The most upsetting thing to me about this whole cartoon fiasco is how some fundamentalists in the Arab world have decided to react to the offensive cartoons – caricatures which were drawn by Europeans on a different continent — by venting their anger against their fellow Christian-Arabs!
While the controversy continues to snowball, some extremists have and continue to harass Christian Arabs in places like Iraq, the Palestinian territories, where gunmen distributed a pamphlet at the European Union Headquarters threatening to harm churches, and most recently Lebanon, where demonstrators there threw stones at houses and churches in the Christian neighborhood of Al-Ashrafyeh! My good reporter friend who was there to cover the protest informed me that sectarian tensions in the country are very high, with Christians terrified and ready to take up arms.
This is terribly alarming! Besides Lebanon, I cannot remember hearing about significant sectarian incidents while growing up in the Middle East. As a Christian-Arab, I never thought I would live to see the day when Christian-Arabs are looked at with suspicion by their fellow Arabs for acts perpetrated by Westerners in another part of the globe! But then again, while I was growing up, the world was a different place and extremism was never so prevalent, so omnipotent.