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Arabs, Copts and Goths

Reader comment on item: Dhimmis No More
in response to reader comment: The Arabization and Islamization of Egypt

Submitted by gato branco (Lithuania), Dec 20, 2017 at 02:01

I would like comment on this statement:

[However, in the case of Egypt one would expect that the Arab invaders would have become Egyptian/Coptic speakers and would have converted to Coptic Christianity]

Had Arab invaders been pagans as let's say Merovingian Franks they probably have converted to Coptic Christianity and adopted the Coptic language. However they came with their own version of the monotheist religion strongly connected to their ethnic roots(the first monotheist Abraham was reinterpreted as the forefather of Arabs) and with very strong sense of mission and regarded the Coptic Christianity merely as an older, imperfect and corrupt form of their own monotheism. Secondly, Coptic was not the highest prestige language in Egypt, it had a strong standing among Christian monks of mostly peasant origin but it had little intellectual production, The language with the highest prestige in Egypt was Greek but it was spoken by a tiny minority of upper classes which largely fled Egypt after the Muslim invasion. Arabic, however, was regarded by Arabs as the language in which the Heaven and its Prophet themselves have spoken, thus in terms of prestige it largely outflanked Coptic.

An interesting parallel to this are the Goths who came to the Roman lands also with their own version of the monotheist religion, Arianism, but finally adopted the religion of the majority Roman population, the Roman Catholicism. An analysis of Goths and Arabs can be found in the "Hagarism" of Crone and Cook. One of reasons of different destinies was the fact that Arabs could connect their monotheism with their tribal origins but Goths could not.

Submitting....

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