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… will we ever get to see this happening in our country??
this happened 15 days ago but i only got to know of it 3 days ago when it came via forwarded email. since today is sunday (a day where i refrain from posting anything political), it’s a good time to post this up.
the coptic orthodox church celebrates christmas on 7 jan, not 25 dec as many other churches do.
i would like to highlight one part:
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.
you see, the muslim there have no problem with the symbol of the cross at all… whereas in malaysia… *shake head* *sigh*… just a little vertical straight line with a horizontal straight line across it, made them jumped 10 feet high!
i understand that a church where they open their space for public parking, those who wish to park there, must pay and use the church’s car sticker. with the car sticker, the car park attendant will know they are member so allowed them to park. however, there were some malays who also use the church’s parking space (and paid) but refused to use the car sticker… because, you guess it… the sticker has a small cross on it. goodness! picture of a cross on their car! sacrilegious! other people will think they have become christians! can you believe that? but shouldn’t a rule is a rule. if they want to park, they should have the sticker on their car. hmm… i don’t want to say further (but some people who comment might!).
ahramonline (go there for photos)
Egypt’s Muslims attend Coptic Christmas mass, serving as “human shields”
Yasmine El-Rashidi , Friday 7 Jan 2011
Egypt’s majority Muslin population stuck to its word Thursday night. What had been a promise of solidarity to the weary Coptic community, was honored when thousands of Muslims showed up at Coptic Christmas eve mass services in churches around the country and at candle light vigils held outside. (see photo gallery)
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 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.
“This is not about us and them,” said Dalia Mustafa, a student who attended mass at Virgin Mary Church on Maraashly Street. “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.”
In the days following the brutal attack on Saints Church in Alexandria, which left 21 dead on New Year’ eve, solidarity between Muslims and Copts has seen an unprecedented peak. 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.
The attack has rocked a nation that is no stranger to acts of terror, against all of Muslims, Copts and Jews. In January of last year, on the eve of Coptic Christmas, a drive-by shooting in the southern town of Nag Hammadi killed eight Copts as they were leaving Church following mass. In 2004 and 2005, bombings in the Red Sea resorts of Taba and Sharm El-Sheikh claimed over 100 lives, and in the late 90’s, Islamic militants executed a series of bombings and massacres that left dozens dead.
This attack though comes after a series of more recent incidents that have left Egyptians feeling left out in the cold by a government meant to protect them.
Last summer, 28-year-old businessman Khaled Said was beaten to death by police, also in Alexandria, causing a local and international uproar. Around his death, there have been numerous other reports of police brutality, random arrests and torture.
Last year was also witness to a ruthless parliamentary election process in which the government’s security apparatus and thugs seemed to spiral out of control. The result, aside from injuries and deaths, was a sweeping win by the ruling party thanks to its own carefully-orchestrated campaign that included vote-rigging, corruption and widespread violence. The opposition was essentially annihilated. And just days before the elections, Copts – who make up 10 percent of the population – were once again the subject of persecution, when a government moratorium on construction of a Christian community centre resulted in clashes between police and protestors. Two people were left dead and over 100 were detained, facing sentences of up to life in jail.
The economic woes of a country that favours the rich have only exacerbated the frustration of a population of 80 million whose majority struggle each day to survive. Accounts of thefts, drugs, and violence have surged in recent years, and the chorus of voices of discontent has continued to grow.
The terror attack that struck the country on New Year’s eve is in many ways a final straw – a breaking point, not just for the Coptic community, but for Muslims as well, who too feel marginalized, oppressed, and overlooked by a government that fails to address their needs. On this Coptic Christmas eve, the solidarity was not just one of religion, but of a desperate and collective plea for a better life and a government with accountability.