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5.0 out of 5 stars Lessons We Must Learn, 28 Mar 2007
This review is from: Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America (Hardcover)
Lebanon used to be a bright spot in a very dark Middle East. It was a rare democracy with a Christian majority. Muslims and non-Muslims could live together in peace and calm, even at the political level. It was a beacon of hope and freedom to the surrounding Arab nations. The Lebanese had the highest standard of living in the area. In many ways it seemed more like a Western nation, and Beirut was known as the Paris of the Middle East.

But all that changed in 1975 when radical Muslims from surrounding nations declared jihad on the Lebanese Christians, and poured into Southern Lebanon to set up a Muslim state. Radical Muslims who hated democracy and wanted to impose Sharia law turned the Lebanese oasis into a hell hole.

Among those who lived through the terror was one young Maronite Christian girl, Brigitte Gabriel. She was ten years old when the rape of Lebanon began. For the next seven years she and her family would spend most of their time living in an underground bomb shelter, enduring the onslaught of Islamist anger and fury.

She witnessed firsthand the murder, rape, hatred and genocide of a once-great land. She experienced the terror, ethnic cleansing, and dictatorship of Muslim radicals. And she also saw how these Islamists masterfully controlled and manipulated the media, to make it look like they were the good guys, and the Christians and Jews were the source of evil in the region.

This book tells her story in chilling and moving detail. But the book is much more than a personal story. It is also a warning. It is a warning to America and the West that the very thing that happened to Lebanon is now happening to all Western democracies. Radical Muslims have declared a holy war against the West, and made clear their intention of destroying it.

Radical Muslims made their intentions known about Lebanon, and they did what they said they would do. They are now telling us their intentions about the West. And they are working to carry out those intentions. Gabriel asks, will we learn from the experience in Lebanon? Or will the West close its eyes and pretend the threat of radical Islam does not exist?

The recent incursion of Israel into Lebanon must be seen from the backdrop of the story told in this book. The hatred and venom that Muslims have for Jews is carefully discussed here. The desire of 150 million surrounding Muslims to drive 5 million Jews into the sea is a daily reality for the Israelis.

And as Gabriel shows, the same media manipulation and deception is taking place now, as it did three decades ago. A favourite tactic of the Palestinians then, like Hezbollah now, is to set up rocket attacks from Christian villages. After the rockets are fired, the Islamists quickly pull out, knowing full well Israeli reprisals will then fall on innocent Christian habitations. And the media of course will be there to record the Jewish "barbarism," while ignoring the initial terrorists attacks.

The horrible tactics and the frightening aims of the Islamists are here carefully laid out. So too are the lies and the deception Islamists are quite happy to resort to. There are even Arabic terms for these: taqiyya and kithman.

Radical Muslims are willing to present themselves as victims and oppressed peoples. And apologists for the Islamists, and those who loathe their own Western heritage, readily find reasons to blame the West for Islamic terrorism. Somehow the West is to blame for acts of Islamist outrage.

Yet as Gabriel reminds us, it is foolish to suggest that we must somehow address their grievances. "Their grievance is our freedom of religion. Their grievance is our democratic process." These radicals have repeatedly made their goals known: they seek to destroy Western democracies and set up an Islamic state. Says Gabriel, "Unless we take them at their word, and defend ourselves accordingly, they will succeed."

And she reminds us that there is a sacred obligation to impose Islam on the entire world. This is not a distortion of Islam, nor the ideas just of extremists, but the very heart of mainstream Islam. "It is mandated by the holy writings of Islam, as interpreted by a vast majority of the classical authorities."

Indeed, we must reject the myth of moderate Islam. While there are many moderate Muslims, the religion itself is not moderate. Religious and political freedoms are just not hallmarks of Muslim societies. Indeed, the "only social liberal thinkers in the Muslim-Arab Islamo-fascist world are dead ones".

In this important book Gabriel documents the many Islamist assaults on the West, and asks why we even allow terrorists to live in our own countries, as they prepare to carry our their acts of carnage and destruction. The parallels between what is now happening in the West and what took place in her homeland are too ominous to be ignored. Yet the West seems intent on doing just that.

