Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A festival of anti-Muslim bigotry on LBC-TV. I could not believe it. I watched May Shidyaq's program today. She featured the Maronite Patriarch, Nasrullah Sfayr. The last segment featured a report on the plight of Christians in the Holy Land and in "the East"--Lebanonese nationalists always use the term "East" instead of the Arab world because they are Pheonicians. Oh, yeah, Pheonicians. The report about the Christians in Palestine said not one word about Israel or about the occupation. You would not even know about Israel or the occupation if you watched that report. The report included some interviews. The Chaldean Bishop of Lebanon spoke first. He said that the East without Christians is like a flower without a color or without a scent; or like light without...light (well, he is not renowned for his literary skills). They then interviewed Greek Orthodox Bishop, George Khodr (who writes those tedious articles in An-Nahar who publishes them because he was a classmate of Ghassan Tuwayni--the owner). Khodr said that Lebanon due to its Christians has distinctions that separate Lebanon and the East from Bangladesh or Pakistan. He also said that the East without the Christians will have no "splendor." The show must have been really bad for the self-esteem of non-Christians of the East who were watching. They don't mention that the flight of Christians from the "East" (which is predominantly motivated by economic not political reasons--Muslims are fleeing too) has been facilitated by Western governments which practice clear sectarian standards especially in recent years with the use and misuse of political asylum cases in which many applicants (I do a lot of consulting for immigration lawyers in the US, so I know about that) concoct stores of persecution. Not that there is no persecution. But who is not persecuted? In some cases Muslims are more persecuted than Christians (like in Syria and Iraq under the Ba`th). Which reminds me. This Palestinian wanted to come to the US utilizing political asylum cases. So he concocted a story of how he was persecuted as a gay person, and that he was kidnapped and shot at by Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. The story traveled and Western reporters were alerted. Human rights groups around the world took note. A documentary filmmaker interviewed him. It came out in the course of interviews with him and with others that he made the story up. Oh, he is now safely settled in the US.