On martyrdom in Lebanon
Martyrdom is a noble act but it is being distorted by violence and manipulation
What allows the Lebanese to continue living in a country whose history, and perhaps future, is contaminated with blood is the will of life which is stronger than all circumstances. Nations establish peace for a better future for themselves and their sons while we drown in a sea of blood for the sake of causes which many don’t know the results and aims of. All nations sacrificed blood to reach their aims. Successes and victories cannot be achieved without sacrifices. If successes are not achieved, the blood which was shed is cheapened. This is what we do not want for Lebanon’s martyrs who fell at more than one place at many different times. All parties in Lebanon gave martyrs for the country’s sake. Some of them gave martyrs for the sake of other countries. But in all cases, they believed in a cause, defended it and sacrificed what is precious for its sake. Perhaps most Lebanese reached the conclusion that dialogue is the best for reaching goals and that martyrs - all martyrs - are a loss to Lebanon. The long war that lasted for 15 years shed a lot of blood, and it didn’t end until a political agreement, sponsored by certain countries and agreed upon by other countries, was reached.
But martyrdom itself is a cause that must be restudied; the basis and conditions of which must be specified considering some youths are being deceived. They are being deceived into believing in causes which are not actually patriotic, religious or humane but which actually serve certain parties’ personal aims.
Religious and social scholars must contribute to clarifying the concepts and conditions of martyrdomNayla Tueni
Therefore, religious and social scholars must contribute to clarifying the concepts and conditions of martyrdom instead of settling at condemnations that change nothing.
Martyrdom is a noble act as it signifies a cause in which the martyr sacrifices himself for the sake of his country’s independence and for the sake of protecting it and defending it and its people. But he who destroys his country, blows up its institutions, kills it citizens, destroys his family, gives up his humanity and threatens his society is certainly not a martyr. This is what religious figures must say. So, will they dare?
This article was first published in al-Nahar on Feb. 3, 2014.
Nayla Tueni is one of the few elected female politicians in Lebanon and of the two youngest. She became a member of parliament in 2009 and following the assassination of her father, Gebran, she is currently a member of the board and Deputy General Manager of Lebanon’s leading daily, Annahar. Prior to her political career, Nayla had trained, written in and managed various sections of Annahar, where she currently has a regular column. She can be followed on Twitter @NaylaTueni