As you know we go long on the dangers of radical Islam on this blog. It’s a serious threat that we ignore at our peril.

That being said it is just as important to note positive signs and this certainly qualifies

After a New Year’s Eve attack against Coptic Christian Churches in Egypt, there was some concern that this week’s celebration of Christmas by Egypt’s oldest Christian community (which follows the same calender as the Orthodox Church) would lead to more attacks. Which is why many Egyptian Muslims decided to show up at Coptic Churches last night

And why did they show up? To keep their word and to show unity:

Egypt’s majority Muslim population stuck to its word Thursday night. What had been a promise of solidarity to the weary Coptic community, was honoured, when thousands of Muslims showed up at Coptic Christmas eve mass services in churches around the country and at candle light vigils held outside.

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.

And unlike the “shields” of the left who show up when there is little danger (such as those trying to protect Saddam) these people actually put their lives on the line since Al Qaeda has shown no compunction when it comes to killing their fellow Muslims in the past. This is true courage and should be applauded.

The importance of this can’t be overestimated as Jawa reports explains:

Remember the Coptic Christians suffer, but the group who suffers the most from al-Qaeda’s murderous acts are Muslims. So the Copts and the Muslims both risk death by disagreeing with al-Qaeda.

Exactly right. It seems to me that a lot of people are being played by Al-Qaeda in the same way. When you see story after story like this it is a wonderful thing to see signs of hope. May there be more.

As a person who follows the war on terror and radical Islam, I have read many stories like this:

In the weeks before the New Year’s Day suicide bombing of an Egyptian church, al-Qaida-linked websites carried a how-to manual on “destroying the cross,” complete with videos on how to build a bomb and the locations of churches to target — including the one that was attacked.

They may have found a receptive audience in Alexandria, where increasingly radicalized Islamic hard-liners have been holding weekly anti-Christian demonstrations, filled with venomous slogans against the minority community.

This is not news to me, but the fact is this story didn’t come from my normal haunts. This story comes from MSNBC. What a shocker. I don’t know how much they are promoting this story but it is quite a change.

Of course to us old hands this news is as unsurprising as this story from Palestinian Media Watch:

A glimpse of the world of education in Sur Baher in East Jerusalem was recently made available by Hamas TV. A broadcast showed how the Jerusalem children in the Islamic Riyad (Gardens of) Al-Aqsa School were taught to sing about desiring death: “May our blood be shed.”

They also sang the following in front of the cameras:
“How strong is the army of Al-Aqsa.
I am a soldier, defending its protected area.
How precious is the land of Al-Aqsa.
I shall give up my life for its sake.”

This footage of young children singing and being taught these lines in the Islamic Riyad Al-Aqsa School in Sur Baher appeared in a documentary program entitled “The Shahids’ (Martyrs’) Wedding” on Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV.

This is the same thing people like Pam Geller and Robert Spencer have been trying to warn folks about for years

Of course maybe these “Palestinians” have a point they have to defend against the evils of Israeli spy vultures and Sharks and Squirrels (yes those are real stories).

Then again yesterday’s news out of Pakistan of the murder of the Governor of Punjab by his own bodyguard makes it impossible to pretend that radical Islam is not the driving force here.

Taseer’s apparent killer cited his boss’s stance against a controversial anti-blasphemy law in justifying his actions.

And the reaction of to the killings has been frankly disgusting:

Hundreds of Facebook users welcomed the killing of liberal Pakistani politician Salman Taseer as a strike against reformers of the country’s tight blasphemy laws. The Punjab governor was shot on Tuesday by one of his guards, 26-year-old Mumtaz Qadri, who confessed to the murder because of Taseer’s vocal opposition to the law that was recently used to sentence a Christian woman to death.

You might remember that story, the woman got water for a group of people who refused to drink from the bucket because it was fetched by a Christian and therefore unclean. After the woman’s objection she was arrested and sentenced to death for blasphemy.

But that’s only facebook, it’s not as if the papers were backing this guy up:

Pakistan’s leading Urdu-language newspaper, Jang, ran a front-page story declaring: “There should be no funeral for Salman Taseer and no condemnation for his death.”

“A supporter of a blasphemer is also a blasphemer,” said a sub-heading, reporting that 500 religious scholars and clerics had paid tribute to Qadri.

and remember the murdered man was a Muslim! Sarah Memom is confused:

Islam never preaches for one Muslim to kill another Muslim, then why are all these atrocities happening?

The worst part is that his own guard killed him, after seeing this, how is one suppose to trust another, how is one suppose to have a sense of security.

Apparently Sarah hasn’t been paying attention. These guys have a history of going after their fellow Muslim’s if they preach peace:

Taseer lamented the power of the religious mob in an interview last summer following bombings of mosques belonging to the Ahmadi sect, whose members identify themselves as Muslims but are barred by the constitution from “posing” as such.

The Ahmadi sect has a mosque in Fitchburg, I’ve interviewed the Iman and visited his Mosque, he is a good man and they are a credit to both the city, their religion. Then again I suspect they would be targeted for the very things we celebrate about them.

While commentators opine I suspect this man is next on the list so to speak:

Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti condemned Saturday the recent announcement of a reward for killing the jailed Christian woman on death row for blasphemy.

