Muslims Protecting Christians with their Bodies

Egyptian Muslims had promised to act as human shields for the Coptic Christians in their Christmas Eve mass, and they were true to their words:

Egypt’s majority Muslim population stuck to its word Thursday night. What had a 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.”

Read the whole heartening report.

In Iran, however, it looks like Christians are being rounded up.

A step forward, a step back. A long and much too-deadly dance.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Taqiyyotomist

    What I posted at GP on this:

    I don’t know what to think about this, except that what they are doing is un-Islamic, and that all who were named in this article will soon be targeted for death. Unless this is some form of active taqiyya, while at the same time protecting the source of Jizya from destruction.

    I’m not cynical at ALL. Nope. Not me.

    How about these Coptic Christians start telling these Moderate Muslims that Islam is all a complete lie, and that their protective actions are more in line with the Truth and the teachings of Christ.? How about that? But no, it’ll be “Thanks for what you did. Now go back to living the Lie of Islam, and we’ll all start telling people how utterly SELFLESS we think Islam is now, and we Christians will work to spread the Da’wa and the Taqiyya.”

    I think the latter result was the desired outcome of this. Because I’m a realist.

  • Mutnodjmet

    Whatever you may think of Islam, this was a very brave act for the Egyptians to take. God bless and keep them and the Egyptian Copts.

  • Mandy P.

    I have to say, I’m not a very sentimental person, but this actually made me tear up.

  • W. A. Whitestone

    I can’t guess the motives of people’s hearts, not even my own…but it could just be that many residents of Middle Eastern countries are sick and tired of having hate and violence for breakfast, lunch and dinner on a daily basis for generations?

    The only way to stop evil is to stand and cry out against it whatever the cost. I’m reminded of the story of the single monk who died to stop the blood games of the Roman Empire.

    True, the Coptic Christians and Afgani, Pakistani, and those in other moslem countries must not back down from their allegiance to the truth or fail to share the Gospel with their neighbors.

    This is the will of God – that His people reveal His Son, the Living Incarnate Word and live in His love, truth and life. This is the work of God – to believe Jesus Christ, His Son. This is eternal life – to know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. John 17:3

    May the seeds of this loving and selfless act multiply to bring forth fruit and God’s grace in the lives of many more.

  • David

    Best news I’ve heard in ages. God Bless the sons of Hosni Mubarak.

  • Brian Saint-Paul

    That’s very encouraging! I hope the story gets coverage.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    God bless the Copts, and the Moslems who stood with them. My God protect them all, and not let either group be rounded up by “security.”

    As for Iran. . . what can I say? Goshers, everythings just been so swell there, ever since we got rid of that bad ol’ Shah! /Sarc.

  • Liz

    I appreciate anything that protects Christians from these awful people. But I have a thought:

    If the human shields genuinely believe that their actions are going to protect the Christians, then that means that they don’t think that AQ (or whoever) are going to attack Muslims, only the Copts.

    Then how is it an attack on “all of Egypt”? It’s clearly Muslims attacking Christians. No, not all Muslims are like that, but let’s not call a spade a portable dirt moving device.

  • John

    @Taqiyyotomist – I agree totally…

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Liz, that is an interesting question.

    Given that Egypt doesn’t sound like a free society, they may have had to hedge their words, when talking to the press.

    I do hope these brave Moslems don’t get rounded up themselves, by some arm of the state.

  • archangel

    Now that should become the ground work for the discussion which PBXVI wishes to have with Muslims. Secular Muslims are as threatened by the Jihadist (Muslim Brotherhood) as much as Jews and Christians. They are simply apostates. Further, one must remember that the Mubarak regime is as threatened by them as anyone. For them its about Egypt as a political entity and the action was good, for as far as it went. But make no mistake, it was a political shield in the name of a united Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood has been allowed to grow unchecked in Egypt because Mubarak thought he could contain it by playing the Zionist card. Bret Stephens of the Wall St. Journal published an OpEd this week on this very subject. The Copts are on the same anti-Israeli page.

    Quoting from the article… “All of which leads to the depressing conclusion that Egypt, the country that forged a brilliant path to peace with Israel 31 years ago, is becoming something worse than an anti-Semitic cesspool. It is turning itself into a nation of political imbeciles.”

    The juxtaposition with Iran is interesting becausem today’s Iran could very well be in Egypts future.

