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Maronite leader again warns against Islamic uprisings

November 23, 2011

Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Rai has renewed his warnings that the “Arab Spring” uprisings in the Middle East could lead to the emergence of more militant Islamic regimes.

While welcoming some aspects of the “Arab Spring” phenomenon, such as the demands for an end to corruption, and the revival of national pride, the Lebanese prelate voiced his fear that the popular movements “may lead to confessional conflicts, the rise of harsher regimes, and a confessional division of the region.”

The Maronite Patriarch said that nations should not be defined in terms of religious identity. “We must oppose Islamic exclusivism in the identity of our countries as much as Israel’s Jewishness,” he said.


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  • Posted by: Defender - Nov. 23, 2011 9:40 PM ET USA

    This isn't surprising, Chestertonian. It seems most of the priests and bishops in the Middle East are also anti-Israel. Almost all of their pronouncements thinly veil their contempt for Israel, while trumpeting their "Palestinian" roots, despite whatever terrorist acts are committed.

  • Posted by: Chestertonian - Nov. 23, 2011 7:01 PM ET USA

    ". . . as much as Israel's Jewishness"? Israel is at least a democracy, and I would far rather live under its government than under any other current regime in the region. There is no comparison, especially when you consider that so many of the others are calling for the destruction of Israel. It is no little feat to remain democratic in the face of such threats.