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Solidarity, from Paris to Beirut

The scene was beautiful in Beirut on Sunday as youths, journalists and human rights activists gathered to voice solidarity

Nayla Tueni

Published: Updated:

Sunday’s Paris march made for a beautiful scene as world leaders gathered to voice solidarity with France – a recent victim of an attack against its principles and revolution. We may not agree with most of the weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo’ content but we declared “I am Charlie” when it came to the issue of silencing an institution or an individual by force, murder, violence and terrorism. This has become a global phenomena, threatening Europe and the Arab world which has become a victim of terrorism and is living in its shadow. The situation from Iraq to Syria to Lebanon is not that different and the same applies to Yemen, Libya and other places that are now governed by the law of the jungle.

We in Lebanon may have more experience in terrorism and its repercussions and have suffered due to terrorism - which ranged from killing politicians and media figures to abducting people due to their religious sect and the detentions seen many jailed in Israeli and Syrian prisons. There have also been attacks in the country, the most recent of which was Tripoli’s Jabal Mohsen attack on Saturday night.

In Beirut

The scene was also beautiful in Beirut on Sunday as youths, journalists and human rights activists gathered to voice solidarity with France despite the Lebanese pain over the murder of nine citizens and the injury of 50 others. These people are fallen martyrs in defense of an aspired-toward freedom.

Terrorism has no religion, no sect, no doctrine and no national identity. Terrorism is a disease resulting from many intertwining complications that benefit from religion and use it as a cover. This is not a defense of Islam in particular as all religions carry some seeds of violence backed by claims that its adherents possess the absolute truth. Terrorism is not a struggle of religions as explosions in Jabal Mohsen or Beirut’s southern suburb or any other place go beyond sect to the terror group’s political affiliation. Bloody struggles in more than one Arab country and massacres are committed by people of the same religion.

The excuse of defending God or the prophet is an invalid argument because God and his prophets have not called for murdering others but rather have called for committing good deeds. Defending God and his prophets neither elevates their worth nor decreases their sanctity. All people are “God’s sons” and “indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of God is the most righteous of you.”

This article was first published in al-Nahar on January 16, 2015.

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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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