians were extremely rare.  Therefore, since I'm talking about heritage, the Aramaic Orthodox Syrians of the region were not ethnic Arabs, but merely assimilated into the Arab world via language, much like us, the Copts.  Can we call the ancient Egyptians Arab?  Or how about the ancient Syrians?  If not, then ethnically speaking, neither Syrians or Copts are Arab.

I have not said that intermarriage was common (though there were Arabs in southern Syria who did intermarry) and I have not said that the ancient Syrians (however you would like apply this; anyone who lived in Syria?) were all Arabs. There were quite a few who were. Syria was and always has been mixed ethnically. Today it is though it is a majority Arab and most people consider themselves Arabs. The past does not always make the present. My grandpa was a great football player. He's not anymore because he's old and life happens. I am not aware of many Christian Syrian today (in my experience) that were calling themselves Aramaians or Phoenecians. I have heard this from my LEbanese friends that are Maronite but almost all folks like this I know are considering themselves Arabs for the reason that SamB posted. We cannot trace it back. Judging by the region where my parents came from were areas that Arabs lived in before the Muslim invasions in the south of Syria and Golan (these were migrations of settled Arabs they are noted in by Byzantine writers and by Ibn Khaldun (and I have even heard of Roman ones though I've not seen them) as being Byzantine vassals.) Historically my best guess is as good as any but in the "big picture" what matters in identity is what one considers themself. I have no problem with someone who is Syrian saying they are not Arab. They may do this. But, they cannot speak for all Syria and neither can I. Ethnicity is not blood. Ethnicity is culture. It is what people believe themselves to be and what society allows them to. You are Coptic (if I am wrong please correct me I do not want to be making improper statements) in Egypt. Egypt has many Muslim Arabs who do not allow Christians into their identity. Syria has and had a lot of people who were already Arab living there and who were both Muslim and Christian. Some say "no I am just Syrian" or "I am this or that' and a whole lot say "I am Arab". I was never considered to be Amaric by anybody I ahve met and I do not know Aramaic. The only culture I know is the Syrian Arab one and it is the one most of my family has known from birth. I am sadly getting more and more comfortable in the American one even forgetting Arabic often sometimes but it is what I know, it is where I am from and it is embracive of me.

Quote
In a way, the situation in the Middle East could be compared and contrasted with Western colonialism in other parts of the world, although this is really a vast over-simplification and there are some MAJOR differences.  Just because Cherokees, Lakotas, and Australian Aborigines now speak English, and for the most part wear Western clothing, etc., this does not make them Europeans.  In the same way, Copts, Syrians, Berbers, etc., are not Arabs, even though they now adhere to the dominant culture.
 

Syrians is a broad term. Syrian is nationality not ethnicity. My passport is Syrian. My uncles is too but he is a Berber from Algeria and got it because he married my auntie. He is Syrian as anybody else. There are Syrian Arabs and Syrian Kurds and Syrian Armeanians. We have lots of people. Most people though call themselves as Arabs. We have Syrian Arab Air Force and Syrian Arab Republic because of this. Comparing Syrians to subjugated peoples like the American indians and Austrian native peoples is not correct. If Syria was overrun by anyone it was not Arabs, it was Muslims. THey came in and tried to conquer everything. And they failed. I am alive and there are other Christians there. Syria is not conquered by anyone right now except for its government. You cannot say "Syrians are not Arabs" because there are a lot of different Syrians who have different identities. Some say 'I am nothing but Syrian till I am dead" but then some say "I am Arab before anything else" somebody may say 'I hate Arabs and I am Kurd and want nothing to with the rest of Syria" or "I am Armeanian". Syrian is not an ethnicity. I am Syrian because I am born there and have a passport from there. If I was born in Lebanon I would still be Arab from Lebanon. This is like "American", it means just about nothing. The major difference between these people you listed is also that they don't view themselves as part of the culture. They are seeing thmselves as separate. Most Syrian Arabs (Muslim and Christian) do not. They will say "I am an Arab". I know of Cherokees who say 'I am not American' and hate the white man. this is why they are not one of them (also because being white is exclusive). Arab is not like that in Syria or even Algeria. PEople who may 'really" be Arab "become" Berbers for the heck of it and visversa. It is much more permeable than in other places.

Quote
Again, this is a very glib assessment, but I guess the major differences are that Western discriminatory practices were based on notions of so-called "race", while Muslim discrimination was rooted mostly in religion.  Also, Islam seemed content, for the most part, to absorb the conquered, while the Westerners, by-and-large, sought to supplant them.

Islam is not Arab. Arab is not Islam. People ignore this fact. Defninitions change in time. They are not static. I am not a Muslim, but I am an Arab. This idea is different in other Arba countries. In Syria, Lebanon, Jordan even IRaq someone can be Arab and not Muslim and it raises no eyebrow and nobody is questioning you. In other places were the Arabs were very racist they said 'I am better than these Berbers or Copts" and they discriminate. Islam does not absorb. Ask the Copts if they are absorbed. They would be Muslim if this was the case. Islamic identity in North Africa is ver close to Muslim identity because people didnt have many Arabic Christians there. The Muslims killed them there. Arab is ethnic and mostly permiable except in certain areas (there is a reason Arab look so different in variuos countries) whereas Islam is a RELIGION and is not so. You are Muslim or not and it has little to do with ethnicity or race. Being "western" is cultural mostly similar to being Arab. Arabs absorbed a lot of people. Islam replaced many of them. Those who were not washed away often became Arab or fled to the hills refusing to adapt to changing world. Copts were more brave and toughed it out. In Syria non Arab Christians played politics and did their best to adapt. Christians were already Arab kept doing their thing. Just because someone speaks Arabic doesnt make them Arab. Identifying as Arab does. that is how Arabs who left the mother countries are still Arabs. In Brazil they do not speak Arabic but they still will say "Im Arab" or at least "Im Lebanese or Syrian" and acknowlage that they ID with that cultural tradition. Maronites speak Arabic but most are not Arabs because they do not see themselves as Arabs in the same way that Copts do. Orthodox from Palestine, Syria, Lebanon usually (at least in my experience from those I know) do. It is a personal issue.

