Pope Shenouda III’s passing comes at a moment of political uncertainty for a new Egypt and its Coptic communities. In Western media, fears of “sectarian violence” and potential “religious discrimination” have been expressed in numerous articles focusing on his passing as the next stage of a timeless religious conflict that will erupt between the Muslim and Coptic communities in Egypt. But, is “sectarianism” in Egypt indeed timeless and inevitable?
“Sectarianism” in Egypt and the narrative associated with it has been normalized, naturalized, and constantly reified as something inevitable. This “sectarian” discourse and knowledge is perpetuated through the plethora of mainstream Western media stories addressing the passing of Pope Shenouda III and the “troubled” future of Coptic peoples. Continue reading “The End of an Era”: A Genealogical Analysis of “Sectarianism” in Egypt and the Memory of Pope Shenouda III