Barbarism Three Times Over

A reflection, via Notes on Arab Orthodoxy, by Fr Georges Massouh an Antiochian Orthodox priest and the director of the Christian Muslim Studies Center at Balamand University, Lebanon.


Gaza, Aleppo, Mosul. Death three times over. Countries of horror. Land of absolute evil. The time of reaping has come. The scythe slashes through heads and bodies. The vampires will not be satisfied.

Gaza, Aleppo, Mosul. Three corners of a triangle. The borders of the Levant are drowning in the blood of its children. Borders drawn with the blood of human victims. Victims of blind hate. Victims of religious and sectarian extremism. Victims of racism. Sacred texts bear their teeth. Their mouths open wide, thirsting for flesh and blood. Kill. Fight. Exterminate. Expel. Burn. Extirpate. Behead. Slaughter. Take captives. Chase them from their homes... Sacred texts carry the weight of these acts. Multifaceted texts from which the reader selects what suits him and justifies his perverse lusts, ignoring the verses that call for peace, love and mercy...

 

Texts of ink and paper have become more precious than human flesh and blood. The human person, whom God honors and prefers over all creatures has become a worm crushed by a hateful, murderous butcher-god...

"You are the best community that has been raised up for mankind. You enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency" (Surat Al Imran 110). Has slaughtering Mosul's Christians like sheep and expelling them become the right conduct  that the Qur'an commands? Has protecting their blood, livelihood, and churches become indecency? Did you face Mecca when you slaughtered them so that your sacrifice would be halal and your consciences at ease?

 

Did you say "in the name of God, the munificent, the merciful" when you slit their throats? How do you believe in the munificent, merciful God yet show no mercy or compassion to humans? How do you cry out "God is most great" yet make yourself greater than God who creates souls and takes them at the hour of His choosing? How do you cry out "God is most great" yet treat humans with pride, arrogance and contempt?

As for "God's chosen people", chosen exclusively be an irrevocable agency!  "You have seen all that the Lord your God has done to all these nations because of you, for the Lord your God is He who has fought for you" (Joshua 23:3). Their god fought for them and exterminated the nations of the land that they occupied. Will their god spare Gaza? In the name that very same god they pick a fight over Gaza and appropriate it.

But the members of ISIS also believe that God fights for them: "You did not kill them, but rather God killed them. You did not throw when you threw, but rather God threw" (Surat al-Anfal 17). The ISISites have returned to a religion from before the Prophet Abraham. God stopped Abraham from offering his son as a sacrifice and sent him a ram from heaven in his place. God rendered human sacrifices null and void and replaced them with animal sacrifices. But the followers of al-Baghdadi continue to lust for human sacrifices. Woe to them and to their worship!

 

As for Christians, over history they have not hesitated to launch wars and commit massacres in the name of the God of love. This list is long, and we will not mention any of them other than what has happened in Lebanon during the constant sectarian wars over the past century and a half. In the name of defending Christian existence, the Christians were led to commit heinous acts that please neither Christ nor the saints of His Church.

 

Jews, Christians, Muslims are equal in sin just as in righteousness. The Sunni people of Gaza do not incite Sunni regimes to behave honorably, so how can a handful of Christians in this raging sea incite them to behave honorably?

Gaza, Aleppo, Mosul. Three times over the line is drawn between humanity and barbarism. Zionism, ISIS and sectarianism are merely aspects of the same barbarism.

An act of inter-faith unity for Gaza

The retired Latin Catholic parish priest of Gaza, Msgr. Manuel Musalam, President of the Islamic-Christian Commission for the protection of Jerusalem and the Holy Places , in an act that symbolises the unity of the Palestinian people in their time of suffering has told Gaza Muslims “If they [Israel] destroy your mosques raise the Azan [Muslim call to prayer]  from our churches.”  

