Side by Side Moslims and Christians fought the same ennemy

Ibrahim Ebeid Co-Editor, Al-Moharer

Islam, since its inception was an integrated part of the Arabs. The Arabs were its essence and substance. The Holy Quran was delivered in Arabic and the Banner of Islam was entrusted to the Arabs in the person of the Prophet Muhammad. ( saaw) Islam became the guiding light that motivated our unity and the catalyst of our glorious state that our ancestors built.

The Prophet was the first to reveal to us the integrated relation between Islam and Arabism. He said, according to Abul Qasim At-Tabrani, " If the Arabs were revered and strong then Islam is revered and strong and if the Arabs were humiliated then Islam is humiliated."

Caliph Omar Ibn Al-Khattab considered the Arabs to be the "substance" of Islam and he ordered his deputies not to flog the Arabs lest they be humiliated. Indeed, our ancestors, understood this genuine integrated relation between Islam and Arabism and for this reason the Christian Arab tribes joined the Arab Muslims in the fight of liberation against the Romans and against the Persians.

When Al- Hurmuzan , the Persian leader, was defeated in the battle of al-Ahwaz and brought to Omar in Al-Madina, Al Hurmuzan said to Calif Omar "When God was not with you nor with us we have defeated you. "But Omar was quick to answer" You have defeated us in Asr Al Jahiliyah because you were united and we were divided." Almanazirah of Iraq and many many Christian Arabs from Syria fought against the Persians in the battle of Al-Qadisiyah. Jublat Ibn Al-Ayham, a Christian Arab king in Palestine, fought against the Romans and took part in the liberation of Jerusalem. Patriarch Ya'qoub Sophoronius welcomed Omar to Al-Quds and adorned him with the key of the city. Therefore the victory was achieved as a result of political and ideological unity among the Arabs of all faiths and believes.

The sad events that took place in Nassirah were detrimental to the spirit of our nation, to our religions and to our hope for liberation and unity. They have been a part of our humiliation as Muslims, Christians and Arabs. These acts contradict the teachings of Prophet Muhammad and the Sahaabah.

Patriarch Michel Sabbah was right when he expressed concern over the continuing sectarian strife between Christians and Muslims in Nazareth. He was right when he indicated that the strife was being exploited by "Israeli" parties in the current election campaign. He was right to call upon the Palestinian Arabs to rectify the wrong doings and to unite when he said "it was imperative that the rifts be repaired."

In his Easter message to supporters, Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah decried the decreasing number of Christians in East Jerusalem and blamed the decline on Israeli policies which he said are forcing Christians to leave the city. The Patriarch also said: The drop in the number of Christians in the city was not due to natural decrease but to unjust Israeli Interior Ministry regulations which he alleged arbitrarily invalidate the identity papers of Palestinian residents of the city.

Let us return to the spirit of the Prophet and to the spirit of Omar. We, the Arabs of all faiths are the "substance of Islam". When we are respected and revered Islam is respected and revered. When we are divided then defeat becomes our lot. Let us be united to defeat the injustice that befell upon us.

Sincerely

Ibrahim Ebeid Co-Editor, Al-Moharer.