Muslims showed up at Christmas Eve mass services in churches around Egypt and at candle light vigils held outside, offering their bodies and lives as “shields” to Egypt’s threatened Christian community. Among those shields were beloved comedian Adel Imam and movie star 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.
The Coptic church celebrates Christmas on January 7, but Christmas almost didn’t happen after a New Year’s eve bombing attack at Saints Church in Alexandria by terrorists which killed 21 people. According to one Muslim student “This is not about us and them. 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 Bishop of Alexandria said that Muslims attending the funeral of the Christian victims of the bombing had treated them like Muslim martyrs and had erupted in applause at the condemnation of the terrorists.
Millions of Egyptians changed their Facebook profile pictures to the image of a cross within a crescent – the symbol of an “Egypt for All”. Around the city, banners went up calling for unity, and depicting mosques and churches, crosses and crescents, together as one.
I can’t help but compare this to our response to the recent terrorist attack in Arizona.