When Some Arabs View Christian Victims As Nothing But “Kuffar:” Thoughts With The Victims of The Egyptian Coptic Church Attacks

Yes, the majority of victims of wars in the Middle East are Muslims. That is not a matter of debate. But the people who have been dealt the worst hand in the ongoing conflicts in this God-forsaken region are minorities who have been systematically targeted in heinous ways, just because they happen to be different.

The latest is a disgusting attack on the Coptic Church in Egypt, on a day where they were celebrating. Palm Sunday was turned black, with two attacks, targeting two Churches hundreds of kilometers apart. The victim tallies are sky-rocketing and are already North of 30. Injured are north of 100, with numbers rising the more details emerge.

This is not the first time the Coptic Church is targeted, and it won’t be the last. The last time such an attack happened was less than 5 months ago, in December where 30 people died. The Copts of Egypt aren’t the only minority in these parts of the world to be systematically targeted as well. Between the Kurds, Muslims who don’t fit into the mold, and Christians of the some areas in the Levant, the stories keep unfolding, each more horrible than the one before it.

Today’s attack on the Churches in Tanta and Alexandria are horrible. Those were people with their children, having spent weeks buying new clothes, picking out the nicest candles, excited to be approaching the end of Lent, and full of humility at entering the week preceding Easter. Some of those people had their last celebration today.

The Copts in Egypt are not in a war-zone. They don’t live in a country ravaged by a dictator whose favorite pastime is using chemical weapons on his people. Their only fault is being a minority in a country they were historically integral to, as is the case with all the other minorities in the Middle Easts who have been forcibly turned into strangers in their own homes.

What can I say – or what can anyone say – to the mother who just lost her son? To the father who lost his daughter just as he was gushing over how adorable she looked right there, standing on that Church pew, as he tried to keep her quiet while the priest went on with his sermon? There’s nothing to say.

I am fortunate enough, as a Lebanese Christian, not to have to go through any of the hardships in 2017 that other minorities, which I would be considered to be elsewhere, in the region have to go through. I live in a country of minorities that are trying (their best?) to coexist together and have learned (or are learning), through all kinds of difficult ways, that one cannot exist without the other.

But that is not the case for governments of other countries in the Middle East. What can you expect from governments whose solution to the whole mess is to start a Twitter hashtag (in Egypt’s case, it’s #United_On_PalmSunday), but forget about the policies in which those same governments keep stomping on their own people to prevent them from assuming their natural place in society.

What can you expect from governments who have made sure that religious entities that help perpetuate the notion that anyone who is not Muslim in the Middle East is a disgrace, a kafer, whose blood is halal? It’s not the fault of Muslims, many of whom are as victims of their condition as those minorities. All this blood rests on the hands of kings, presidents, sheikhs and sometimes even priests who thrive under the perpetuation of the notion of kuffar, and the notion of victimhood.

What use is your sympathy when people get massacred this way when in all the days leading up to their killing, you’ve been teaching in books that considered them second class citizens, you’ve been advocating for laws that see them being slowly robbed of their own country, and you’ve been making sure that they’re to be considered as pests in their own home?

Just look at this sample of responses that news of the attacks in Egypt garnered:

There’s more when these came from. The sample is not comprehensive.

As long as some Arab Muslims look at Christians (and other minorities) in their own countries as abominations, as kuffar, then their countries will never amount to anything decent.

As long as some Muslim “scholars” and sheikhs keep perpetuating the hateful notion that Muslims are the only entities worth of life in their countries, as they shut away all attempts at modernity, some people of their religion will use their holy words to kill others they deem as lessers.

If you’re crying when I’m targeted but go about an hour later to consider me as less a person than you, then you are not even close to being part of a solution. We are not lessers. We are not second class citizens.

It says a lot about the coward pieces of shit who did this to kill tens of people on Palm Sunday. It shows that such cancerous entities are incompatible with any form of the world that we want.

Such abominations refuse diversity, refuse coexistence, refuse anything that doesn’t conform with their code of death. The only thing they deserve is to burn in the deepest pits of hell.

May the souls of the victims Rest In Peace. It’s about time we stand with the oppressed and claim them as people whose lives are worth celebrating when they’re abundant, not in the moment of their demise.

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Why Did The UN, Canadian and French Embassies Know About The Explosion But Not Us Lebanese?

News of an explosion in the Verdun area of Beirut is currently the most horrifying thing to happen in Lebanon in a long time.

The positive aspect of things is that the damage seems to be only material with BLOM’s HQ being the apparent target. As of now, there are no casualties. The attack happening around Iftar time means that few people were around the area as well.

At a time when some entities want this to become a reality for us in Lebanon, no casualties is a sigh of relief.

One has to wonder though, how did the UN, Canadian and French embassies know that such a thing would happen over the weekend and we, as Lebanese, had no inkling or warning whatsoever?

The pictures at the top of the article are two statements issued by the UN and the Canadian authorities respectively to their constituents to avoid the specific area of Beirut that was targeted, and Hamra in general.

Two days ago, the French Foreign Affairs ministry escalated Lebanon’s security status and warned its citizens from visiting the country.

The above also applies to the instructions workers at international NGOs operating in the country received this weekend.

The question therefore begets itself: where was our entire security apparatus from all of this? Why is our worth as Lebanese always less than every single other nationality in our own country? If international agencies and foreign countries had suspicions that such a thing could happen, were our security forces not aware or were they not in the loop to begin with?

No casualties is no excuse for us to let such a thing pass by unnoticed. It is our right as Lebanese to live in our country with the utmost levels of security, not to be second class entities in our own land and in our own homes.

Right now is not the time to discuss the politics of such an attack and whether it occurring is obvious or not, or whether the context of such an attack and the bank it targets points fingers. Right now is the time to hope that no innocent life has been lost in this country for being at the wrong place at the wrong time once again, for us being perpetual victims of our existence in this land.

Stay safe everyone.

 

The Syrian Army Attacking North Lebanon Tonight?

A news report just published is saying that more than 15,000 Syrian army men are heading towards the Northern Lebanese borders for a military attack to secure the border. The report also says that the Syrian army might venture deep into Lebanese land and reach Tripoli to completely annihilate the support of the Syrian Free Army in North Lebanon.

I’m taking this with a grain of salt because it sounds too far-fetched, not to mention that the source of the news is Al Diyar. Why would Bashar el Assad risk 15,000 men away from battlegrounds where they’re probably much more needed?

But I’m not a military strategist nor do I want to be. So assuming that there’s some truth to this and that the Syrian Army might be planning something eventually along the Lebanese border, let me ask our government a few questions:

  1. Have you made sure that the Syrian Army is not moving in droves towards our Northern border?
  2. If the Syrian army is moving in droves towards our border, have you called your favorite person in Damascus to ask them why?
  3. Have you called up upon our army to move towards Akkar in order to retaliate to every single missile and shot fired by people who want to violate our land? Or is it only violation and a cause of panic and mayhem when our Southern neighbors do it?
  4. In case the Syrian Army decides to go as far as Tripoli, do we have a plan of action or will we just stand by the sidelines and watch as they burn our country again?
  5. PM Mikati, how was your pilgrimage to Mecca? Rewarding, I hope.

Alas, the answers to all of those questions are already known. Long live a country whose borders are as open as the legs of a prostitute.