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:
الافتاء : تجيز صداقه المسلم والمسيحي— nabel adriano (@nabeladriano910) December 15, 2016
دلوقتي،،، وبعد العمر ده كله
Al Ifta: Friendship between Muslims and Christians is permissible. Now… after all this time!
حتى العلاقات الانسانية صارت تستوجب فتوى -— ali sakka (@alisakka) December 15, 2016
الإفتاء تجيز صداقة المسلم والمسيحي https://t.co/K8Ltedfc3T
Even human relationships have started to require a fatwa!
دار الافتاء تجيز صداقة المسلم والمسيحي.. مبكرين شباب؟ بعد ١٤٠٠ سنه ثانيه احتمال يجيزون صداقة المسلم واللادينيhttps://t.co/jEBUwTyZ6P— Yasser (@y_secular) December 15, 2016
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.
يا نهار اسود... يعني كنا عايشين مع بعض في الحرام قبل كده...!!!؟؟— C Johnny (@AymanJohn) December 14, 2016
الإفتاء تجيز صداقة المسلم والمسيحي https://t.co/5OvYoOIWUp
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.
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