courtesy of Notes on Arab Orthodoxy. The original in Arabic is from the Lebanese daily newspaper al-Akhbar and was published on
What is happening today in Maloula and other Christian cities and areas in Syria, Egypt, and other Arab countries transcends any political opinions about what is going on in this or that tormented country, whether the opinions oppose or support the political regime in those countries. The repeated assaults on Christian holy sites that are happening today and the forced expulsion of Christians is a flagrant assault on our Islamic heritage itself and on the precedent of our venerable Prophet, his noble hadith, his life, and the lives of those followed him in doing good. The destruction of churches and Christian holy sites that we are witnessing is a barbaric, pagan assault on our Islamic civilization which, over the ages, has given a central place to Jesus son of Mary and his virgin mother (peace be upon them) at the heart of our teaching, rooted in the long and glorious history of coexistance and love between Islam and Christianity, this coexistance that is one of our greatest point of pride when we express our pride among civilizations.
Any attack on these holy places is part of a campaign against Islam, aiming to disfigure this love and coexistence. This campaign is now being waged by those who have been overcome first of all by ignorance, then by blind prejudice, then by rejection of the other, even when this other is "the closest in affection to those who believed." In light of all the above and before it is too late, we call upon Muslim clerics and rulers, women and men, to join their voices with this cry, that perhaps someone may heed it in the lands of Arabity and Islam... "O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul." Original in Arabic here
Tarif Khalidi is a Palestinian academic who was born in Jerusalem in 1938. He is the Director of the Centre for Middle East and Islamic Studies and a Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge and holds the Sheikh Zayed Chair in Islamic and Arabic Studies at the American University of Beirut.
Article from the British newspaper The Independent by Robert Fisk about the Islamic scholar Tarik Khalidi: "Pluralism was once the hallmark of the Arab world, so the exodus of Christians from the Middle East is painful to one Islamic scholar. 'It is a tragedy and a blow to the basic pride of Arab Islamic civilisation" Read here