We comfort ourselves, saying, “This is not who we are.” But without deeper reflection, such pat answers are lies, strengthening the “vulgarized knowledge” that allow us to ignore the chasms that threaten to consume us.
If the West remains interested in promoting pluralism in the Middle East and preserving one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, it must turn its eyes to Lebanon and provide suitable alternatives to Chinese intervention. Failure to do so could be a crucial and catastrophic mistake.
Ignoring the democracy versus pluralism dilemma fails to address the core issue facing both communities at the onset and consequently will not yield a Middle East friendlier to human rights and religious liberty. This debate is one that governments and politicians themselves cannot lead. Civil society is where this discussion must take place, and believers themselves are the ones who should lead it.