Egyptian Muslims stand up for their Christian brothers and sisters

I want to discuss the heartwarming story Dr. Cargill brought up in lecture and which he also has posted up on his blog. This is a story of social justice in action.

What stirred this act of social justice was an event that occurred during new years mass, where (now suspected) Al-Qaida Muslims bombed a Coptic Christian church. This is the heart-wrenching part, and stirs anger into anyone that hates to see the unnecessary loss of human life. However, something heart-warming has come out of this: Egyptian Muslims recently rallied around the Coptic Christian place of prayer while the Christians worshipped. The Egyptian Muslims formed  human shields, literally sacrificing their bodies to show support for their fellow Egyptians inside and their disgust with the people of their own faith who had caused the harm days earlier.

This truly is a great act of humanity. In offering their bodies, they are displaying a “united front against terrorism and religious intolerance” (Dr. Cargill’s blog). This truly is an act that proves there might indeed be some hope for humanity. For if we can stop focusing our energy on hatred and move more of our thoughts towards love, a world of brotherhood that past revolutionaries like MLK and Gandhi felt was possible could become that much closer to a reality.

To me, this struggle exemplifies an obstacle that seems to come up with every matter concerning social justice, and which needs to be surmounted for real progress to occur. This obstacle is the apathy of the people not “directly” involved in a crisis – or in other words, the lack of care of the people who feel themselves unable to help in progressing forward and making changes. This kind of apathetic thinking depresses me. Why does it seem so many people accept their inadequacy or their insignificance in the face of social struggles for justice? Why live if you can’t stand up for what you believe in? We all need to rise above our “individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity” (MLK).

If you still can’t see your part in these kinds of struggles, maybe this simple fact will help: the majority of the hatred or feelings promoting injustice originate from “the few” – a person or small group of people with bottled up anger and hatred for one reason or another. These are, in most cases, not the feelings of an entire people or nation. It is thus vital, in such cases of hatred, that those not harboring such feelings of hatred (most of the muslims of Egypt, in this case) speak out and let their thoughts be heard. Just as a few people can promote injustice, a few people working for justice pushing the other way can shift the balance towards a better world. Never doubt your role in any struggle.

I think this obstacle of “mass apathetic silence” is expressed best by MLK:

“…the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.

In other words, if you feel strongly about an issue and know it to be wrong, speak up and make things happen. You can be the person that can spark real change towards a better world if you’re not afraid to break the silence.

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~ by Andru on January 12, 2011.

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