Minority Media, Democratization Conflicts and the Politicization of Coptic Communal Identity in Egypt
What role(s) do minority media play in democratization conflicts involving the transformation of citizenship and collective identities? This chapter investigates how the media of the Coptic minority in Egypt (re-)construct notions of identity in response to state and Islamist discourses with focus on Egypt’s January 2011 uprising and transition. The analysis examines three conflicts: The Alexandria church bombing (January 2011), the Maspero incident (October 2011) and the attack on Saint Mark’s Cathedral during president Morsi’s rule (April 2013). Based on textual analysis of relevant newspapers and interviews with activists, the chapter reveals the politicization and transformation of Coptic identity discourses of two factions: one which assumes a statist nationalist discourse and a radical faction that builds on a persecution discourse to mobilize for a more inclusive public sphere.
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