By Imam Shamsi Ali*)
REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, I am waking up to horrific news coming out of Egypt, where bombs targeted two Coptic churches as the Christian faithful observed Palm Sunday, one of the most important days on the religion's calendar.
The so-called "Islamic State" has apparently claimed responsibility. Dozens have been killed and scores were wounded. This deadly violence against Egypt’s Christians reminds me of the importance of Prophet Muhammad’s treaty with Christian monks at St. Catherine’s, Mount Sinai (Egypt) in 628 AD.
In his letter, Prophet Muhammad championed universal peace and harmony between Christians and Muslims. Not only did he outline how Christians are to be treated by Muslims, but Prophet Muhammad also stressed human rights, freedom of conscious, freedom of worship, and the right to protection in war.
The Covenant states: "Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the last day (end of the world).”
He also proclaimed: "No one is to destroy a house of [Christianity], to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses... Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey his prophet. Verily, [Christians] are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate."
Prophet Muhammad would have condemned any violence towards Christians and people of non-Muslim faiths. This piece that I wrote a few months is certainly relevant in light of today's sad news.
So let me reiterate again. Human life is sacred. As happen in many places, Syria, India, Burma, and others, what happened last night in Egypt is deeply condemned. This is inhumane, evil, and has no religious and moral ground. Especially against people worshipping their Lord, at houses of worship, in a Holidays. I condemned this attack to the fullest. My heartfelt condolence and prayers for the victims and their families.
*) An Imam an interfaith activist in NYC Nusantara Foundation, MFA, and JMC. author of several books, incl. Sons of Abaram: Issues unite & devide Jews and Muslims.