A few weeks ago, we reported on an incredible display of solidarity between Egypt's Coptic Christian and Muslim communities. After a suicide bomber killed 21 Coptic Christians in a horrific New Year's Day attack in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, thousands of Egyptian Muslims took to the streets to act as human shields to escort their Coptic neighbors to mass.
Now it seems that some Coptic Christians are working to return the favor. This powerful image from an anonymous source on the ground in Egypt depicts Coptic Christians forming a human chain around their Muslim comrades as they kneel to perform Ṣalāh, the ritual prayer performed five times each day by devout Muslims.
Some of the most powerful images emerging from the Egyptian protests for democracy have included scenes of protesters kneeling in prayer. One of the protests' most iconic moments to date occurred last week, when protesters stopped to perform Ṣalāh in front of a wall of riot police on the Kasr al Nile Bridge in Cario, only to have the powerful hose from an armored vehicle turned on them.
In addition to the incredible symbol of solidarity and interfaith cooperation the image above represents, it will hopefully help to dispel some of the wholly irresponsible rumors being circulated by conservatives that these protests are being fueled by "radical Islamic" elements instead of the genuine desire of the Egyptian people for a more just and democratic government. As the refrain from the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, and Suez continues to remind us, "Muslim, Christian, we are all Egyptian."