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May 26, 2005

Another Perspective: Is Lebanese Religious Culture A Model For The West?

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

Beirut may be the only place in the world where you can buy a necklace with a Christian cross and a Muslim crescent moon fused together as one, writes Michael Totten in his TCS article on "Resolving The Clash Of Civilizations." And Beirut may not be the only place in the world where you can find a church and a mosque (in "Why Lebanon Matters") right next to each other, but it's certainly a more common sight there than anywhere else. No other country has so many Christians and Muslims living in the same place that you'll regularly hear both Christian church bells and the muezzin's call to Muslim prayer downtown at the same time. The Lebanese have spent the last 15 years learning to tolerate one another without going on rampages. Now they are moving beyond mere tolerance and are learning to like each other. It's so easy to break a truce. Much harder to break a friendship."

But even in Lebanon and in the midst of such a desire for tolerance - fanatical Islamists such as Hezbolah show no inclination whatsoever for disarmament and peace. The Islamists are the fly in the ointment of Lebanon, as they are in Europe, America, and elsewhere. Christians and Muslims can co-exist, but Islamists have only one agenda which is the submission of everyone to Islam, and to life under Islamic law.

Islamists have an absolute intolerance for non-Muslims, but disquise it under taqiya.  Lebanon is teaching us that Muslims and non-Muslims can co-exist and share friendship, but Islamists, even in Lebanon, aim to force the clash of civilizations and cultures that we are seeing today in the War on Terror.

But as in Lebanon, the Islamist's agenda can be defeated, as the West must do in it's War on Terror which needs to include an effort on the part of Muslims and non-Muslims alike to follow the Lebanese model while joining together to turn-back Islamofascism:

Lebanon is approximately 40 percent Christian and 60 percent Muslim. And from 1975 to 1990 a localized clash of civilizations ripped the country to pieces. Beirut was carved into eastern and western halves -- Christians on one side and Muslims on the other. Christians fought Muslims. Christians fought Christians. Muslims fought Christians, Israelis, Americans, and also each other. It was an apocalyptic war of all sects against all, a Yugoslavia of the Levant.

Since the war's end the Lebanese decided to tolerate each other -- except, at times, for Hezbollah who has been known to burn Lebanese flags along with Israeli and American flags at their rallies. Today many Lebanese are moving beyond mere tolerance and forging ties that bind across sectarian lines.

Some Lebanese believe that they are resolving the "clash of civilizations" - the War on Terror. In Michael Trotten's piece his reference is to Lebanon and he believes that the terror war in Lebanon has been more ideological than religious and civilizational. As he points out, Islamist fanatics have murdered far more Muslims than they have Christians, and also there's no denying a civilizational aspect to a war where the "one-God zealots of the Middle East promise to vanquish the "infidels" only a few years after the Orthodox Christians of Serbia put the Muslims of Europe in Bosnia and Kosovo to the sword."

Some of the tent-city residents have told me their goals are not only national. The goals of some of them (but not all of them) also are global. They truly believe they are resolving the clash of civilizations here in Beirut by proving that Christian and Islamic civilizations can co-exist in peace and in friendship. Lebanon has long been a bridge between East and West. In the future it may play the crucial role of a peace broker.

That may well be the case, but only if the West can stop fueling the division between Muslim and non-Muslim cultures by supporting Islamofascism's agenda-driven sensitivities, demands, violence, hate, and attempts to Islamicize the West. Cross-cultural friendship and cooperation, yes, but dhimmitude - submission to Islam, absolutely not!

Politicians and media, are you listening?

Posted by Hyscience at May 26, 2005 6:04 PM



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