Christianity is the only defense ordinary Muslims have against over-reaching Muslim hegemony

In a meeting this morning with the pope, Mufti Mohammad Rachid Kabbani, whose title is “Mufti of the Lebanese Republic,” told Benedict that Muslims “absolutely do not want Christians to leave the Middle East,” according to Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesperson.

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Editor’s note: Totalitarian Sharia Law is not much different, and possibly worse than totalitarian communism. Moderate Muslims understand that.

They also know that the only practical way to keep the radical Islamists at bay is to share political power with a substantial number of Christian citizens, in order to maintain a strong, stable, moderate, and reasonably popular central government.

That way, short of total insurrection, like what happened in Lebanon, back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, some semblance of a normal everyday existence might still be maintained.

Lebanon’s Mufti Mohammad Rachid Kabbani knows all too well what can happen when the radical Islamists take over.

Papal visit to shore up situation in Lebanon, the last, best hope for preserving Christianity in the middle east.

The pope arrived in Harissa on time at 6 p.m. to sign the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation for the Middle East, and was greeted by Lebanese and Vatican flags as well as banners bearing the word “peace” in multiple languages.

Gathered opposite the church on chairs set out for the event, visitors said the pope’s visit was a sign that Christians would retain a presence in Lebanon despite their uncertain future in the rest of the region.

“If Christians remain here [in Lebanon], the whole region will become better and different,” said Tony Haddad, who came to catch a glimpse of the pope from the nearby town of Bzommar.

Haddad, who described the visit as historic, said that Vatican’s concern for the people of Lebanon and the region means it has blessed the country and will not abandon it, despite unrest in the Middle East.

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Pope Benedict XVI prepares to embark on high-risk trip to Lebanon

“My apostolic voyage in Lebanon, and by extension in the Middle East in its entirety, comes under the sign of peace,” Benedict said Sunday during the Angelus prayer at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo. Despite the “dramatic situation” of a region torn by “incessant conflict,” people “shouldn’t resign themselves to violence or worsening tensions,” he added.

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News woman Helen Thomas, of Lebanese descent, suggests things would be better in Middle East if Jews abandoned Israel and went back home to their respective countries.

Helen’s opinion is perfectly logical, based on her nationality, since Lebanon has experienced nothing but devastation and strife, ever since Israel was founded.

As a matter of fact, much the same has been true (for many and various reasons) for all of Israel’s neighbors.

Helen has since apologized for her remarks.

More about this, from Jimmy Akin