Gabriel says we must wake up to the fact that a war has been declared against the West. Do we have the will and the resolve to defend our way of life, or will we simply give up without a fight?

She closes her volume with a number of hard-hitting recommendations if the West is to prevail in this conflict. These include much stricter border controls, development of alternative energy sources, and security profiling of high-risk groups.

These and other stringent steps must be taken if we want to win this battle against the Islamic terrorists. Mere conciliation, arbitration and diplomacy will not reduce the threat. The radical Muslims do what they do because they hate. And until we learn that lesson the casualties will continue to mount, and freedoms will continue to be snatched away.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Feb 2009 17:00:30 GMT
Gareth Smyth says:
Lebanon probably never had a Christian majority. Christianity was and is not "western", many Arab nationalists and Palestinian leaders have been Christians. There was no jihad in 1975 - read Dilip Hiro's book on the Lebanese civil war if you want to know the history.

And that's from the first paragraph .. not doubt the rest argues there are radical Islamic terrorists under the bed etc etc.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Apr 2009 20:11:54 BDT
B. Fulton says:
Mr. Muehlenberg:

Smyth is absolutely correct.

There are Christian Arab figures who hardly fit Gabriel's thesis that only Arab Muslims believe in Palestinian rights and nationhood, or have bones to pick regarding U.S. policy in the Middle East:

*George Habash, founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) was an Orthodox Christian.

*Nayif Hawatmah, founder of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) was also an Orthodox Christian.

*Edward Said, well-known academic, author of Orientalism, and a passionate activist for Palestinian causes was an Anglican Christian.

*How about the much criticized Columbia University associate professor critics of Islam and the Palestinian cause Gabriel rails against?

Joseph Massad is a Palestinian Christian.

*Tariq Aziz, deputy prime minister of Iraq from 1979 to 2003, was a Chaldean Catholic, and had an audience with Pope John Paul II in February 2003.

*Michel Aflaq (1910-1989), the ideological founder of Ba'athism and an ardent supporter of the Palestinian cause, was born in Damascus to a Greek Orthodox Christian family.

*Samir Kassir (1960-2005), a strong advocate of freedom for the Palestinians. He edited the newsletter "Le Liban en Lutte"(Struggling Lebanon), dedicated to the Lebanese resistance against the Israeli occupation. Kassir was an Orthodox Christian.

Perhaps most remarkabley, Lebanon's Christian President Emile Lahhoud is allied with Hezbollah. He calls them "the resistance."

Not all political disagreements in the Middle East can be diluted or reduced to the simple notion of one's religion. One would hope they would never be. However, the fact remains that Palestinians as a group are far more religiously diverse than Israel's Zionists.

Best Regards.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jan 2014 18:26:07 GMT
deltapolis says:
"Lebanon probably never had a Christian majority". On what grounds do you base that? I have read various estimates from a number of different sources that Lebanon was "mostly Christian" and indeed that was the major motivation for the French in carving it out of their Syrian mandate. The Christian population of all Middle Eastern countries has declined precipitously in the last 100 years - the "best" and most complete example being Turkey which has gone from about 30% to virtually zero.

"The number of Christians in Lebanon has been disputed for many years. There has been no official census in Lebanon since 1932. But official records confirm that in 1926 when the state of Lebanon was officially announced and recognised by the allies the Christians formed 84% of the population. Many argue over the percentage and population of Christians in Lebanon. One estimate of the Christian share of Lebanon's population as of the late 2000s is 39%.[7] The country has the largest percentage of Christians of all the Middle Eastern nations."

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jun 2014 14:33:57 BDT
Gary Selikow says:
George Habash was a child killing mass murdering terrorist who said all Israelis and Jews (even small children) are legitimate targets for Palestinian terror. Tariq Aziz was a minister in one of the most genocidal regimes in history and was complicit in gassing 100s of thousands of Kurds (who clealry like the Christian Lebanese and Copts in Egypt don't count to the left because they nt Palestinian)
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