Quote
I wish to thank all of the posters in this thread. I actually learned some things and needed the paradigm shift, so to speak, in order to dispel some stereotypes I never questioned. Anyway, just because I use English (now) as my main language does not make me a "Brit" <grin>
I agree. But if the "Brits" will let you be one and you want to be one there is nothing stopping you from becoming a 'Brit' like the Angles and Saxons did. I doubt that they will however. If you speak Arabic as your tonge or you ancestors did and you think yourself an Arab I have no problem saying that you are one too.
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« Reply #40 on: February 17, 2005, 12:52:32 PM »

It is not history that I find offensive.  It is the confusion over ethnicity that some make, in ignorance, that mislabels Copts as ethnic (bloodline) Arabs, that I take as offensive- because it incorrectly describes my people's glorious history.  It is the treatment of Copts as second-class citizens in our own land that I find offensive.  It is the labeling of Egypt as an "Arab Republic" that I find offensive.  It is happenings such as that of the Armanious family (of blessed memory) that I find offensive. 

I'm not complaining, but rather listing injustices.  The exact phrasing escapes me, but I believe it was St. John Chrysostom who said, 'It is sinful to keep silent in the face in injustice.'  Persecute us, fine, but by God do not deny us the dignity and equality of citizenship that any native should have.
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« Reply #41 on: February 17, 2005, 04:35:21 PM »

I do not believe that one can force an identity on someone else or make him feel differently. What Syrian feel they are , and I have heard a wide variety of sense of belonging, is their own business and it is really not our place to tell someone not to feel arab or syrian. If we discuss ethnicity , I would be surprised to consider christians in Syria, Iraq or Lebanon arabs at all.

What I know is that Copts are definitely not arabs, they do not identify themselves as arabic and they have no arabic ethnicity in their heritage at all. We are the descendents of the old egyptians, living in the Pharaohs times, and that is it. Christians in Egypt can never be arabic for a variety of reasons, and Copts are very proud of their heritage without taking anything or casting a negative shadow on other races. 

Islam is very much tangled with Arabic heritage and culture, one cannot deny this. Except for converts, there are no arabs who are anything else but muslims. Maybe there are some JEWISH arabs in Yemen, but I cannot think of any other pure arabic line that is not muslim. 

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« Reply #42 on: February 17, 2005, 06:55:38 PM »

It is not history that I find offensive. It is the confusion over ethnicity that some make, in ignorance, that mislabels Copts as ethnic (bloodline) Arabs, that I take as offensive- because it incorrectly describes my people's glorious history. It is the treatment of Copts as second-class citizens in our own land that I find offensive. It is the labeling of Egypt as an "Arab Republic" that I find offensive. It is happenings such as that of the Armanious family (of blessed memory) that I find offensive.

I'm not complaining, but rather listing injustices. The exact phrasing escapes me, but I believe it was St. John Chrysostom who said, 'It is sinful to keep silent in the face in injustice.' Persecute us, fine, but by God do not deny us the dignity and equality of citizenship that any native should have.


I agree. I have only heard Muslims say Copts are Arabs never a Copt.

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Islam is very much tangled with Arabic heritage and culture, one cannot deny this. Except for converts, there are no arabs who are anything else but muslims. Maybe there are some JEWISH arabs in Yemen, but I cannot think of any other pure arabic line that is not muslim.

This is that propoganda that the Muslims spout about because they want to feel special. They say 'Islam is Arab and Arab is Muslim" and they know it is a bunch of poppy cock because their book (Quran) does not even say Islam is just for Arabs. I cannot think of a single pure Arab line, they all brought in foreign groups and had kin with them. This thinking is true in places like Egypt, Algeria etc where there are no Christians but it is not in Syria, Lebanon etc. It varies from group to group. I am not sure of IRaqis being Arabs (some people say none but the Sunnis there are Arabs) but I know that a lot of LEbanese Christians call themselves as Arabs (excepting the MAronites) and in SYria some say they are other say no. It is impossible to establish ethnicity or identity for all the Christians in these countries. Islam however is important in history but it is not all history. Islam is a modified warrior code in crudest terms and I would not have anything to do with so long as it was not so infectious with others (a heck of a lot of them at that). Syria could not stomach being with Egypt because along with other things (such as being second in importance) Nasser kept talking about how all of Egypt and all of Syria was Muslim. It is insulting. We are not all Muslim and all Arabs are not Muslims and lots of the CHristians we uncomfortable with Islamic rantings like those. Their racial-ethnic-religious dynamics are differnt than ours. It is is just the way history made us.
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At any rate, I do not believe that there is a man in the USA who accepts to live in illusion who says that peace will be recognized between the Arabs and Israel even if the occupation of the occupied Arab territories does not come to an end.
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« Reply #43 on: February 17, 2005, 08:14:45 PM »

Dear Ibrahim,
first, Copts are ethnically not arabs, nor are they influenced by arab characteristics and culture for the big part of identity or culture. As much should be clear. 

