“I know it might not be safe, yet it’s either we live together, or we die together, we are all Egyptians.”
Such are the words one expects of great leaders on the battlefield, of politicians preparing a nation for war, of civic leaders rallying people for an inspiring cause.
But these are the words of Cherine Mohamed, a 50-year-old Egyptian housewife.
These words became a slogan of sorts for many brave Egyptian Muslims who chose yesterday to risk their lives in the wake of the New Year’s violence and attend Christmas Masses with their Coptic Christian brethren, serving as human shields against further potential acts of extremist violence on the Christian holy day.
A movement led by Muslim leaders and journalists, the civilian response has the heartening undertones of a civil rights struggle that transcends religious differences. It is furthermore a demonstration that because government officials in Egypt and other Muslim-majority countries have often failed to defend religious freedom, the people are taking matters into their own hands.
People in Egypt have been risking more than any keyboard commandos have — the ones who bully people without repercussions.
I offer no analysis, except that the people of Egypt have long tired of the constant state of emergency that has allowed the police state to remain in place for nearly 30 years. I eagerly await KTRH’s sniffing rightwing nag from Egypt stock to weigh in tomorrow. Will she laud GWB’s doctrine of imposed non-American democracy/republicanism or will she whip the dead horse that supposedly is the Democrats?
We shall see. I might even call in.