What is happening to Muslims? In Egypt's Alexandria, Muslim terrorists killed 21 Coptic Christians on New year's Eve and wounded hundreds. This community has lived in Egypt for almost two thousand years and at 8 million, comprise 10 percent of Egypt's population. In Nigeria, a Muslim terrorist cult attacked several churches last year that left scores dead. In Iraq, a church was taken over by Muslim fanatics on October 31, 2010, that resulted in the killing of about fifty Christians. In Pakistan, Asia Bibi, a Christian and a mother of five, faces a death sentence under the country's notorious blasphemy law. For daring to speak out against this law, Salmaan Taseer, the governor of Punjab, was gunned down by one of his bodyguards.
"My name is Ahmad and I'm a Muslim, but that's not important now," said a young Egyptian high-school student who had gathered spontaneously with a thousand other Egyptians in the Center of Cairo on the first of the year. He was holding the Quran in one hand, a crucifix in the other. "I've come to protest against what happened to our Christian brothers and to show that the religious communities in Egypt won't let themselves be divided."
Such sentiments are indeed being expressed by outraged Muslims at the deaths of minorities who have lived among them for centuries. Unfortunately, they are relatively few in number. Too many Muslims are either afraid or reluctant to speak out against atrocities committed by other Muslims. But let a non-Muslim mock Islam or attack mosques and suddenly these lambs turn into lions as they take to the streets condemning Western aggression and attacking Western interests.
We Muslims cannot continue with this hypocrisy and double-standards for long. We are the ones committing the ultimate blasphemy, through our silence and appeasement of Muslim fanatics. We see Western conspiracy at every corner but are blind to the elephant in the room, the terrorism by Muslims against Muslims and non-Muslims alike. We deny constantly that our cruelest enemies are from within our folds.
We cannot be good Muslims unless we are also good Christians and good Jews. That is what I understand by the reference to "People of the Book" in the Quran. Unless we commit to protecting the minorities living among us, we will be betraying the fundamental tenets of our faith. It is as simple as that. If Muslim minorities living in the West come under attack, can we really blame anyone but ourselves?