Muslim Human Shields for Egyptian Christians

I posted the other night about the “moderate” Muslims in Pakistan who publicly supported the assassination of the governor of Pakistan and anyone who agreed with him about modifying the blasphemy law. In response, a commenter named Al-Khwarizmi left a link to an article from Ahram Online about Egyptian Muslims who volunteered to act as “human shields” for the Copts’ Christmas mass in their cathedral in Cairo, saying that “these are moderates”.

I’ll let readers decide for themselves the larger significance of this story. I see three possibilities:

1. These people are well-meaning and sincere, in which case they are takfiris or apostates from true Islam, and are taking a grave risk.
2. Given that the “human shields” included sons of Hosni Mubarak, #1 seems unlikely. As Egghead suggests, it could simply be a publicity stunt, with propaganda value for Egyptian nationalists. The volunteers would have relied on state security to make sure they weren’t harmed.
3. The participants knew very well that there would be no terror attack that night, and therefore their actions put them in no danger. Once again, the event could be used for nationalist propaganda. This scenario is only plausible if (a) the participants had connections with the state intelligence services, and (b) the intelligence services are working cooperatively with elements of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Or maybe there are other possible explanations. In any case, here’s the article:

Egypt’s Muslims attend Coptic Christmas mass, serving as “human shields”

Muslims turned up in droves for the Coptic Christmas mass Thursday night, offering their bodies, and lives, as “shields” to Egypt’s threatened Christian community

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

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, Jews and Copts. 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 brutal 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 rife brutality. 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, persecuted, 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.

17 thoughts on “Muslim Human Shields for Egyptian Christians

  1. I think this is a basic attempt at occupation, which only ends one way in Islam: the Copts losing all their places of worship.

  2. Deception in the Middle East probably goes deeper than a westerner can appreciate; and as we have waited so long for moderate Moslems to appear, it’s easy to think we’re still waiting.

    The people who run things in the Middle East aren’t realy Islamists, I don’t think, not even in Saudi; they’re too cynical for that. The presence of Mubarak’s sons means this effort has the highest official support, which doesn’t mean it isn’t sincere, or that many of the participants aren’t sincere.

    I think a lot of people in Egypt, from various groups, perceive the situation as getting out of hand, a balance between Eqyptian nationalism, civilized public order and Islamism being lost.

  3. Why not accept it for what it is. There are plenty in the Muslim brotherhood who wouldn’t mind seeing Mubarak son dead.

    There is no question that radical Islam is an international danger that needs to be challenged but when Muslims do something, even something symbolic it is worth applauding.

  4. Thanks, Baron. Here is the main theme of my comment on the original thread:

    Too little, too late.

    Let their overall societal actions on more than one night prove me wrong over time. I’m waiting….

    To be clear: Non-Muslims do NOT want some Muslims to act as human shields for one religious service after the annual Muslim Christmas massacre. Non-Muslims want ALL Muslims to fundamentally recognize the humanity of non-Muslims at all times in all places and to stop promulgating incessant hate speech and actions against non-Muslims.

  5. datechguy —

    This blog’s function does not include “applauding” what Muslims do or don’t do. Virtually the entire MSM is already dedicated to that task — those who want applause for Muslims can easily look elsewhere.

    But I am interested in deducing the likely truth of what is going on. I don’t mind if it turns out to make Muslims look good — that’s a perfectly acceptable outcome.

  6. Let’s see these “human shields” remain at their posts all the way up and until the next bombing.

    THEN let’s see how many of the survivors show up for duty the very next time and for weeks thereafter. That might be a convincing display.

    The state cleary sanctions, if not actively participates in, too much of the oppression against Copts that is happening throughout Egypt.

    In the broader light of world events and those actions by Muslims in much more free countries where speaking out carries, literally, no risk at all, it is the usual deafening silence much like that so often emanating from Egypt and, therefore, difficult to take in anything but the most cynical manner.

    At best, this is a reaction by Muslims who realize that the Christian world is being pushed to the very brink by Islamic jihad and merely an effort by them to forestall the tremendous backlash that is long overdue.

    Egypt is home to Al Azhar University in Cairo which is a premier source of the jihadist and anti-Western propaganda that so thoroughly permeates modern Islam. Let me know when supposedly moderate Egyptian Muslims are storming the gates of that hate factory. Maybe then I will take any of this seriously.

  7. I tend to agree with Egghead, and I find the naivete of other commenters wearying, if not aggrieving.

    What is really going on with this spectacle in Egypt reflects a tension within the Muslim world we see in several (probably all) the nations into which the Umma has been sociopolitically splintered by Western colonialism and the post-colonialist Western order that continues to enjoy global hegemony.

