Saturday, September 15, 2012

We got the Pope's slogan (but it wasn't the one we wanted)

Photo credit: Tayyar.org

Recently, and in my post about the ads regarding the Pope's visit to Lebanon (which is ongoing) I jokingly said we needed a slogan (much in the same vein as "John Paul II we love you" which was created for the late Pope's 1997 Lebanese visit). Najib from Blog Baladi jumped on the bandwagon and pushed it further in a bon enfant mood.
Well, we got the slogan for Benedictus XVI's visit, except I doubt it's the one we wanted: "El Muslim yefa3 ido, el Baba ma minrido" (Muslims raise your hand, the Pope is to be banned). It was initiated in Tripoli where a KFC branch was set ablaze because of the anti-Muslim film fever sweeping the Arab world.
You may think it's a "new" thing or an "abhorrence" in a country where sects and religions coexist. But, even as far back as 1997, when the seaside - now Biel conference and events center - was reclaimed as an area for the gigantic outdoor mass (which was attended by an estimated 700,000 people - not all of them Christians I must say as the cameras showed) there were demonstrations to stop the land hosting a mass with one demonstrator saying in camera: "la Baba wa la mama, nehna ahak mennon" ("Don't tell me "papa" (Pope) or mama, we are more worthy of this (land) than they are" - with "they" referring to Christians).
I am so afraid, that underneath the glitzy surface, so much tension is boiling, so much anger is being brewed and the flames of hatred are being fanned by everyone.
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