Egyptian Muslims Throng in Thousands to Protect Christians

Thousands of Muslims honored a promise made by their leaders and showed up at Christmas Mass or at candlelight vigils outside Egyptian churches on Friday, offering their bodies as human shields against any acts of terrorists. The observances were tense, in view of the New Year’s Day bombing of a cathedral in Alexandria, which killed 21. The Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on January 7. Among those Muslims making this statement was beloved comedian Adil Imam. Since the 1990s Imam has been active in combating radicalism, memorably in his film “Kebab and Terrorism” (Kebab wa Irhab).

Father Marqus, the Bishop of Alexandria, said that in his entire life he had never seen the degree of solidarity of Muslims with Coptic Christians that he has witnessed in recent days. He said that Muslims attending the funeral of the Christian victims of the New Year’s Day bombing had treated them like Muslim martyrs, pronouncing ‘God is Great!’ in mourning, and had erupted in applause at the condemnation of the terrorists. He said that the bombing was like an aqua regia solution that would assay the metal of the Egyptian people and reveal their golden nature. The act of terror, he said, will have the opposite effect of the one intended, and will instead increase the love of Christians and Muslims for one another.

This report from Aljazeera English also shows the solidarity demonstrations and the extensive security protection offered the Christians by the Egyptian police and security forces:

Posted in Egypt | 19 Responses | Print | Send via email

19 Responses

  1. al Ahram.com had excellent story re same events. What a breakthrough in relations; I can imagine the relief felt by Copts & Muslims.

    • I pray that Muslims and Christians will continue to show love and respect for each other. I hope the violence will stop.

  2. Wonderful news in an otherwise tragic context. At Friday prayers at London’s central (or cathedral) mosque yesterday, the Azhari imam made a very impassioned sermon defending the Egyptian Copts and religious, social and political pluralism in general. I know the man personally and, even though the general theme of the sermon is dictated by Cairo, his words were heartfelt.

  3. there’s a lot about Egypt i might not like, but i can be proud of this.

    too bad so many of the ‘Christians’ in this country hate and vilify our own Muslims.

    fortunately, there are also Christians who support and defend American Muslims.

  4. What a heart warming story for the New Year. World peace would be possible with more people like this. What is disturbing is how the mainstream media does not share this. Makes me think that their objective is to sustain the conflict.

  5. This show of Christian-Muslim solidarity is welcome.

    Two incidentals:

    I think “Christmas victims” in the 2nd ‘graph is supposed to be “Christian victims,” correct?

    I can nowhere online find a reference to a “Bishop Marqus” in order to verify his title and find his place in the Coptic hierarchy relative to H.H. Pope Shenouda III (who, apparently, is en route to the US for a medical checkup — link to english.ahram.org.eg).

    • Bishop Marqus was apparently a previous spokesman for Pope Shenouda but had been removed from that position. Likely the see which he held as spokesman was a ‘titular see’, that is, bishop for a city that did not require a bishop anymore, and on removal from HH’s staff, was assigned an actual see.

      link to books.google.com

    • I think it is a intended as “Christmas victims” to show common humanity instead of specifying the sect where the victims belong.

  6. Does anyone know if any mainstream American newsource is covering this story? They were all over that [insert utterly retarded news story here].

  7. May the Almighty instill similar spirits in all lands, amen

  8. Religious discrimination and violence have been steadily growing in Egypt, and the Government’s failure to prosecute those who persecute Christians only adds fuel to the fire. Unless the Government takes firm actions to pass Anti-discriminatory laws (equality in the building of places of worship and swift punishment for those who incite hatred), the Alexandria church bombing will not be the last. On the contrary, it will be first step in Egypt’s spiral into social unrest. There is a glimmer of hope: the environment of “acceptable intolerance” is slowly changing. Calls for unity from the media and intellects that “we no longer are Muslim or Christian – we are all Egyptians” are spreading. However, these calls will continue to be undermined until the Government removes “religion” from off the personal Identification Cards. It’s a long shot, but only then can we say we have taken steps out of the dangerous spiral that threatens to engulf all Egyptians.

    • Those danged ID cards… what purpose does it serve anyway to put religion on them? It only seems to cause problems.

  9. This is a beautiful story of coming together. May we all do this for one another in the coming year.

  10. What an extraordinary people the Egyptians are!

    I caught onto this story late, but it is absolutely tremendous.

    Surely time now for Egypt to take a lead in world politics.

    Whatever the religion, we are all God’s children and it is everyone’s duty to challenge evil wherever and whenever. The Egyptians here went above and beyond the words and actually performed the duty.

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