    This tension subsists between the Muslims who want to accept the fait accompli status quo of a Muslim “nation” (with the spice of cultural “pride” of self-identity as an “Egyptian” or an “Iraqi” etc., even though they reflect more the artificial creations of the Western Colonialists than anything from Islamic history) — while having their cake of “Sharia Lite” and the sociopolitical system that goes along with that which allows for a constant, though irregular, superiority of the Muslim over the non-Muslim as thus a “Dhimmitude Lite”, reflected in myriad ways, from leniency for violent crimes or business abuses perpetrated by Muslims against non-Muslims, to the relative ability to harrass, mistreat, lynch, abduct, rape non-Muslims whenever the Muslim feels like it (often at dusk after feeling whipped up into a religious fervor after Friday khutba sermons).

    I.e., what these “thousands” of Muslims are saying with their spectacle of “human shields” is this:

    “Our Egyptian order of quasi-dhimmitude is working just fine: we wish to “protect” our Christian population according to that order, and we don’t need an Islamic revolution to overturn that order. Once we can show we are able to dhimmitudinously “protect” our Christian subclass, we can go back to the way things were before, where we can keep our thumbs, and our collective foot, on the inferior Copts — as the rightful way society should be, with Muslims on top and Dhimmis making way for us down the street, etc.”

    The difference between these two types of Muslim then is more or less 1) one which doesn’t want to rock the boat because it sees that boat as sufficiently Islamic already (though they wouldn’t come out and say, under world news scrutiny, that being “sufficiently Islamic” means being able to enjoy mistreating and abusing Dhimmis in myriad ways), and 2) others who want to revive the Islamic imperative for a supra-national order as the eschatological vehicle for world conquest.

    The thing for us to appreciate — which takes a combination of subtlety, literacy in Islam, and a profoundly dark cynicism about Muslims — is that these two types of Muslim are mutually fungible and essentially work toward the same end. The mere fact that various Muslims and Muslim groups are at odds with each other, and often kill each other, is utterly irrelevant to the fanatical disease which unifies them all, and which endangers us all.

    Unfortunately, too many in the anti-Islam movement see disagreements, or even internecine dissension among Muslims, and conclude that Islam is not unified and that all Muslims do not in fact share a common desideratum that endagers all non-Muslims. The rule of thumb here is to classify any and all disgreements, dissensions and discord among Muslims as a reflection of the disease that pulsates at the heart of Islam and which, far from undermining the dangerous unity of that disease, actually is a demonic symptom of that unity.

    The danger is not that Muslims will in fact unify into a successful conquest of the world: the danger is the amount of mayhem and misery which innumerable minions among them will be able to wreak successfully merely in trying, but failing to succeed in their perennial dream of world conquest.

    The Hesperado

  8. Thrasymachus: “The people who run things in the Middle East aren’t realy Islamists, I don’t think, not even in Saudi; they’re too cynical for that.”

    Because Islam equals Saudi Arab supremacism, Saudi Arabian royalty has plowed significant Saudi oil profits into building foreign mosques and madrassas that spread radical violent Wahhabi Islam throughout the world – instead of raising the standard of living for average Saudi citizens.

    In my opinion, Saudi royalty has the same logic as other Muslims, which is that, even when Muslims participate in certain activities that are against Islam (e.g., drinking alcohol), all past and present Muslims fundamentally self-identify as Muslims – before all other familial, social, cultural, and political identifications.

    In my opinion, the reason for this complete self-identification with being Muslim is that non-Muslims and apostates are anathema – who may be violently murdered with impunity without trial at any time by any member of the worldwide ummah.

    Thus, even cynical non-practicing or less than devout Muslims will ALWAYS self-identify as Muslims to avoid the psychological and political pain of being targeted for violent death.

    Indeed, even the widely known and celebrated apostate named Wafa Sultan has been known to say that she will always think of herself as a Muslim – despite the fact that, as an atheist apostate, Wafa Sultan is clearly anti-Islam – and being Muslim clearly equals practicing Islam. Catch-22!

    Evidently, it is hard for born and bred Muslims to overcome their early Islamic brainwashing that to be Muslim is to be human whereas to be non-Muslim is to be less than human – whether mutilated dead body or sex slave or unclean animal.

  9. P.S. Before Obama was elected as our “Impostor-in-Chief”, I remember hearing (and believing!) Republican Newt Gingrich on Fox News arguing that “educated” Obama could NOT possibly believe the anti-white anti-American propaganda of Reverand Wright’s church and that Obama simply attended that anti-white anti-American church in order to get elected Senator by the anti-white anti-American constituents of that area.

    Well, Gingrich was wrong about that call.

    I am using the Obama-Gingrich example to make the point that, if Saudi royalty is spreading Islam as far and fast as possible, then Westerners can ONLY conclude that Saudi royalty BELIEVES in Islam – including the jihadist mandate to eliminate ALL non-Muslims by any convenient or available short-term or long-term methods.