Second, after Islam, the arab history is identical with the history of Islam. Islam made them one big nation in the Penninsula, was the driving force for their invasion of the neighbouring countries and their submission to Islam or being killed or having to pay atribute.
The Khalifates, all of them, were not arabic, they were islamic, having applied the islamic rule on all the citizens. It was not an arabic rule, but an islamic. The force that kept the Arabic Empire together was not being arabic , for Ottmans were Turks from Mongol and Uzbak descend, but islamic. The loyality was to the Khalif, which means successor of God and Prophet, and not for an ethnicity.

In modern times, Egypt, Syria, Jordon and other nations would have never entered in conflict with Israel in 1948 if not for Islam. Whenever the war against Israel is justified, quranic verses are used on how a believer (muslim) should support another believer , even if they are miles away.

I am not sure how much time you spent in arabic countries, but you will find in Saudi , for example, Islam is the dominant force, if not the only one. So in Egypt, with exception of the Copts and some enlightened muslims that cannot justify a general statement. The street in arabic nations is domintated by islam, everyday life is controlled by Fatwas, the very specical relation between a couple is controlled by religion as well. Eating, drinking, driving, how to enter the bathroom ( right foot or left), prayers (of course), treating your neighbours, whether to say "Merry Christmas" to christians or not, whether to say hello to them or not, is all in need for a FATWA. I am not kidding , I lived their for 20 years and I know exactly how these places are.

Then, Quran says that :" It is inspired with an arabic tongue". You cannot read Quran in any other language, you cannot recite your prayers in any other language than arabic, to be accepted in front of Allah, Allah himself speaks arabic and the language in islamic paradise is arabic as well, according to Hadith.

I am sorry, I know that some christian Baaths party members want to separate both, but that is exactly why Baath is a big failure. It missed the mark on many issues, and I do not know what Micheal 3afla2 was thinking when he embraced arabic nationalism.
Arabic identity and Islam are one and the same to millions. If you can separate , that is fine, but it is only you. The 280 millions from the ocean to the Gulf believe firmly in Sayed Kutb's famous phrase: " I am egyptian, but Islam has wiped off my ethnicity and made me a proud arab".

 I might even argue that the lack of patriot spirit for one own's country and being replaced by an imaginary arabic nationalism is what brought the arabic states, at least Egypt, to this sad state. For how can a country in which 85% of its citizens,the muslims, contibute to its advancement if they believe , by their religion, that they should help their neighbours , the other muslims, who are also arabs, more than their country ? Loving Egypt is never said anymore, replaced by a love for the desert inhabitants that do not share anything with Egypt, except a religion.
Is it a coincidence that once Egyptian Patriotism, the pharaonic pride that is not taught anymore in schools, or taught as a side topic, once replaced by arabic nationalism, Egypt has went from a country that had a stronger economy than Great Britian (no joke here) and had an excellent education system and an all around rising nation, to a nation that is dependent on outside help ?
I will not talk about Syria, or Algeria, or Iraq, or Yemen, but you know where they are.

Peace.
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« Reply #44 on: February 17, 2005, 09:12:08 PM »

Respectfully to broth Starvo,

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first, Copts are ethnically not arabs, nor are they influenced by arab characteristics and culture for the big part of identity or culture. As much should be clear.

I have not said that they are. As I am meeting more Copts (there are a few at my school) this is becoming more and more clear. Do you have information about your (Coptic) language? Are you allowed to speak it in Egypt?

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I am not sure how much time you spent in arabic countries, but you will find in Saudi , for example, Islam is the dominant force, if not the only one. So in Egypt, with exception of the Copts and some enlightened muslims that cannot justify a general statement. The street in arabic nations is domintated by islam, everyday life is controlled by Fatwas, the very specical relation between a couple is controlled by religion as well. Eating, drinking, driving, how to enter the bathroom ( right foot or left), prayers (of course), treating your neighbours, whether to say "Merry Christmas" to christians or not, whether to say hello to them or not, is all in need for a FATWA. I am not kidding , I lived their for 20 years and I know exactly how these places are

I spent 14 years in Syria. It is a majority Muslim as are most Arab countries. I do not know all the Arab states (I have only been to Syria, Saudi, Lebanon, Algeria and Tunisia). Saudi is obviously Islamically dominated and Tunisia and ALgeria are basically all Muslim (there are some converts though) and are very Islamic.

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I am sorry, I know that some christian Baaths party members want to separate both, but that is exactly why Baath is a big failure. It missed the mark on many issues, and I do not know what Micheal 3afla2 was thinking when he embraced arabic nationalism.
Arabic identity and Islam are one and the same to millions. If you can separate , that is fine, but it is only you. The 280 millions from the ocean to the Gulf believe firmly in Sayed Kutb's famous phrase: " I am egyptian, but Islam has wiped off my ethnicity and made me a proud arab".

