Egyptians bemused by fatwa allowing Muslim-Christian friendships

Published December 19th, 2016 - 10:03 GMT
Cartoon, 2011: Christians and Muslims united in Egypt (Latuff/Wikimedia Commons)
Cartoon, 2011: Christians and Muslims united in Egypt (Latuff/Wikimedia Commons)

Egypt’s Dar al-Ifta has raised eyebrows in the country by issuing a fatwa indicating that it is permissible for Muslims to have non-Muslim friends.

The organization responsible for Islamic legal research in Egypt also indicated that the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims is in essence one of co-existence rather than confrontation and enmity.

The statement was made in response to a recent convert’s question regarding the admissibility of his continued friendship with Christian friends after becoming Muslim.

Egyptians have responded with bemusement or outright anger over the decision which they suggest is patronising and unnecessary given the long history of peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims in the country:

Al Ifta: Friendship between Muslims and Christians is permissible. Now… after all this time!

Even human relationships have started to require a fatwa!

Dar Al Ifta allows Muslim-Christian friendships… Isn’t it a bit early, lads? After another 1400 years maybe they’ll allow friendship between Muslims and non-religious people.

Oh dark days… this means that all this time we were living together sinfully…!!!??

The fatwa comes only a few days after Muslim Egyptians flooded social media with words of support and solidarity for their Christian compatriots following the bombing of Cairo’s Coptic Cathedral which killed 25 people. Christians make up around five percent of the Egyptian population, or around four million people.

RA

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