Bhatti said the call is unjust and irresponsible and should be discouraged in the strongest possible manner because no one has the right to issue a decree to kill someone else, according to Pakistan’s Daily Times newspaper. He also added that Pakistan is a civilized country and violation of the rule of law is not allowed.

“Every legal and constitutional means will be adopted in the Asia Bibi case,” assured Bhatti, who was in charge of investigating the case and reported that Bibi was innocent to President Asif Ali Zadari.

If the media is starting to notice this then there is hope, now if they can only make the connection between this stuff and the people we are fighting (and the voices in Islam we should support such as the Ahmadiyya Muslim community) then the worm may finally be turning!

And as the terror attacks come, so does the attempt to blame anybody but the true killers:

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was one of the first to muddy the waters, claiming that “foreign hands… a terrorist operation that is alien to us,” rather than homegrown jihadists, carried out the attack. “All of Egypt is targeted,” Mubarak went on, digging deeper. “This blind terrorism does not differentiate between Copts and Muslims.”

Yet no mosque was targeted, and no Muslim was killed. It was a remarkable coincidence that this “blind terrorism” that did not “differentiate between Copts and Muslims” struck at a Coptic church, killing only Christians and no Muslims at all.

Yeah must have been the Flemish Menace at work, but no; Lebanese Shi’ite leader Sheikh Abdel Amir Kabalan finds a different culprit:

“This terrorist act bears the fingerprints of Zionists who keep on targeting religious sights [sic] and are working to … sow discord between Muslims and Christians.” I

Well who is going to back up nonsense like this: Well the Iranians are:

Although, at first glance, the finger is pointed at extremist Wahabi or Salafi groups, it goes without saying that no Muslim, whatever their political leanings may be, will ever commit such an inhumane act.

Attacks on churches in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq and Tunisia can be analyzed in the context of a Zionist scenario aimed at driving a wedge between Muslims and Arab Christians.

Gee I don’t know why anyone would get the idea that Muslims would do violence:

Israel says it has charged two workers at the British Consulate in Jerusalem with arms trafficking, in connection to an alleged plot by militants to fire a rocket into a football stadium.

Or maybe this:

The latest bloody attack on Iraq’s Christians was brutal in its simplicity. Militants left a bomb on the doorstep of the home of an elderly Christian couple and rang the doorbell.
When Fawzi Rahim, 76, and his 78-year-old wife Janet Mekha answered the doorbell Thursday night, the bomb exploded, killing them, Mekha’s brother told The Associated Press on Friday. Three other people, apparently passers-by, were wounded.
“When I went there, I found both of them cut to pieces near the gate of their house,”

Or maybe this

According to eyewitnesses, a green Skoda car pulled up outside the church shortly after midnight. Two men got out, one of them talked shortly on his mobile phone, and the explosion occurred almost immediately after they left the scene. On the back of the Skoda was a sticker with the words “the rest is coming” (video of car explosion and Muslims shouting “Allah Akbar”).

It was reported that the bomb, locally made, had 100KG of explosives in addition to having nails, glass and iron balls inside. The strength of it not only caused glass panes to be shattered in all the neighborhood, but also made body parts fly into the building’s fourth floor, and to the mosque facing the church.

or this:

Eyewitnesses confirmed that security forces guarding the church withdrew nearly one hour before the blast, leaving only four policemen and an officer to guard such a big church and nearly 2000 people attending the midnight mass. “Normally they would have waited until the mass was over,” said el-Gezeiry.

Well it’s not as if respectable Egyptians are making wild charges

A coalition of Egyptian lawyers accused Israel of being behind an terror attack in Alexandria that killed 22 members of the Christian Copt sect attending midnight mass on New Year’s eve, Army Radio reported Monday.

And of course leading Muslim clerics are standing with the Pope in his request that world leaders protect Christians under attack, aren’t they?

The call, [from Pope Benedict to respect the lives of Christians…] following a deadly church car-bombing in northern Egypt, was “unacceptable interference in Egypt’s affairs,”

Although at least he condemned the bombing and met with the Coptic Pope.

One problem with the argument blaming Israel is the tactic involved as Captain Ed explains:

The bomber died in the blast, according to Egyptian officials, which would tend to rule out the Mossad, which doesn’t exactly have a track record of conducting suicide bombings.

See it’s gotta be the Flemish menace! But when it comes to killing Christians, Andrew Sullivan manages to blame Bush.

In his latest he laments the possibility that Israel will cease to be a democracy. Although on topic Israel Matzav answers him the better question is this. Why isn’t Jeffrey denouncing the lack of democracy among Israel’s enemies?

The idea that this fellow who worships at the altar of Fidel Castro is crying about the limits of democratic government is laughable. I hope the Babalu guys weren’t drinking when they saw this story.

The brilliant Ron Radosh explains the whys and wherefores of this kind of attitude now evident in David Remnick

“liberals like Remnick are simply tired of standing up for a cause that has become unpopular on the left.” In making his comment, Remnick announces that he is officially adopting the position taken a few years back by the London leftist intellectuals

Because in the end nothing is more important than being considered part of the right club. And in a slight variation of the old social club model being a supporter of Jews in Israel is enough to keep you out.

I’m with Fr. O’Malley on this one.