    We had better believe the loud and proud Muslims who fight for Islam to ELIMINATE non-Muslims – instead of merely hoping for the best in human nature to spontaneously mutate and generate fully-formed and fully-informed Muslims from the otherwise evil ideology of Islam.

  10. Hesperado: The thing for us to appreciate — which takes a combination of subtlety, literacy in Islam, and a profoundly dark cynicism about Muslims — is that these two types of Muslim are mutually fungible and essentially work toward the same end. The mere fact that various Muslims and Muslim groups are at odds with each other, and often kill each other, is utterly irrelevant to the fanatical disease which unifies them all, and which endangers us all. [emphasis added]

    Really well put, Hesperado. You have successfully articulated an otherwise difficult-to-explain form of unavoidable cynicism that is, literally, mandated after any prolonged study of Islam by a non-Muslim.

    That cynicism is similar to the undying mistrust that just as often arises after gaining a thorough understanding of Islam’s institutionalized deceit through taqiyya and kitman.

    I, too, sought to make a point related to yours with my comment in the “Biding Their Time” thread:

    If anything, the overall analysis provides a very useful window upon how it is that even the most extreme Muslims continually find in other [also extreme] co-religionists some infinitesimal “impurity” that warrants labeling their fellow jihadist-in-arms as taqfir and, therefore, worthy of being dispatched in the usual blood-soaked manner.

    Violence is the central and indispensible problem-solving tool of Islam and no quarter of the ummah is without its adherence to that maxim.

    As Hesperado noted, there is this core unification of principle within Islam that, by intent or default, transcends all internecine conflict and allows even so many fractious splinters to have a consolidated negative and ultimately lethal final effect.

    Ignore it at your supreme peril.

  11. It’s obvious.
    No terror attack was planned in the first place.
    Muslims get a nice walk outside.
    They get to see the Church up close (planning “Allah” knows what).
    The differences between Islam and Christianity remain.
    The conflicts are unresolved.
    Muslims should never be trusted.
    This “human shielding” was a forced interaction, not one that was specifically petitioned for by the Copts.
    Islam is profane.
    Mohammed is a false prophet.
    This demonstration of supposed solidarity is all a TISSUE OF LIES!

  12. When will the Muslim Occupation of the Christian Middle East, the Zoroastrian region, and Hindu, Buddhist and animist areas of Asia end?

    When will the Muslim invaders return to Arabia from where they came and allow the original inhabitants of the plundered and occupied regions they stole to reclaim their lands and birthrights?

    In Egypt?

    And Syria? Turkey? Lebanon? Jordan? Iran? Iraq? (India’s former region known since the late 1940’s as) “Pakistan” ? Afghanistan? Indonesia? Tunisia? Libya? Algeria? Morocco? Ad nauseam.

    This “protect the Copts” P.R. stunt glosses over the Great Crime of Islam.

    A Ideology which uses sanctified Terrorism to conquer the planet.

    And which knows enough to utilize the illusion of “peacefulness”, when weak, to sucker the infidels into delusional passivity so that the ceaseless Jihad can continue covertly.

    If Islam were as strong as the West, the West would not exist.

  13. Thanks Zenster.

    You included the necessary ingredients: taqiyya and taqfir.

    The latter is the psychotic paranoia about “enemies” and “purity” which diseases the Muslim mind; the former is the lengths to which they will go to try to deceive and lull the enemy, whenever they are unable to simply overpower him with violence.

  14. This is so unusual that I do find almost too good to believe.

    A couple of liberals I know have said “You won’t find anything about this on FOX Noise” and “Fox will spin it negatively”. At this moment doesn’t have an article about this. Oddly, neither does the NYTimes! It only has a link to a conservative blogger, and the link is screwed up (although the blog post is there).

    My public attitude is cautiously optimistic, i.e., great, but let’s see if there’s more to follow. I think we have to be that way or we look like the bad guys. My private attitude is much more skeptical.

  15. I’m inclined to say that the high profile of the event meant that option 2 (and perhaps, on the part of the imam, option 3 as well).

    But the man on the street might have option 1 as their motivation (in which case, it was the presence of high-profile people who protected them).

    But I can already see that it will indeed mean official business as usual. Christmas is a time when Muslim politicians visit the churches they oppress the other 364 days. In short, I can’t count it as enough.

    Why? Because the wrong people are calling the shots, and they are supported by Islam, Sharia and those willing to butcher for it.

  16. An encouraging gesture – but unless it results in better safety and conditions in general for Copts, a gesture is all it is…..

    And how many of those “human shields” thought that the Copts “had it coming” for “imprisoning” a woman who “converted to Islam”??

    And how many think that discriminating against Copts and kidnapping their daughters is perfectly OK, if Islamic clerics allow it?

    I’ll bet that it’s quite a few… Nonetheless, it’s a gesture that gives some hope of change in the future… “change we can believe in”?

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