Friday, 11 February 2011

the value of interfaith...

oh boy, Egypt. it looks like things are close to tipping point over there and i hold the people in my thoughts. there's already plenty of excellent analysis out there and i don't feel i could really add anything worthwhile to it. there is one thing which caught my eye though. i think it's safe to say that all of Blathering Nonsense's contributors hold the matter of interfaith dialogue very close to their hearts. so naturally, i find the coming together of muslims and christians during this revolution moving and inspiring. there are many things we can be learning from the people of Egypt right now and one of the most important is that, beyond the differences of religious identity and belief, underneath we all share the same potential for compassion, love, support and respect to one another. here's what the people have to say (full article can be read here) -

"During the fiercest clashes on January 28, I found a guy about my age guarding my back, who I later found out was a Christian," Yahia Roumi, a 24- year-old protester from Cairo, told IPS. "Now we're best friends; we never go to the demonstrations without one another."

"In Tahrir, I've met many young Muslim activists - even some from the Muslim Brotherhood," Boutros, who preferred not to give his last name, told IPS. "They explained how Islam commands Muslims to protect Christians and Christian places of worship. I learned from them that the Muslims don't have any beliefs that threaten our rights or should frighten us as Copts."

"I'm protecting these churches as if they were mosques, because, according to Islam, we should respect Christian places of worship," Rageb told IPS. "As an Egyptian Muslim, I have no reason to hate Christians. We've always been neighbours here, and our relations are excellent."

and perhaps most tellingly -

"The regime is responsible for the sectarian problems suffered by Copts," Kamel was quoted as saying. "Proof of this is that no church was attacked during the unprecedented absence of security (following the police withdrawal)."

"This corrupt government was behind 90 percent of the problems between Egypt's Christian and Muslim communities, which had coexisted in harmony for hundreds of years," agreed Rageb.

Boutros said: "This uprising won't only bring freedom to Egypt; it will also do much to dispel sectarian tension - of which the ruling regime was the only beneficiary."

namu amida butsu

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