Since the events of 9/11, the question has often been asked, “Where are the moderate Muslims who condemn Islamic extremism/terrorism?”
In the wake of a New Year’s Eve suicide bombing of the Church of the Two Saints in Alexandria, which left 23 Coptic Christians dead, tensions have been running even higher in Egypt between its Christian minority (9%) and Muslim majority (90%), although the Bishop of the Church downplays the sectarian tensions.
January 7th Coptic Christians celebrated their Christmas; and in a show of solidarity, a number of Muslims showed up to Christmas services to serve as “human shields”:
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 Muslim televangelist and 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.
“This is not about us and them,” said Dalia Mustafa, a student who attended mass at Virgin Mary Church on Maraashly Street. “We are one. This was an attack on Egypt as a whole, and I am standing with the Copts because the only way things will change in this country is if we come together.”
The article goes on to claim that millions of Egyptians apparently have updated their FB profiles to reflect an image of a cross within a crescent- the symbol of an “Egypt for All”. Banners depicting mosques and churches, crosses and crescents in unity have also gone up around Alexandria.
Last Tuesday, 6 more Christians were shot- 1 fatally- by a deputy policeman claiming, “There is no God, but God.”
A former fetus, the “wordsmith from nantucket” was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1968. Adopted at birth, wordsmith grew up a military brat. He achieved his B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (graduating in the top 97% of his class), where he also competed rings for the UCLA mens gymnastics team. The events of 9/11 woke him from his political slumber and malaise. Currently a personal trainer and gymnastics coach.
The wordsmith has never been to Nantucket.