Abstract

For the past few decades, many incidents of sectarian violence have been triggered by rumors of interfaith sexual and romantic relationships between Muslims and Coptic Christians in Egypt. This thesis argues that the ways in which the Egyptian modern state chooses to govern women’s bodies and address the Coptic question has inevitably enabled sectarian violence witnessed today to take on its current form. One of the main implications of the modernization of the Egyptian legal system was the state’s ability to “jam” women, family, sexuality and religion into the private sphere, as opposed to the public sphere. This essentially has created a form of “cross-contamination” in which the religious came to appropriate the family, and the family acquired the quality of the religious. To that end, this thesis tells the story of the “affective, visceral, corporeal workings of everyday state power” that coheres that cross-contamination between the spheres of the family and religion. Through using the tools offered to it by modernity, the Egyptian modern state has been able to maintain a similar religious hierarchy to that which existed in the Ottoman era, only this time it has confined this religious hierarchy almost exclusively to the domain of the family. One of the main outcomes of such an arrangement is that political conflicts over religious difference often end up unfolding over the terrain of familial and sexual relationships. By regulating love, the state has concretized the conservatism of both the Muslim and Coptic communities and has produced a space for sectarian violence over women’s bodies, sexuality and romance.

Department

Law Department

Degree Name

MA in International Human Rights Law

Date of Award

2-1-2019

Online Submission Date

September 2018

First Advisor

Taha, Mai

Committee Member 1

Beckett, Jason

Committee Member 2

Sayed, Hani

Document Type

Thesis

Extent

80 p.

Rights

The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

IRB

Not necessary for this item

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