Ba'th is failure because it was run by a bunch of foolios and it was basically "Islam continued". It might as well be it's own religion. It says that Christianity is good, Islam is better (because it is more "ARab") and the Ba'th is best because it supposedly unites both (ie all the ARabs). It is in its most extreme form like Nazism and its most docile form an excuse for mediocre socialist economic schemes. It says all Islamic achievements are Arab (like Persian poets and scientists become magically "ARabs" in the school books) and that only Arabs can be Muslims "correctly" (so Persians and the others are not Muslims but kind of "poseurs") It is similar to Kutb who you noted and when carried out to it's fullest extent (ex Iraq) you get the IRan-Iraq War. Ba'th tried to make itself Muslim when it obviously was not and just annoyed a lot of people. However if one selectively takes its ideology you can have a hospitable and fairly well organized country. IF you make a true Ba'th you get Iraq.  They always say they want to get rid of sectarianism but they just play into it. It (Ba'th) is very racist and I can tell you from growing up around Ba'thists that they are racist in most definitions. My mother for example says to me "do not date girls that are not Arabs because you can get nothing from them" or my father says about my books from school "they leave out the most important parts of history the Arabs" very ethnocentric and the like. I agree that many Arab nationalists equate Islam and Arab and I am fully aware of this and I have seen it many times in reading and experience (espeically in Algeria) but my friends who are also Arab (and Christian and Muslim at that) when I came to the US first asked me if I was Arab and I said yes and they did not mean Muslim. These are Lebanese Orthodox, Moroccans and Syrians. In Syria I was always treated as anybody else would have been (though that is hard to say because I have never been anybody else) and I am proud to be Syrian and to be Arab and whatever else there may be in my family and history. I do not believe in that old people blabber about Islam being important over everything esle. It is not and if it were wouldn't more people at least pretend it was? I mean Islam in Syria is cerimonalial at best except for with really rural people or with the Islamist scum. These kinds of attitudes you talk about have to be changed if there is any progress of any sort in the Arab-Middle Eastern region. Islam usually doesn't let people make progress. But I still do not believe that because a lot of people think Islam and Arab are not separable that this makes me not Arab. It is against everything I have experienced and lived.

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I might even argue that the lack of patriot spirit for one own's country and being replaced by an imaginary arabic nationalism is what brought the arabic states, at least Egypt, to this sad state. For how can a country in which 85% of its citizens,the muslims, contibute to its advancement if they believe , by their religion, that they should help their neighbours , the other muslims, who are also arabs, more than their country ? Loving Egypt is never said anymore, replaced by a love for the desert inhabitants that do not share anything with Egypt, except a religion.

This is sad and I think you are correct as 'Arab unity" is not possible and serves only the interests of fat cats (look at Syria ruining LEbanon right now) now. It is idealistic and unrealistic. Rather than working pragmatically in the given circumstances to fix problems they go off and make more mess. This is why nationalism is not good in many places. It makes trouble at home and for other people. Like in Syria we occupy Lebanon and say "we are helping our brothers" even while we are hurting them. It hurts Syria too, we spend too much money on keeping troops there. My mother said to me when I went to the "homecoming" dance for school with mygirlfriend (she did not meet her yet) she said "Is she Arab?" not asking her name or even if she is Christian or any of these kinds of things. Of coarse she is not (she is Persian) and she was agitated by this fact. Especially because I did not tell her that she was not Arab (I said she is Erika which is her name) and all these kinds of mean things. It takes away from people and from countries like you said in Egypt. 

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Is it a coincidence that once Egyptian Patriotism, the pharaonic pride that is not taught anymore in schools, or taught as a side topic, once replaced by arabic nationalism, Egypt has went from a country that had a stronger economy than Great Britian (no joke here) and had an excellent education system and an all around rising nation, to a nation that is dependent on outside help ?
I will not talk about Syria, or Algeria, or Iraq, or Yemen, but you know where they are.

I think that it is obvious that Arab nationalism went off coarse in most countries and made trouble. Syria's problem is that Asad was smart, but his son is not so smart. Asad economically was not as good as he should have been and he did not make an economy that would facilitate all that Syria could put out there. Instead he spent up money on weapons for wars that mostly were not fought and on occupying a tiny country for longerthan it needed to be. People said "Arabs are great" before this was true. We did not have the money for the things we were doing and it messed us up. IT is too ambitious. You know that something is a miserable failure when they tell you at school 'you are the greatest nation" and then you come to the US and the ambassador is saying "Syria is small, we are weak, we are this or that" basically calling your country a bunch of wussies. If people were not thinking they were all kinds of hotness before they were lukewarm thins would be much better. Then they want to blame other people. It is shameful. 
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At any rate, I do not believe that there is a man in the USA who accepts to live in illusion who says that peace will be recognized between the Arabs and Israel even if the occupation of the occupied Arab territories does not come to an end.
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« Reply #45 on: February 18, 2005, 02:44:43 PM »

