Middle East: Religion vs. Extremism

Score two victories for religious common sense over irrational hatred.

Lebanon:
Patriarch of Lebanon’s Maronite Church lashes out at Hizbullah

“Weapons and democracy cannot coexist,” said Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, patriarch of Lebanon’s Maronite Church, in an interview to Lebanon’s al-Massira magazine to be published on Saturday.

During the interview, conducted on Thursday, Sfeir lashed out at Hizbullah, maintaining that the Shi’ite organization threatened Lebanon’s security and stability.

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Jerusalem/Israel:
‘Waqf quietly pleased at Salah’s arrest’

Heads of the Waqf Department have quietly expressed their satisfaction with the Israeli authorities’ recent measures against Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, and top Fatah operative Hatem Abdel Qader, a senior official with the Ministry for Internal Security said on Thursday.

Salah and Abdel Qader have each been arrested by the Jerusalem Police for their role in instigating the latest wave of violent protests at the Temple Mount.

The two have also been banned by the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court from entering the Old City of Jerusalem for different periods of time.

The official praised the heads of the Waqf Department for their role in “calming the situation” and preventing a further deterioration.

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But we’ve still got a long way to go…

Gaza:
Thousands Rally for Islamic Jihad

Tens of thousands of Islamic Jihad loyalists held a rally in Gaza on Friday to commemorate the group’s slain founder.

Holding plastic models of rockets and wearing masks and mock suicide bomber’s vests, the members chanted “death to Israel” and “Muhammad’s army will be back to wipe off the Hebrew state.”

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