Here is a letter to French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe who recently said in an interview with Lebanon’s as-Safir newspaper: “I would like to say to the Christians of the East. France will not abandon them. We have confidence that the revolutions of 2011 are accompanied by an absolute vigilance of the importance of respect for human rights, especially the rights of minorities”.
Monsieur Alain Juppé,
Modern etiquette requires that you begin your words by greetings. But I would be lying if I said I wish you a Good Morning or “Bonjour”. So I will breach this clumsy protocol.
On the occasion of your statement which was directed to the Christians of the East, and to the Syrians amongst them in particular, and of your crocodile tears over their fate, I tell you the following: If the Christians of the East really need protection, it is from you whom they need protection and from the gangs allied with you which have terrorised the peaceful population. Those gangs initially did not distinguish between Christians and Muslims, but because you choose to limit your talk to them, I will talk to you in the same context.
- Muslims and Christians showing their unity in a church in Damascus on January 9 2012 as they commemorate the martyrdom of the children of Um Sari and the Great Mufti at the hands of insurgents.
Monsieur Juppé, your gangs only during the previous two days attacked two of the most important churches between the Eastern Churches, both of which are in Homs. There is no doubt that you know well that the clergy did not escape from their tyranny too and up until this moment, the killing of two priests has been recorded, not to mention the hundreds of Christian martyrs who have fallen since the outbreak of the crisis.
You make it appear as though in France you have not read your history or perhaps that your memory is tired and heavily burdened by sins. But let me refresh your memory with a story that you find unpleasant: the story of your grandfather General Gouraud and our grandfather Fares Khoury that is still fresh in our minds and conscience.
- Fares Khoury
t was only a few decades ago that Gouraud said the same statement that your indecent tongue uttered today – that he wanted to protect Christians. But at that time my grandfather Fares Khoury came to one of the minarets of Damascus and said his famous words: “If you want to come to protect Christians, bear witness that there is no god but God.” You are perhaps unaware of Fares Khoury’s importance and the place he occupied in our conscience and our hearts. I assure you that we are walking in his footsteps, and it is impossible for us to betray his legacy.
Pull your gangs and your allies gangs from Syria, and the Christians will be fine. This is Syria.
Thanks to Kevork Elmassian for the translation of this as-Safir interview with French FM Alain Juppe:
The French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe called the Christians of the Middle East to participate in the “positive” developments taking place in their countries, especially Syria. He stressed that France “will always be by their side”.
Juppe considered, in an article published in the Catholic newspaper La Croix, that, Christian minorities in Arab countries are expressing their concern of “the escalation of tension associated with sectarianism”, but France “was and will always be by their side”.
He added that: “The best protection for the Christians of the East, and the most effective guarantee for the continuation of their existence, lies today in the establishment of democracy and the rule of law in Arab countries”.
Juppe added: “We recommend the Christians in the Middle East not to pay attention to the manoeuvres and exploitation practised by dictatorial regimes isolated from their people”.
“In Syria, as elsewhere, the interest of the Eastern Christians lies in embracing these irreversible positive developments. They are protecting their future, by their certain commitment in the form of building a new region.
“I would like to say to the Christians of the East. France will not abandon them. We have confidence that the revolutions of 2011 are accompanied by an absolute vigilance of the importance of respect for human rights, especially the rights of minorities”.