Dear Ibrahim,
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I have not said that they are. As I am meeting more Copts (there are a few at my school) this is becoming more and more clear. Do you have information about your (Coptic) language? Are you allowed to speak it in Egypt?
-The Coptic language is used in liturgical worship and in hymns, chiefly for religious ceremonies. There has been a strong attmepts of reviving it among the Coptic people in churches, by initiative of the Church, with little success. Some very distant and isolated villages in Upper Egypt speaks Coptic till this day, but this is a very rare exception.
-It is not criminal anymore to learn Coptic or speak it as it was in the 10th century, when the Khalif decided to cut the tongues of those who spoke Coptic. The brutal verdict was administered publicly and it brought fruits. Arabic replaced Coptic by force, even in church. It was one of the sad period in which a nation's identity was eradicated completely, and which seems to be the mark of Islam whenver it goes. Look at Asia Minor, for a parallel example.
-The first six centuries a.d. of Egypt's history are dropped as if they never happened, from all history books in schools, in the media, from the memory of the people. I understand why such a position is adopted by arabs and muslims. How would the persecution of Copts by Arians, for example, and the staunch defense by Copts led by St.Athanaisus against the denial of Christ's divinity fair with their alleged acception of Islam (total denial of Christ's divinity) only a couple of centuries later ?
- Nothing about martyrdom under Roman Emperors, for it will raise questions about how can a faith so persecuted propagate so fast in the East and in Egypt without the power of the sword, whereas another religion did not move one inch beyond the where the sword carried it.
- Nothing about Coptic culture, COptic art, Coptic literature or anything remotely related to the COptic heritage is ever taught in schools or even mentioned. I understand that, because our country lost its identity that made it great at one point of history and replaed it by another identity that is not hers.
- When the muslims and arab nationlists figured out that Copts are the natural extension of Pharaohs, they cancelled the greater part of the Pharaoh's history in schools. All universities in the World have an Egyptology section, but we do not. Egypt was the only country that declined a recent invitation to the most prominant Paris conference of Egyptology.
Because it is a very hard mission to take a shot at the greatness of the Pharaohs (which is indeed a great civilization that was so advanced that most of its mysteries are still not solved, scientific or otherwise), the attack became religious. I apologize for presenting this ridiculus piece of crap to such a respected forum, but it will give an idea about the islamic / arabic nationalism mind. It goes as follows : " Pharaohs are pagans, not muslims, and as such, they are cursed and there monuments (among them the pyramids, temples,...) should be demolished as pagan statues". This is Karadawy's fatwas, El-Awa, Muhamed Gebriel and other prominant sheikhs fatwas. In fact, previous attempts to demolish the pyramids were made under Sultan Salah El-Din, under Sultan Kalawon, and most recently by the Ottman princes were made.
For similarity, check what TALIBAN did with ancient Budda statues.

Peace.
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In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. (Isaiah 19:19)

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« Reply #46 on: February 18, 2005, 03:50:41 PM »

Dear Ibrahim,
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Ba'th is failure because it was run by a bunch of foolios and it was basically "Islam continued". It might as well be it's own religion. It says that Christianity is good, Islam is better (because it is more "ARab") and the Ba'th is best because it supposedly unites both (ie all the ARabs).
I agree, and there is a pattern of failure for regimes that adopts this nationalism agenda that was started by Nasser. You cannot replace the country's own identity with another one, this is recipe for complete destruction of a nation. The EU has many members, and they are most successful in taking unity steps, yet Germans have not abondoned their heritage nor are they less proud of its glorious moments, nor did the French or the British.
Before Nasser, we were doing fine. Under occupation, but by far better than the rule of Nasser, Saddat,.... . There was a sense of loving the country, that you do not find now.
Compare to UAE for example, that has totally abondoned the arabic nationalism crap (and they are the original arab) and they opened to the West. Compare to Syria, Egypt, Jordon (before th shift of the 90's), Iraq, .... .
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It (Ba'th) is very racist and I can tell you from growing up around Ba'thists that they are racist in most definitions.
This is rooted in Islam and in the arabic mentality since childhood, like you brilliantly showed. It is not only Ba'th, it was the scheme of Nasser's regime (before he learnt to fear St.Pope Kyrollos). There is no explanation for the hatred of Jews in uncompromising terms, if it was not a religious duty to hate them. I understand the issues they might have with israel, but not the Jews. When a religious book mentions that the Jews are the grandchildren of Pigs and Monkeys, it cannot get more racist.
Remember the famous "3eloug" expression used by the former Iraqi media minister (Sa7af) ? This is an expression used by Arab muslims and Ottmans alike, referring to the occupied places original population. For an arab muslim, upon their invasion of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, lebanon, working in the field or working in a handcraft is an insult to his manhood, for they lived in the desert on invading neighboring tribes. "3elog" was invented by them, and it means a smelly pig, to describe the original inhabitants of these countries.
Granted, every nation went through a period of racism when it was in its ultimate grasp of power. Romans called others Barabrians, and maybe did Greeks, and so did any nation, but not anymore. This racism culture is fought in these countries, ironically to the benefit of arabs and muslims. Yet it still lives in the minds of the muslims and many arabs. Ever heard how the Saudi, Kwaities, Qataris, Baheranian refer to Africans ? A very denegrative word that cannot go unchecked. Ever heard the word " Masechut" ( disfigured by divine command) in reference of the far asians ?These words are popular in the Penninsula. 
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I agree that many Arab nationalists equate Islam and Arab and I am fully aware of this and I have seen it many times in reading and experience (espeically in Algeria) but my friends who are also Arab (and Christian and Muslim at that) when I came to the US first asked me if I was Arab and I said yes and they did not mean Muslim.
This is a very special case, I must note. I have been under the impression that Syria is not big on religion, but on nationalism. Lebanon (the old Lebanon that was a paradise) was very loose of religion until the Palestinians and Hezballah sabotaged the South.
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In Syria I was always treated as anybody else would have been (though that is hard to say because I have never been anybody else) and I am proud to be Syrian and to be Arab a
And one should be always proud of what he thinks is his heritage. That is clear and in fact encouraged. Yet all the different ethnic groups (including Copts) need to examine their history and to present it in truth, and study the present to know where they went wrong. Definitely, the arabic region cannot claim these times as its best, and the reason is the continuous state of denial of mistakes, history unpleasant facts, ..... .
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Islam usually doesn't let people make progress. But I still do not believe that because a lot of people think Islam and Arab are not separable that this makes me not Arab. It is against everything I have experienced and lived.
Let me clarify so that no misunderstanding would arise. Arabs, as a race, are as any other race, with the same distribution of good and evil, intelligence and lack of it, and so on. Any other statement is racist.
I also totally appreciate the syrain civilization of old times and the great heritage in this place.
However, it is also a fact, that all arabs (minus you and your family and a number of converts that are on the rise) are muslims. As you mentioned, Islam is an ideological system that stops progress because it stops thinking and questioning. If you cannot question what you believer in, and you go in vicious circles to prove the obviously wrong in islamic doctrines, how would you expect any progress in any field ? When the islamic domination was somewhat supressed, or neglected, between 1880 and 1952, many arabic countries made very large steps. I will refer to Egypt again. We had democracy since 1922, for the most part, a Parliment, great economy, and moreover, active and responsible youth who were absorbed in the political process. We had also relative religious freedom, relative to the ages of martyrdom at least.
When the same arabic nations revivedd Islamic fundamenstalism, and arabic nationalism which in my opinion (and I respectfully disagree with you) is an islamic idea in nature to revive the Khalifates and bring back the glory of Islam, they went into the pathetic state they are in today.
So we are discussing the effect of Islam on arabic culture, which would be the same effect on other non-arab nations with time. We are not discussing the short comings of arabs becuase of their race.
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This is sad and I think you are correct as 'Arab unity" is not possible and serves only the interests of fat cats (look at Syria ruining LEbanon right now) now

