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Saturday, January 08, 2011

Muslims In Egypt Use Themselves As 'Human Shields' To Protect Christian Community

Over the years while condemning Muslim extremists this blog has tried to highlight moderate Muslims that stand up against terrorists that kill innocents in the name of religion.

Today a story is reported that undoubtedly qualifies as taking a stand.

On New Years Eve 21 people were murdered in an attack against the Saints Church in Alexandria by Islamic militants in a brutal act of terrorism. This resulted in an unprecedented show of unity where millions of Egyptians replaced their Facebook profile with the symbol for "Egypt for All", the cross within a crescent symbol and on the streets banners went up calling for solidarity and showing mosques and churches, crosses and crescents- all as one.

Via AhromOnline:

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.

“This is not about us and them,” said Dalia Mustafa, a student who attended mass at Virgin Mary Church on Maraashly. “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.”

A feel good story to be sure but also another reminder that extremists do not speak for moderates. Terrorist extremists do not commit the acts of murder and violence in their name and they do not represent the Muslim/Islamic religion as a whole.