If we support freedom from religion, we must also support freedom of religion.
Coptic Christians (Christians living in Egypt) have been under attack from Muslim radicals lately — 21 Christians in Alexandria were killed in a church attack on New Year’s Eve — there was danger involved in simply attending Christmas mass.
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.
That’s pretty damn awesome, being able to put aside religious differences to support another group’s right to attend their church.
That level of religious intolerance — where your life is in danger for what you believe — isn’t seen in America. But I would hope that when religious people are truly being discriminated against in America — whether on a college campus or just locally — atheists would be among the first groups of people coming to their defense. And I hope the religious groups would do the same for us, though they haven’t done a very good job of that in the past.
(Thanks to Martine for the link)