The presence of Syria in Lebanon reminds me of the presence of Egypt in Yemen 1962-68. An invitation for disaster. I cannot understand the logic behind it nor can I understand the mob and gang mentality that still dominates the arabic government attitude. I must question the intelligence of such regimes to invite trouble when it is already sinking. This is nothing short of Lybia in the 70's and 80's ( although I find Khadafi amusing and comic) and Nasser in the 60's. This complete detachment from reality.
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It is idealistic and unrealistic
What is idealistic in ruining the Lebanon we all loved ? It is pure evil. i do not like Hariri, for he was nothing but a traitor and a dog on a leash for Saudis and he tried to islamize Lebanon, but there is nothing ideal about the Syrian presence in Lebanon. Please note that I would find the same faults at Egyptian policies as well, so it is not an attack on your nation.
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It hurts Syria too, we spend too much money on keeping troops there.
Since 1948, we had to spend for the sake of others, and sometimes for no reason, without any benefit, only destruction. While many Israel's policies are opposed by me and by many, I still think there was no need to enter into a war we were not a part of in 1948. Egypt and Syria are the only countries that ever fought for the palestinian cause, and it did not even grant us a "thank you" note from arabs. Evenr heard the famous phrase :
'' Arabs fight till the last egyptian or syrian soldier". This is the direct fruit of arab nationalism, entering in wars we could have stayed away from.
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I think that it is obvious that Arab nationalism went off coarse in most countries and made trouble.
- I believe it was always big words empty of any content. What real steps were taken for arabic nationalism dream except some songs, festivals, changing history books,.... ? Even the attempt of unity between Egyot and Syria in 1958 fell in three years, for both countries proved to have different natures. In a pathetic move, the name "Masr - Egypt" was dropped :'( and we were named thereafter "ARABIC UNITED REPUBLIC".
- When was there ever any unity between the arabic or islamic nations , a unity based on will of nations and not based on swords and wars ? The islamic/arabic empires of old were not confederate states like the US , for example, they were submitted into the EMpire by the sword. Whenever these nations could escape under a powerful Ameer (prince) or Sultan they did, like the Fatimites, Tolonites, Ekshedis, Mamloks, Ayoobyess (Family of Salah El-Din), Saljoki, Barahemas", .....
- Unity need compromise, and I doubt muslims compromise. Take the example of the civil war in Afghanistan after the expuslion of the Soviets. The TAKE ALL mentality prevailed, tribes killed each other because they would have all the 100 % of the pie and give nothing away.

Peace.
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« Reply #47 on: February 20, 2005, 09:53:34 PM »

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The presence of Syria in Lebanon reminds me of the presence of Egypt in Yemen 1962-68. An invitation for disaster. I cannot understand the logic behind it nor can I understand the mob and gang mentality that still dominates the arabic government attitude. I must question the intelligence of such regimes to invite trouble when it is already sinking. This is nothing short of Lybia in the 70's and 80's ( although I find Khadafi amusing and comic) and Nasser in the 60's. This complete detachment from reality.

Well the original intention was mostly good in my opinion. It was to restore order in Lebanon, not to hurt them or anything. It was very harsh (it was for the Maronites), go in, put in the old order so that the Ba'thi order sticks up in Syria without problems. Eventually we did our job and now we should be leaving (a long time ago, like 1992/3 maybe just to be safe). We're just making the Lebanese brothers hate us now. I like Qaddafi, he is funny and he is doing positive things in Africa now which is better than handing out guns to anyone who doesn't like capitalism.

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What is idealistic in ruining the Lebanon we all loved ? It is pure evil. i do not like Hariri, for he was nothing but a traitor and a dog on a leash for Saudis and he tried to islamize Lebanon, but there is nothing ideal about the Syrian presence in Lebanon. Please note that I would find the same faults at Egyptian policies as well, so it is not an attack on your nation.

I agree, now the Lebanese don't need us anymore. The Lebanse problems are mostly fixed and they should be running themselves and its not like they don't want to (it is sad when you are supporting one Intifada and then your so-called "ally" (ie country you occupy) is calling for an intifada against you! We are like Israel in Lebanon now. We have no place and it is time to leave.