    “For Egypt’s rulers, this means they must deal with charges of hypocrisy, to which they can only respond with double-speak, denial and, as long as they have the means and the will to mete it, repression. For the West, it means an Egypt that resembles nothing so much as Iran in the waning days of the Shah, in which a comparatively moderate regime led by a sickly despot confronts a restive and radical public.”

    So, though the shield is welcomed; don’t think it was “faith” motivated. It was strictly political.

  • Dorian Speed

    I would guess they’ve phrased it as “an attack on all of Egypt” in the sense that their vision of Egypt involves Christians and Muslims living side by side in peace. Much as we might say that an attack on one segment of our population is an “attack on America,” because it goes against what this country stands for. I find this story very moving.

  • dymphna

    I wouldn’t trust the shields if I were the Copts. It wouldn’t be the first time someone was killed by their own gaurd.

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  • tim maguire

    dymphna, that’s entirely true–that a bomber looking to strike would be among the shields. But that’s the beauty of the gesture–this bomber would also kill many sincere shields. These people have voluntarily tied their fate to the fate of the Copts and any resulting violence cannot simply be a strike on a beleaguered minority.

    It will become in the truest sense what Dalia Mustafa speaks of more idealistically, an attack on all Egypt. Because moderate Muslims, at least this once, did not look away, did not stand silently by, but insisted, with their own lives, that the killing will not be done in their name, will not be done in Islam’s name.

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  • dry valleys

    Perhaps they acknowledge that Christianity is an eastern religion, which has been around in the region much longer than the religion of peace. (Something for Europeans to think about too).

    What I have heard of Mubarak is that he is basically a secular authoritarian. I shouldn’t have thought that he cared about people being Christians any more than Saddam Hussein did when he appointed Tariq Ali his deputy, so long as his orders are obeyed.

    As the main opposition to his reign is Islamist (a few brave liberals fight both forces for actual human decency, but barely register on the scene) he has adopted some trappings of Islamism. That is what we should fear in these countries, a slow drift towards sharia “law”.

    What is coming out of Pakistan is troubling as well. This basically reinforces my view, firstly that the state & culture should be secular. It isn’t aggressive secularists who threaten Asia Bibi, it is Islamists using the power of the state. Something tells me that this mentalist, Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, was not a Richard Dawkins reader, & Cristina Rad’s Youtube posts are unknown to those who are trying to have Sakineh Mohammadi Ahtiani killed.

    The only truly acceptable outcome is for them to repeal all these “laws” priviliging religion. Because if, in the face of western outrage, they pardon people, that is of limited use. Saying “Yes, you are still offenders, but we will pardon you because we are merciful” whereas the correct thing to say is “You have done nothing wrong at all, if the law says you have then the law is an ass, so we will make it more sane”

    The USA has a secular government under which Christians thrive, & religious minorities or the heathen can live in peace. To be honest I do think Islam has to be weakened as a social/cultural force before that can happen, but I couldn’t tell you what Western well-wishers can do to bring that happy day about.

    Long- not just Egypt.

  • Manny

    My reaction was similar to some that have already posted – God bless the muslims that stood with the Christians. It took fortitude given the threats that will come their way.

  • dry valleys

    Mubarak recently laid waste to the Muslim Brotherhood as an even vaguely independent force. Yet he must know that their supporters are at large, wanting Islamism. The fear is that he will try to draw their fangs by making some moves in their direction, as a way of keeping his own power.

    If ordinary people show that they are in no mood for that sort of approach, then the regime will probably respond. They will give way on what to them is a minor thing if it keeps them in power.

  • dry valleys

    “If ordinary people show”

    Which to their credit they seem to be doing now.

    One wonders how many people here would do the same thing.

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  • sammy

    Wow all the religious fanatic comments on here by the Christians are disgusting. You guys are just as bad as the Muslim extremists, if not worse. It’s good to see the two religions finally coming together. Especially since Christianity, Islam and Judaism stem from the same roots and are extremely similar.

  • Anonymous

    My friend, this kind of hate and ignorance is unnecessary and destructive. I myself am Muslim and would do the same had I been in their place. Most people would.

    You claim to be a realist – and yet your idea of what is “Islamic” is unrealistic. Your ideas of Islam are as twisted as those who commit crimes in its name. Don’t play into their hands and further their ideology.


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  • tomacz

    sammy do not judge 5-600,000,000 christian people by 3 5,or 7 ding dongs, christian fanatics
    ,thanks to those muslims who live and show tolerance,,,,,we will guard your sheep,you watch over ours,

    allah mish’hua ‘quaina

  • Michael Hudak