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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

 

Arab Christians are Arabs

Excerpts from a brilliant essay from one of my most brilliant acquaintances, Raja Mattar

Needless to say, many Arabs are dissatisfied with the current state of Arab affairs. Things do look frustrating, depressing and seemingly hopeless. During such periods of national malaise, there is a tendency among some intellectuals to deny even belonging to their own Culture and to find an outlet in esoteric ideas and fanatic ideologies. That is one of many reasons why Communism took over Russia, Nazism took over Germany and radical Islamism is now holding itself as an alternative to secular Arabism. But the current torpor in our political landscape is no reason to create an imagined identity for ourselves from the ruins of defunct civilizations. Nor is it sufficient justification to distance ourselves from our Arab Culture and attach ourselves to a technologically and militarily superior West, whose past and present morality - massacres, wars, religious pogroms, colonialism, and ethnic cleansings, up to and including Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, Bagram and the unconditional support of Israel's genocidal policies - are hardly occasion for great pride

There are many agitators who have a political agenda and are keen to distort history and statistics to fit such an agenda, imagining ethnic differences where none exist. They are either alien to this Culture - or have alienated themselves from it - and are trying to fabricate falsehoods and pass them on as history to uninformed listeners or readers. They are trying to invent for Arab Christians an artificial identity antagonistic to the environment they have always been part of, not realizing - or maybe they are - that by nurturing such a rift they might be creating among Arab Christians an anti-Islamic 'fifth column', disloyal to its own Culture and probably imperilling whole Christian communities in the Arab Middle East. And for what? To toady to Israel and its patrons in the U.S.?

Comments:
I'm always happy to hear that people feel this way, but at the same time it makes me really sad that this is a position that even needs to be argued these days.
 
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