"All in all, the way in which Copts are discussed, both in Egyptian public discourse and in the international media, seems stuck in the nineteenth century, with commentators still relying on the conventional wisdoms of the millet paradigm – according to which Ottoman rulers relied upon clerical leaders to represent the political interests of their respective sects. Under these circumstances, how can one possibly have a meaningful conversation about citizenship – about how the Egyptian revolution might shape conceptions of Egyptian identity?
Despite the hopes that accompanied the January 25 Revolution in this regard, important conversations about citizenship simply are not happening in post-revolutionary Egypt. What makes this all the more remarkable is that, at nearly every previous revolutionary juncture in Egypt’s modern history – 1882, 1919, and 1952 – there was a serious and sustained engagement with the issue of citizenship. Indeed, one might have thought that, not least given its Christian minority, Egypt would have been the Arab uprising context most likely to confront the citizenship question.”