Western openness exemplifies our best values. Unlike tyrannical regimes like Assad's or roving bands of murderers like ISIL, such openness is inclusive. Tolerant. And by being tolerant at home, we promote tolerance abroad. We lead by example.
There's been a lot of talk about how horrible it is that we grieve for France when we're not similarly frenzied about Beirut and others. On the one hand, that argument is totally right. Yes, we should mourn the deaths of innocent people wherever they are, in a far more balanced way than we do. All lives are equal, and all innocent deaths are tragic.
The Lebanese government's reputation couldn't be worse, especially the ministry of interior and Al Machnouk. Ever since the trash protests escalated in Beirut last August, all eyes have been on the Internal Security Forces (ISF) and Nohad Al Machnouk
It's breakfast time, and John Sung Park is at the front door with a big grin on his face. He's been up since 4, and he still has a lifetime to go before he closes his juice bar, Paris Health New Direction, at 7 p.m.
It is apparent that there is a politics of empathy and grief in the West; empathy and related emotions have fallen victim to Orientalism that refuses to acknowledge the dignity, respect, and worth of the persons slaughtered on an all fronts.
In what sense is ISIS Muslim? They are the fringe and extreme minority yet the most radical and furthest away from Islam and Muslims. They have named themselves Islamic, robbed the language of the Quran, and donned on 7th century dress and symbols.
In rightfully and legitimately condemning selective grief, Lebanon (and for that matter the entire world) forgets that it is a country that selectively grieves all the time.
It would be a salutary exercise to prepare for the political struggle ahead to acknowledge the humanity of the Russians, who also have eyes, hands, senses, affections and passions, who also cry when their children don't come home safe from trips abroad.
Those who showed their support for Paris have to be shamed for daring to be so insensitive. How did we get to this point? Why do we need to antagonize people when they grieve, when they are scared? Why can't we just accept people's feelings and then try to educate?
The many pots are calling the kettle black. Promiscuous American military intervention in the Middle East long has promoted the worst forms of violence and terrorism.
While many people have expressed outrage and sympathy for the victims, they've been criticized for not mentioning the bombings just a day before in Beirut. It's grief shaming, plain and simple.
I don't think any of us know what's coming, but it could be quite wonderful. My thoughts are with everyone affected by the terrorist attacks this past week.
Europe continues to remain short sighted in its plan for tackling the problem, ineffective and ambivalent in its reaction. Europe will only prevent the issue from deteriorating further by working with countries like Lebanon, to implement solutions where the issue originates.
The food of the Middle East, especially Lebanon, sails on, oblivious to trends and consistent year after year.
As Syrian refugees near their fifth year of displacement and peace in their homeland is nowhere close, a question was raised recently in a Washington, D.C. newspaper for Congressional staffers: "Will Syrians become the new Palestinians?" Consider the case of Palestinians in Lebanon.
If MENA countries want to effectively battle the sale of their history to the highest bidder, they are going about it wrong and largely going about it alone. This is a regional crisis requiring regional solutions.