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Since 1948, we had to spend for the sake of others, and sometimes for no reason, without any benefit, only destruction. While many Israel's policies are opposed by me and by many, I still think there was no need to enter into a war we were not a part of in 1948. Egypt and Syria are the only countries that ever fought for the palestinian cause, and it did not even grant us a "thank you" note from arabs. Evenr heard the famous phrase :
'' Arabs fight till the last egyptian or syrian soldier". This is the direct fruit of arab nationalism, entering in wars we could have stayed away from.

Yes, I remember that from military education class (we have this in Syria I think they used to in Jordan and Egypt probably not anymore though).


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Compare to UAE for example, that has totally abondoned the arabic nationalism crap (and they are the original arab) and they opened to the West. Compare to Syria, Egypt, Jordon (before th shift of the 90's), Iraq, .... .

I have been to UAE, it is a nice place but its the same government we have in Syria, Jordan, Morocco etc. It's a hereditary despot. I like how itis more relaxed but this is because there are so many foreigners. Most there are  not even Arab. They have some of the prettiest cities in all the Arab world though because they spend more time on development and education than on stupid military and posters. I mean Hafez al Asad wasn't an ugly man, but he was not that good looking.

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I believe it was always big words empty of any content. What real steps were taken for arabic nationalism dream except some songs, festivals, changing history books,.... ? Even the attempt of unity between Egyot and Syria in 1958 fell in three years, for both countries proved to have different natures. In a pathetic move, the name "Masr - Egypt" was dropped   and we were named thereafter "ARABIC UNITED REPUBLIC".

- Arab nationalism made many good cultural advances. The plays, poetry etc were some of the best in years. It did however make many people ethnocentric and easy to manipulate (for example, the leader can torture because it is for the good the nation; hate the Jews for the good of the nation). It was/is good if it is not in power. It makes for national self confidence but it does not work because Arabs are not uniform and it is in the character of the Arabs mostly to be very proud and to think this tribe, this or that is better. So you get people like Nasser "Egypt will lead revolution" and then Qaddafi "Libya will lead" and Asad "Syria will lead the Arabs!" and so on. But while they are talking, what is getting done at home? Very little except lots of portraits.
- The UAR was horrible for Syria as well. Do not think that because we asked for it that we wanted it the way it was. It was Nasser (who I can see as a good character but very tragic) who wanted to dominate us. We just wanted Egyptian help to squash the communists and he took it as a wayto make Egypt special. What is to be expected from a larger than life personality? There were (I dont I wasnt there this old people saying) Egyptian peasants coming to Syria and adding to poverty, Egypt was dominating the union (they had omethign like 300 more people in the token parliament) and the capital was in Cairo, not fair to Syria at all. So we broke it.

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- Unity need compromise, and I doubt muslims compromise. Take the example of the civil war in Afghanistan after the expuslion of the Soviets. The TAKE ALL mentality prevailed, tribes killed each other because they would have all the 100 % of the pie and give nothing away.

This is the trouble in Lebanon. nobody wanted to compromise. People said "Lebanon is Christian" then someone says "Lebanon is Arab" then someone says "Lebanon is Muslims!" and nobody would compromise anymore or would let it change with the population (allowing the SHia/Muslims more say in government when Maronites were no longer the majority). In Syria nobody will comprmise it seems. I wish they would though. I hope the US does not get rid of the Ba'th because if they do, you can say good by to the Christians and Alaowites (off with our heads!) because the Sunnis will be mad at us. IT is good for minorities and some Sunni (the Asads basically made themselves Sunni the new wife of Dr Bashir is a Sunni in fact and they keep trying to make the Sunnis like them). But the government has not made the Sunni accept the minorities. They just made themselves sunni essentially.

Starvo, have you read the Dream Palace of the Arabs by Fouad Ajami? It is good, it talks about the nationalists and their problems through the intellectuals (poets, writers etc) and is very good. Another is by Adeed Dawisha, Arab Nationalism in the Twentieth Century: From Trimph to Despair. It is very good and has good chapters about the UAR and the many problems in the Arab world.
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At any rate, I do not believe that there is a man in the USA who accepts to live in illusion who says that peace will be recognized between the Arabs and Israel even if the occupation of the occupied Arab territories does not come to an end.
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« Reply #48 on: February 20, 2005, 10:19:35 PM »

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=1&article_id=12826

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=12818


Soon Syria will ahve to leave Lebanon wether the old people like it or not. Syrians don't want it, Lebanese don't want it, nobody wants it.
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At any rate, I do not believe that there is a man in the USA who accepts to live in illusion who says that peace will be recognized between the Arabs and Israel even if the occupation of the occupied Arab territories does not come to an end.
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« Reply #49 on: February 25, 2005, 06:20:38 PM »

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Starvo, have you read the Dream Palace of the Arabs by Fouad Ajami? It is good, it talks about the nationalists and their problems through the intellectuals (poets, writers etc) and is very good. Another is by Adeed Dawisha, Arab Nationalism in the Twentieth Century: From Trimph to Despair. It is very good and has good chapters about the UAR and the many problems in the Arab world.
Thanks for the references, I will read them. I have read many books by Heikal (who I despise) and other writers that try to sell the idea, and have read for Khaled Muntasser, Adel Gendi, Shaker Tarabulsi and others who are totally against it, like myself. I look at a span of history in Egypt, from 1952 till now, and compare to 1870-1952, and I get my answer.

