Nazareth a city of Coexistence and Cooperation

Nazareth, the Capital of Galilee have been for years the city of Coexistence and cooperation between Arab Palestinian Muslims and Christians. Nazareth have been an example for all the cities of Palestine and Israel. We need to give Nazareth back its title of city of cooperation, sharing and coexistence between the different religions of the Palestinian and Israelis peoples.

In fact for the people of Nazareth:

Shahab Eddine do not belong only to the Muslims of the Holy Land and less to the only Muslims of Nazareth.

Shahab Eddine because he gave his life for the sake of the Holy Land fighting with Salah Eddine against the Crusaders, he had been supported by the Arab Christians of the Holy Land who stood with Salah Eddine against their own people of faith.

He was buried in a City that was at that time a Christian Town.

Muslims became majority just in recent years in Nazareth, and that is why for years Nazareth had a major or Mkhtar of Christian Tradition and family.

Mukhtar Eddine cannot belong to the Muslims if we consider him a hero of the Arab Holy Land.

Arabs in the Holy Land are both Muslims and Christians.

Shahab Eddine cannot belong exclusively to our beloved Muslim community if died for the Holy Land of the Future where Arab Christians and the Muslims wanted to live in peace.

Shahab Eddine cannot be honored by only the Muslim community, if today, more than ever his name is more is becoming an important figure.

Shahab Eddine should belong the people of the Holy Land as whole: Muslims and Christians.

THAT IS WHY:

We support the idea of the Latin Patriarchate to build an interfaith center where Muslims, Christians and Jews which can develop and interfaith dialogue. The Pope then will be happy to inaugurate such a center with other Muslim and Jewish dignitaries because  this idea comes with the hope of the Pope that the third millenium should bring reconciliation love and cooperation between the sons and daughters of the same father Abraham, starting in Ur ,Iraq, to Egypt and to the Holy Land

This center will bring peace to Nazareth and to the whole Holy Land and the Middle East and will become a pioneer place for understanding, sharing and cooperation between religions, and it is in the spirit of the Interfaith meeting that took place in Rome between the different religions in October 1999.

Nazareth in this case will regain its place in the Holy land as the city of interfaith and coexistence.

1) In fact, if we want to clear thing on the spirit of openness, and loyalty:
 

Why the Israeli authorities do not do much to stop the continuos anti-Christian incitements?

Why the Israeli authorities, despite the Courts decisions, are still ready to give the Islamists a large piece of land, which is not theirs?

Why the Israeli authorities is preventing the Moslems from liberating their Waqf properties all over Israel, while in Nazareth the Israelis became very "generous"?

Why only some Muslims and Christians are contributing to the destruction of the long and historical coexistence between Christians and Moslems in the Holy Land!

What is more important the harmony between Arab Muslims and Christians or a building of a mosque?

What is more important for us as Arab Christians and Muslims, our future or our present desires? Our future generation or our present prestige?

What is more important for us to stop the Israeli occupation that have destroyed hundreds of our villages, mosques and churches in 1948, 1967 and is continuing to do it today with more settlements here and there or to fuel violence between bloodbrothers for the pleasure of the occupier?

What is more important for us to build a mosque beside a Church and make the minaret higher than the church bell tower or to respect the Christian presence?

2) In fact

In the past our beloved Muslim bloodbrothers used to build a mosque where there is a Church: this fact our Muslim brothers and sisters recognize it. It happened and is happening in Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan...

In the past not one Church was built because of a mosque. Not one historian can prove that fact. Churches have been build before, some of them hundred of years before and then a mosque was build, many times, the mosque was built with the intend to have the minaret higher than the Church bell tower.

In the past some Christians coming from outside disturbed the harmony between Arab Muslims and Christians, they are called the Crusaders, some missionaries with their own country interest.... Today some Christian sects like the Christian-Zionists are disturbing this harmony between bloodbrothers.

Some countries with personal interests on the Arab regions with a Christian tradition disturbed the harmony between Arab Christians and Muslims: France, England, Russia, Germany, Italy, USA and today Israel.

In the past some Muslim people or countries disturbed the Arab Christian and Muslim harmony: the Seljuks, Kurds, Persians, Turks, Ottomans...

In the past like in the present the Arab Muslim and Christians were considering themselves Arabs (Arab Christians have a history of 2000, Arab Muslims about 1500 years) fought together against the above mentioned people or countries to build their national entities, today they are standing together against the Israeli occupation and injustices.

3) In the present

The Christian Presence that is becoming less and less in the Holy Land and the Middle East should be considered as a Muslim and Arab Resposability. Muslims should help Christians to stay in the Holy land. What is the Holy Land without Christians?

The Christian, Muslim and Jewish Religious Leaders of the Holy Land should feel partner in peace process negotiations, because we cannot separate the Holy Land from its holy places.

The Christian Community historical places should be respected and promoted because they serve the spiritual character of the Holy Land and it brings an important economical revenue that is helping Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Nazareth should help the people of the Holy Land to stay united. Nazareth have become for a more than a year a place where divisions where nourished.

Help Shehab Eddine to restore to the Holy Land its unity and build an interfaith center where all the people for whom Shehab Eddine have died will come together and not a mosque where only a part of the Holy Land people will feel they only belong to him.

Fr. Labib Kobti