My brother Benedict sent me his translation of an article by a Muslim, Wael Farouq, strongly moved by the witness of the Christian martyrs of recent months:
Some, climbing to heaven, have left their bodies hanging from crosses; others left their hearts at their homes and have went away, they have chosen hunger, thirst, tears as their companions and have fled. All of them could have escaped these agonies, a few words would have sufficed to renounce their faith and there life would have been spared. But they were given a choice and they chose: they renounced life to choose eternity, they renounced lies to choose truth. They have offered to all believers a witness steeped in agony testifying that a life without faith is not worth living. In an age of doubt, of uncertainty, of nihilism they have chosen to become incarnate signs of certainty. What is happening in Iraq, in Syria, in the Holly Land is not a crime with inhuman assassins as its protagonists. It is a heroic epic with tens of thousands of common people, people like you and I; tens of thousands who have chosen to abandon all their goods for the sake of spiritual freedom; tens of thousands of people like you and I who have demonstrated that the person is more powerful than power. Faced with this testimony I would like to say to the Holy Father Francis that I along with millions of Muslims pray together with him, trusting that the Good and Merciful God who loves His children will hear his prayer and will answer it. I would like to tell him that we will not be moved by those who are moved by vengeance and who prepare the ground for a great war in the name of religion.
We will not defend those who have lost their lives for their own faith by renouncing our own faith. We will not renounce our faith in peace, we will not renounce our faith in love.
I wish to tell the Holy Father that I and the millions of Muslims who have changed their profile picture on the social media sites, replacing them, in solidarity with the Christians, with the letter N, which stands for Nazarene; that I and the Muslims that went to the streets to defend with our own bodies the Coptic churches from the extremists; that I and all the learned Muslims who have condemned the acts of that gang of terrorists, renouncing them (going so far that the Saudi Mufti known for his orthodoxy called them the number one enemy of Islam) furthermore without finding any western media that would publish this our renunciation; that I and the intellectuals who have written thousands of articles in order to condemn these crimes, that I and the thousands of Sunni, Shia, Yazidi, and secular victims, that we, thank him for having given us a place in his prayers for all of the victims. (Original: Esteri)