Muslims in Solidarity with Coptic Christians in Egypt | January 19, 2011

Daily the media bring before our consciousness news about violent incidents taking place in different parts of the world and our spirits are troubled. Doubly so if these violent incidents have religious overtones. Silsilah is dedicated to the pursuit of dialogue as a style of life – and it sees dialogue as “a style of life which is characterized by a deep relationship of love, understanding, solidarity, unity and peace among peoples of various cultures and religions.” Incidents of violence between groups, whether they are culturally diverse or homogenous, are always a source of sorrow, for somehow the incidents show a breakdown of dialogue between the groups. One such incident was the car bombing on New Year’s Eve at the Coptic Church of Two Saints in Alexandria, Egypt, which led to the death of 21 Coptic Christians. No one has been held responsible for the bombing.

Incidents like this exacerbate the tension in relationships between Muslims and Christians not only in Egypt but in other parts of the world. But God in His wisdom and love allows for something beautiful to happen out of what is by all means a sad incident.

In solidarity with Coptic Christians, many Muslims in Alexandria took action and demonstrated their stand to protest the un-Islamic action of whoever was responsible for the bombing and also to show their concern and love for the members of the Coptic Church in Egypt.

We are reprinting here a forwarded message received by email.

After the recent murderous attacks in Egypt on the Coptic Christian minority, thousands of Egyptian Muslims, outraged by these attacks (which many believe are due to foreign terrorists), have banded together to protect Copts at church.

Egypt’s majority Muslim population stuck to its word Thursday night. What had been a promise of solidarity to the weary Coptic community, was honoured, when thousands of Muslims showed up at Coptic Christmas eve mass services in churches around the country and at candle light vigils held outside. From the well-known to the unknown, Muslims had offered their bodies as “human shields” for last night’s mass, making a pledge to collectively fight the threat of Islamic militants and towards an Egypt free from sectarian strife.
“We either live together, or we die together,” was the sloganeering genius of Mohamed El-Sawy, a Muslim arts tycoon whose cultural centre distributed flyers at churches in Cairo Thursday night, and who has been credited with first floating the “human shield” idea. Among those shields were movie stars Adel Imam and Yousra, popular preacher Amr Khaled, the two sons of President Hosni Mubarak, and thousands of citizens who have said they consider the attack one on Egypt as a whole.

It might be mentioned that the Copts mark Christmas on a different date than the date celebrated by the rest of the Christian world, thus the show of solidarity took place some days after the bombing on New Year’s Eve.

The bright beam of love breaks through the shadows and the darkness generated by hate and bigotry. May we, who believe in dialogue, all contribute to make that beam of love stay strong and bright.

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