The cultural advances were mostly advances in support of the regime and the idea, but not in any other field. Brilliance and advancement need freedom, which is missing in all arab nationalist regimes. You cannot tie down a bird and ask the same bird to fly. Only shy attempts by Nageeb Mahfouz, Tawfik El-Hakeem were made to symbolically allude to the fact that we are going to have a disaster. Read " 3awdat el-wa3ey" for Nageeb Mahfouz or the masterpiece " A talk on the nile" by Nageeb Mahfouz.
Cultural advances must be accompanied by scientific ones, for both have the same roots and lead to the same, with a difference in the field of application. Scientific thinking was assassinated in the muslim/arab nationalist movement, and that is why our countries are so miserable in this field. No significant writers came from Egypt during this period who believed in Nationalism. Tawfik Hakim rejected the idea, Taha Hussein , Nageeb Mahfouz (Nobel Laureaute 1988), Saad El-Din Hamamsi, Zaki Naguib Mahmoud, .... . Only the dogs of the regime were given the stage to perform pitiful acts.
I do not regard these as advancement at all. They have killed the arabic mind and we see its fruits now in embracing Bin Laden and terrorist agenda.
How can such be labeled advancement if the result is the sweeping domination of terrorist ideas ?

You are right that it might have been different if these nationalists were not in power. Basically, there would have been no such idea at all. Do not underestimate the power of media. The islamic brotherhood, being out of favour at times with the regime, have managed to islamize the nation by media, backed up by Saudi money.

Islam and Arab nationalism are one and the same.
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In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. (Isaiah 19:19)

" God forbid I should see the face of Judah or listen to his blasphemy" (Gerontius, Archmanidrite of the monastery of St. Melania)
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« Reply #50 on: February 25, 2005, 07:10:54 PM »

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Islam and Arab nationalism are one and the same.

This is also said by Michel Aflaq. However I think there is a difference between militant, hardline Arab nationalism (Ba'th, Nasserism, etc) and liberal Arab/individualist nationalism (like in Lebanon now or in Algeria) where itis by consent of individual and not established as the whole country is the same thing with no exception. If you make a country to be one thing it stays that way and it goes no where. Islam is only thing for Saudi Arabia and they are regressive and reactionary. For Syria we are only Arab and religion is basically not important except for religion classes (which are a joke because they don't even count for a grade and are fill with nonsense about how Jesus was half Arab  (Huh Huh) and other falacious things) and then there is the great class, military education that is more ridiculous than the religious classes (we learned how to march every year as if this was important for something???) and the science classes are based off of Soviet science books which we all know are sooo savvy. There are positive aspects to it (over all social interaction climate) but intellectually it is overall stiffiling especially the government aspect. They said it was a revolution but it was the same thing as we had before if not worse. Right now there is a revolution about to happen however.

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The cultural advances were mostly advances in support of the regime and the idea, but not in any other field. Brilliance and advancement need freedom, which is missing in all arab nationalist regimes. You cannot tie down a bird and ask the same bird to fly. Only shy attempts by Nageeb Mahfouz, Tawfik El-Hakeem were made to symbolically allude to the fact that we are going to have a disaster. Read " 3awdat el-wa3ey" for Nageeb Mahfouz or the masterpiece " A talk on the nile" by Nageeb Mahfouz.

I agree, the cultural center of the Arab world moved from Egypt in the 50s to Lebanon (mainly Beirut) and this is where many of the best poets and writers came from. What I find ironic however is that many of them (the best writers) were initially either fascist or semifasicst (like in the Orthodox Christian dominated Syrian Peoples Party/Syrian Social Nationalist Party) and then became either Arab nationalist or Arab fascist (Ba'th) but the best ones, like Khalil Hawi or Ali Ahemd Said (Adonis) went through these phases and ended up at a more moderate stance. Lebanon was able to create many great writers becasue it was not dominated by any of the totalitarian ideologies that took hold elsewhere (but they did try!). Even the writers from Algeria and Morocco that were nationalist had to go abroad to be able to write any thing of significance (as they were banned in their countries). The best poetry was written in anticipation of the regime but not during it. All of the good ones were during the struggle or right before it but they did not stay on afterwards. "Be careful what you wish for" you might say.
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At any rate, I do not believe that there is a man in the USA who accepts to live in illusion who says that peace will be recognized between the Arabs and Israel even if the occupation of the occupied Arab territories does not come to an end.
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God bless you..may God have mercy on us sinners


« Reply #51 on: January 19, 2006, 10:34:27 PM »

 

    I believe the persecution only goes on becuase God allows it,with out His permisson not one coptic in eygpt would suffer from the holy cross.Just as Satan asked GOD in heaven to bring anusih and suffering to Job before he laid a hand on Job so it is so with the brave coptics in Egpyt.Coptics suffer because your a God's chosen people as are all christians.Never the less the Lord is merciful and one day I believe the moslems will turn back on their faith and all of Egypt will be memeber of the orthodox faith.I also think the Lord allows it to happen because it is the thorn that humbles Coptics because Egypt is quoted in the Holy bible and the coptic church was founded by st Mark the apostle.St. Paul had a thorn after he went to the third heaven so i guess that could be why it goes on.Saint Anthony the Great,the real father of monastics and so the list goes on. 
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Lord Jesus Christ,Son of God,by the Mother of God have mercy on us sinners:34  I give you a new commandment, that you  love  one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should  love  one anot
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