Alfred J. Butler
Alfred Joshua Butler (1850-1936) was English historian who was educated at Oxford, becoming a fellow of Brasenose College in 1877 and receiving his doctorate in 1902. He wrote a number of works on Egypt that spanned from the Coptic era to the medieval period, including his Ancient Coptic Churches of Egypt (Oxford, 1884) and the acclaimed The Arab Conquest of Egypt (Oxford, 1902).
Alfred J. Butler was a self-confessed “friend of the Copts”. On them he wrote in 1911, “ … having known the Copts for upwards of thirty years, I have the highest opinion of their capacity and their character.”
When the Coptic Congress in 1911 raised some demands to the British authority to end the injustices the Copts suffered from under British rule he sided with the Copts against Sir Eldon Gorst, the British Consul-General in Egypt (1907-1911), whose policy was “(to) exalt the Mohammedan and to tread down the Christian, to license the majority and to curb the minority.”Addressing the policy makers who thought that the Copt could not be given a position of command and authority in a country with Muslim majority, he said, with the knowledge of the character of the Copts he possessed, “I for one should have no fear that a Coptic Mudir or Mamur would fail in tact or in justice, in kindness or in courage.”