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Sunday, November 27, 2011

LBC : Christian mirror

I finally got to see yesterday the LBC report on Myriam Al Achkar's assassination. For those not following Lebanese news, Myriam was killed by a Syrian worker while going to a Church called "path to heaven". The killing has outraged the Christian community and generated a series of anti-Syrian comments: Myriam was a pious Christian

The Lebanese blogosphere is up and raging against this "racist" and "xenophobic" report:
view Beirut Report or BeirutSpring's accounts.

Even though I agree with all those criticizing LBC's report as completely unprofessional, it is interesting to note that this report really reflects the mood of a majority of Lebanese Christians in general. Marcel Ghanem (the show host where the report was aired) and Philippe Abou Zeid (the senior reporter) are both Christians living in the heartland of Christians, and usually capture very well the mood of the community:

  1. Most were enraged by the fact that reports indicated that the Syrian killer (he has confessed) worked for the notorious Syrian moukhabarat (secret service) believed to have killed many Lebanese over the last 30 years. As trouble brews in Syria itself, a large number of Christian Lebanese are deep down looking at the cross border event with a sens of revenge (it is their turn, finally. Though they are also afraid for the future of Syrian Christians). The calls for revenge in the report are really an expression of 30 years of frustrations.
  2. Because Christians are afraid for their future in the region, the community has become oversensitive. Any  non political event even if remotely linked to Christianity, becomes a community trauma, and is perceived as a "proof" of the fragility of the community.
  3. Lebanese Christians - in a self defense reaction - are becoming more and more in3ziliyin (separatists) and perceive any foreigner (to the community) as a potential aggressor.
LBC's report - though biased and racist- has therefore at least one big merit: it is a mirror to how the Christian heartland is evolving.

Somehow it reminds me of 1975....


theFool said...

This is political. She was murdered to cause media havoc.

And the victim was her and the Christian Community. Now we're suppose to hate Syrians.

We all fell for it.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if it was political or not, but it sure became so.

Bechara Al Rai's sermon yesterday sunday was appalling! what game is this guy playing ?


Arab Democracy said...

Having now seen the report, this is worse than I thought.

The family cannot be blamed for their reaction but the ones who turned it into a melodrama to gain political ground should take responsibility for further isolating the Christian community from its environment.

Mou3tazil said...

Well let's see, Christians in the region have been a persecuted minority for over a thousand years, and over the last 30 years the Syrian government has whetted its hands with a lot of Lebanese blood, Christian or otherwise. It goes without saying that what the Baath party is willing to do to its own people, it has been more than willing to do in Lebanon. What is REALLY reminiscent of 1975 is the hilarious accusation that Christians are racist because they are wary of their proven tormentors. But the worse accusation is not that of racist, but the old tired invective of "separatist", the pet word of Arab propagandists who view Christians as "traitors" because they refuse to tow the line of "Arab solidarity"; a vacuous concept meant to submit the masses to the will of tyrants. I will say this: in the Middle-East, we Christians are proud to be separatist. Who'd wanna be a part of this, the cesspool of humanity?

Jihad Bitar said...

The point of the post is not to be for or against separatism for the Christian community.

The point is to try to understand why LBC's report was done the way it was. Having worked extensively in TV news, I know very well how editing of news reports happens. The editing was purposely done to create this "Christians under danger" feeling, for a murder that - until now it seems- was more criminal than political.

My point is to say, that LBC is just reflecting the community's current feelings. If this type of coverage is bad or good (some argue that the role of a TV channel is to provide directions and not reflect the mood) I leave for the philosophers....