Syria's Christians rally behind Hizbollah

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by WAEL012000, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. By Khaled Yacoub Oweis

    DAMASCUS, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Seventy-seven-year-old Mona Muzaber lights a candle for Hizbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah at the Orthodox Church of the Cross in the centre of Damascus.

    "I love him. I never felt Nasrallah was a religious zealot. He is a patriot who doesn't seek personal gain," she said. "I light a candle daily for him to remain under God's protection."

    Israel's offensive against Lebanon has brought Christians in neighbouring Syria closer to Nasrallah, a Shi'ite Muslim, reviving Arab nationalist feelings and blurring sectarian divisions.

    Bishops and priests say Syria's Christians, a devout community of around three million out of a population of 18 million, identify strongly with Nasrallah's battle with Israel, which has occupied Syria's Golan Heights since 1967.

    "Pray for the resistance, pray for Hassan Nasrallah. He is defending justice," Father Elias Zahlawi told the congregation at special mass held at the Lady of Damascus, a Catholic church.

    Across Damascus Christians, like Muslims, sit glued to Nasrallah's al-Manar television, receptive to his portrayal of the war as one in defence of all Arabs, as well as Muslims.

    At the biblical-era Straight Street, Khaldoun Uzrai hung the yellow flags of Hizbollah all over his liquor and grocery shop.

    "We are Arabs at the end of the day. Nasrallah is one of our own. He is realising our dreams," Uzrai said.

    At least 720 people have been killed in Lebanon and 750,000 have been displaced by the conflict ignited by a cross-border raid in which Hizbollah seized two Israeli soldiers. Seventy-two Israelis have been killed, many by Hizbollah rockets.

    NOT ENOUGH ROCKETS

    Iyad Elias, a doctor working at a hospital in the mixed Jaramana district, wishes Hizbollah could unleash more rockets on the Jewish state.

    "Nasrallah transcends religion and ethnicity. Unfortunately he does not have the firepower Israel has," he said.

    Jaramana has been a main receiving centre for thousands of Lebanese refugees, mostly Shi'ite from the south. They have been housed in schools, mosques, monasteries and private homes.

    Thabet Salem, a leading political commentator, said Nasrallah brought out nationalist feelings which have been dormant for years as Israel dealt the Arabs a series of defeats.

    "Nasrallah extols the Muslim nation, but he is also seen as a symbol of a national liberation movement. No wonder Christians feel such affinity to him," Salem said.

    A leading Christian businessman called Nasrallah "the uncrowned Arab king".

    "Unlike most Arab rulers, Nasrallah is not an agent. After all he sacrificed his son," the businessman said, referring to Hadi Nasrallah, who was killed at 18 fighting occupying Israeli forces in south Lebanon.

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  2. Yawn, so the arab street is at it again, supporting terrorists and glorifying murderers. What else is new, wake me up when they start supporting peace and democracy.
     
  3. They would when your zionist entity stop being a Fascist society cultured in theft, and death.