This was the slogan cheered on by supporting Egyptian Muslims as they poured onto the streets to act as a "human shield" for their Coptic Christian brothers to show the world that Egypt stands collectively against terrorism. Thousands of Muslims came out to support their Christian brothers during their Christmas eve mass services in churches on Thursday after the recent New Year's attack on a Coptic Church in Alexandria. You can read the full story here and here.
“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.” (Ahmra Online)While Americans battle over whether or not we feel it's right to build a place of worship blocks away from Ground Zero (not to mention how quickly it was forgotten), Muslims in Egypt are coming out to protect and support their frightened Christian brothers. We in the West forget that the majority of terrorist attacks by Muslims are against Muslims. How can we really put them in the same camp? How can we label them all terrorist when Muslims are victims as well? I wish stories of compassion and brotherhood were more widely broadcast. But of course "love" and "brotherhood" doesn't sell as well as death, destruction, and mayhem.
Islam is not a monolithic group set out to destroy the West or out to conquer Christianity. Muslims are as diverse as any other religious group. Many of them yearn for a peaceful life where they can work, eat, pray, and raise their family. How is that any different than the American or Judeo-Christian values we so love to loudly proclaim? Sane people all over the world want the same thing and share the same values: to be able to work, eat, drink, and be merry. I know this one story of Muslims supporting Christians in a far away country won't change anyone's perception of Muslims, but I can only hope it might raise suspicions among readers who hold negative stereotypes of our Muslims neighbors. I can only hope.
(h/t to Andrew Hackman of Hackman's Musing for sharing this on his Facebook page.)