Lebanon must unite against the ISIS threat
Lebanon must united in the face of the ISIS threat
Despite Lebanon’s history of wars, fighting, occupation and tutelage, it has not known such a fateful phase as dangerous as the one it currently confronts. An indicator of this is the unprecedented shock felt after a photo of a beheaded man - allegedly of Ali al-Sayyed, a Lebanese soldier - was circulated. Through this photo, the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS) aimed to terrify the Lebanese people.
Time constraints no longer allow us to continue addressing our local issues with shallow talk. Lebanon, and the Lebanese people, confront an existential threat which can only be addressed by ending the prevailing political and social coma. Therefore, we would not be exaggerating if we say that we are being called upon to defend our existence and to prove - for once in our history - that we, as citizens and not as narrow-minded people or followers of a certain sect or religion or party, are capable of defeating the threat posed against us.
United the Lebanese people
The martyrdom of army personnel on the battlefield and in the captivity of ISIS has united the Lebanese people like no war or terrorist operation has done before. All Lebanese people feel that army soldiers and security forces’ members held hostage by the ISIS are part of their own terrified families. This is where we should begin crystallizing a sense of Lebanese unity that stands as a bulwark against the conspiracy of strife, which terrorist organizations aim to spread in Lebanon. There are no more Christians, Muslims, Sunnis, Shiites and Druze in Lebanon, only a slogan that ascends above Lebanon and it’s that the Lebanese people are above all “Lebanese” during these trying times.
It’s time that we all wake up and realize that the threat is existentialNayla Tueni
Some may say these are beautiful and sentimental statements which impossible to attain in Lebanon - the country of sects and religions. However, if we do not translate these statements by taking a historical stand in support of the army and if we do not all work together to confront terrorism, then we are risking our existence and our country. It’s time that we all wake up and realize that the threat is existential. We must be ready for the fight no matter what it takes and we have no choice but to quickly rise up to the threat. The entire region is shaking in front of ISIS’ threat and the Western world remains lumbering and observant while the terrorist organization expands by the day. So what are we waiting for? Isn’t it time to be on a state of alert and to get ready for all scenarios following the attacks on the army in Arsal and following the daily threats against our families? Shouldn’t we all stand as recruits, ready for any emergency and for deterring the existential threat against us, standing by the army in unity? Such unity will deliver the terrorists a message that stipulates the Lebanese people are not up for grabs and will also send the world a message, telling them to rise up to help Lebanon.
This article was first published in al-Nahar on Sept. 4, 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
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