Not In Your Local Paper: Egyptian Muslims Protect Coptic Community With Their Bodies


Muslims protect and greet Orthodox Christians leaving the church where Alexandria bomb blast took place. (Photo: REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)

An important and inspiring report out of Egypt. From AhramOnline:

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.

Sorry to see that this story has been virtually ignored by the mainstream media. It seems to have been broken by the Egyptian press, but other than a report on WaPo’s online edition, I could only see it covered via the blogosphere.

What else is new? When it comes to Islam, it seems, the actions of an extremist minority is considered newsworthy while the courage of the Muslim majority flies right off the radar screen.

Be sure to pass this one on…

5 thoughts on “Not In Your Local Paper: Egyptian Muslims Protect Coptic Community With Their Bodies

  1. Idris


    Thanks so much for posting this! It’s true that valiant acts performed by members of communities around the world are often ignored by media. How often have I watched documentaries that highlight brave souls that resist oppression and acts of brutality, only to find out that these acts were carried out YEARS AGO, long after our support for them is needed. In this modern technological era we claim to live in, our information is still bottlenecked by news carriers interested in “selling” bloodshed to keep us buying their advertisers products. It’s so last century.

    Here’s to a new paradigm. Let me know if it finds us. I’ll be front in line. But consider your word being spread in the meantime. Blessings!

  2. The Modern Rumi

    This made me proud to be a Muslim, and reminded me of my interfaith days as an AEPi President bringing Muslims and Jews together to help one another.

  3. Shirin

    This reminds me of reading and hearing from Iraqi Jews how their Muslim and Christian neighbors and colleagues protected them during the terrible two days of the Farhud, a pogrom that took place in Baghdad in 1941 after the the short-lived Rashid `Ali regime was ousted and before the return of the king’s government. It was perpetrated and organized by Yunis Sab`awi, the only member of the Rashid `Ali regime who had not fled the country. It was, fortunately, not very widespread, and a relatively small number took part in it, but that is small comfort to those who were killed, who lost loved ones or propert in the looting of the second day, or whose lives were shaken to the foundations by the very shameful event.

    It also puts me in mind of the numerous stories from Hebron Jews who were protected by their Muslim neighbors during the horrible massacre that took place there in 1929.

    In a time of conflict it is so easy to forget or overlook these kinds of things, isn’t it?

  4. Bilybloggins

    I’m neither particularly religious nor easily persuaded that extremists represents a majority in their faith, let alone an accurate interpretation of their holy texts. But it’s wonderfully moving to see different faiths working together for the common good: actions speak louder than words. And as a former newsman, I’m ashamed to see so little of this kind of action reported in the mainstream media. No wonder we get a distorted view of what’s really going on.


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