Call for minorities to unite
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An Egyptian political scientist has called for a new coalition of national and religious minorities from the Middle East during a lecture he delivered in London.
Masri Feki, who lives in France, wants to see a new regional framework in the Middle East which recognises national diversity and religious rights.
At a talk at the London Middle Eastern Institute of the School of Oriental and African Studies last week, he rejected "exclusivist" ideologies such as pan-Arabism and pan-Islamism.
Instead, he advocated the idea of "Middle Easternism", which conceives of the region as a "fascinating mosaic of cultures and beliefs" rather than a "monolithic bloc".
The organisation he has founded, the Middle East Pact, aims to promote "transnational solidarity" through publicising moves for democratic reform.
It will highlight the presence of minorities such as Copts, Assyrians and others and present "non-Arabic components of the Middle East (Turkey, Iran, Israel) as legitimate and integral parts of the region".