Mideast Christians and Muslims have common patriotic spirit

Religious leaders of the Mideast Christians and Muslims plan to join to “protect the Arab nation and Muslims” from Israel’s aggressive policy and Israel indulged by the West. A universal strategy for protection of the Arabs is to be developed. What is of greater importance, it is necessary to find “an adequate response to the anti-Islam propaganda” that mars the image of Arabs and Muslims in the light of the Sept. 11 events.

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamed said the other day at the meeting with chairman of the Russian mufti council Ravil Gainutdin that “a moderate and tolerant Islam model was in fact an expression of the Islamic dogma, that was against any violence, not to speak about terrorism.” The same was stated at the last conference of the religious confessions in Jordan’s capital, Amman, with participation of over one thousand of clergymen from the Middle East. Now the standing Islamic-Christian forum is responsible for a dialogue with the western countries.

One of the forum’s participants said, the Mideast Christians and Muslims “are joined with a spirituality-based patriotic spirit.” There are 15 million of Christians among the 300 million of Arabs of the world as of now.

Islam.Ru reports, followers of the Christian and Muslim confessions are on friendly terms in Jordan, they have always been. There are about 170,000 Christians in the country, 50,000 live in the neighboring Palestine (the relations with the Muslims are friendly there as well) and 130,000 – in Israel.

Increasing immigration of Christians from the Holy Land because of the Palestine-Israel crisis escalation is one of today’s pressing problems. Patriarchy of Jerusalem’s Roman-Catholic church, Palestinian Michel Sabbah thinks, the mass immigration from Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories is “deprivation of the Christians of their Holy Land”. (Head physician of the hospital attached to the temple said the shooting of a Catholic church in Bethlehem, when the statue of the Virgin Mary was disfigured, was symbolic.)

To slow the process down the world community is to develop a policy, that will be able to exert pressure on Israel for liberation of the occupied Palestinian territories. It is to be mentioned here, the UN Security Council has already urged to do it by adoption of a resolution on the Palestine-Israeli conflict this week.

Certainly, not only Christians are escaping further from Israel, civilian Muslims of Palestine do so as well.

According to the annual poll held by Tel Aviv’s Strategic Research Center, about 46% of Israelis approve of the expulsion of Palestinians from the Palestinian autonomy. And 60% support the expulsion of Israeli Arabs, MIGnews informs.

The attitudes have been formed mostly by the increase of terror attacks performed by Palestinian kamikadze within the last months. The attitude would be quite different, if Israel stopped provocation and large-scale revenge actions.

Rednews suggests, to observe the interests of the majority of the Israelis, who dream of a quiet and peaceful life, the Israeli leadership is to recognize the demand of the Palestinians to be fair as soon as possible. To tell the truth, these are not the demands of the Palestinians only, this is the will of the entire world community.

Very soon PRAVDA.Ru will publish an article by Serbian political scientists and columnist Stefan Branisavlevic, living in Jordan at present, under the title “Collapse of Mideast talks”, exclusively written for PRAVDA.Ru.

Sergey Yugov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/03/16/38302.html

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