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.