Muslims in Egypt turn up en masse to Coptic Christmas, serving as “human shields”
Thursday night over one thousand Muslims showed up to Christian Coptic Mass services, standing as human shields against violence, side by side with their fellow Egyptians.
“the only way things will change in this country is if we come together”
“This is not about us and them,” said Dalia Mustafa, a student who attended the Christmas mass “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 Coptic Orthodox Church, the largest Christian church in Egypt follows the Alexandrian calendar, meaning Christmas is observed on the 7th day of January.
All of Egypt was still rocking from the brutal attack at Saints Church on New Years Eve, which left 21 dead. The attack was billed by many media outlets as homegrown. Many pointed to local Egyptian Islamic extremist groups, but others dismissed the accusations.
In the days after the attack, solidarity between the two groups experienced an incredible rise. The Cross and Crescent, a symbol of united Egypt, appeared all around the cities and Egyptian online communities. Mosques and Churches were depicted together as one.
Participating in the Christian masses were movie stars Adel Imam and Yousra, Muslim preacher Amr Khaled, and President Hosni Mubarak’s two sons, Alaa and Gamal.
“We either live together, or we die together,” says Mohamed El-Sawy, an art tycoon who is credited with proposing the ‘human shield’ idea.