Archbishop of Aleppo, Syria: 'My People Are Suffering'

Extract: “Many Muslims are now shy to declare themselves Muslim. Several Muslim told me: ‘I am ashamed—I do not understand that Islam is like that." So I think it is the time for a true dialogue." Read his interview here

'The situation is dire for all groups' Patriarch Sako says about Iraq

Extract from Vatican Radio: Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako says the situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate quickly. He said the country has suffered tremendously at the hands of the ISIS militant group, also known as Islamic State—extremist Muslim rebels, who one month ago declared a caliphate on the border with Syria and Iraq.

 

With ISIS pledging to expand its control over the region, there is very little relief from the attacks in sight.Read the full article here.


Gaza residents fleeing an Israeli massacre in the Shejaya neighbourhood of the city found a refuge at Saint Porphyrius Rum Orthodox Church when the doors were opened to receive as many as a 1000 seeking refuge.
Gaza residents fleeing an Israeli massacre in the Shejaya neighbourhood of the city found a refuge at Saint Porphyrius Rum Orthodox Church when the doors were opened to receive as many as a 1000 seeking refuge.

Funeral of Galila Ayad at Saint Porphyrius. She became the first Gazan Christian killed after the Israeli military bombed her house.


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As-Salaam-Alaikum

Petition to Journalists asking for responsible and accountable reporting on Syria. Please sign

H.E. The Sunni Grand Mufti of Syria, Sheikh Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun - I am the Mufti of all Syrians – Sunni Muslims, Christians, Alawites, Druze – of all the diversity of sects we had before the war. There is no choice other than reconciliation."

H.B. John X Yazigi, Antiochian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch -

The Antiochian Orthodox Patriarch in Syria, John Yazigi, says Syrian Christians "will not submit and yield" to foreign-backed extremist militants who attack "our people and holy places."

H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani, Sunni Grand Mufti of Lebanon - “Christians’ fears nowadays over their presence and their dignity in the Middle East are right and justified”

H.B Cardinal Bechara Rai, Maronite Catholic Patriarch of Antioch - The West and other countries are helping to foment conflict in the Middle East "there is a plan to destroy the Arab world for political and economic interests"

H.E Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan, Deputy President of the Higher Shiite Council Lebanon - Called on the U.S to “work on giving people their freedom in Syria by refraining from supporting radical Islamists and criminals who are killing innocent people and violating their freedoms.

 H.B. Gregorios III Laham, Melkite greek-Catholic Patriarch of Antioch - "Every day Islamic extremists from all over the world are pouring into Syria with the sole intent to kill and not one country has done anything to stop them."

H.H. Mor Ignatios Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch (R.I.P.) - "Syrians are the only ones who will decide their destiny, and that decision will be taken in Damascus, not in a European country."

H.H. Mor Ignatius Ephrem II Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch -  “Christians and Muslims alike are exposed to a terrorist war in the region”.... the Patriarch denounced the silence of the world regarding crimes committed by armed terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq.

H.B. Youssef III Younan,  Syriac Catholic Patriarchs of Antioch - "We Syrian Christians, sold by the West for oil” - "Christians in the Middle East have not only been abandoned, but we have been lied to and betrayed by Western nations, like the United States and the European Union."

H.B. Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, “Who appointed them [United States] as ‘policemen of democracy’ in the Middle East? ”

H.E. Maroun Laham, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan  - “This interest, on the part of the United States or of Europe, for human rights or for the defence of the weak, no one believes. No one believes it!,”

H.E. Jacques Behnan Hindo,  Syriac Catholic Archbishop ofHassaké-Nisibi (northeastern Syria) - Regarding the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, and the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabuis “Please excuse my expression. They are screwing all Syrians

H.E. Theodosius Hanna, Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Sebastia (Nablus, Palestine) - "Will the displacement of Christians from Syria, their killing and slaughter and the destruction of their churches lead to an alleged democracy?"

Rev. Georges Massouh Antiochian Orthodox priest and director of the Christian Muslim Studies Center at Balamand University, Lebanon. "It goes without saying that Christians in Syria do not consider themselves greater or more important that their Muslim partners in the one nation. They find themselves in solidarity with all the people of Syria, in the calamities that they share and the strikes that fall upon all their heads."