Tuesday, November 13, 2007
That's a simple principle, isn't it?
Interviewer: Take, for example, the people who were killed in South Lebanon, while fighting the Israelis – should they be considered martyrs?
Father Samir Khalil Al-Yasou'i: Definitely not. They are not martyrs, because they were fighting. This is political defense...
Interviewer: So they are by no means martyrs? Is it wrong and inappropriate to use the word "martyr" in this case?
Father Samir Khalil Al-Yasou'i: This word is used to incite people and to justify one's positions. If I take my weapon and go to war against another armed person, this means that one of us could get killed. There are victims... In any case, I am considered an aggressor, just like him. Even if he managed to hit me, and I did not manage to hit him, it does not mean that I am considered a martyr and he is the executioner. Moreover, like Dr. Samir said, Gandhi should indeed be considered a martyr, because he was killed fighting for the sake of non-violence, and because he sought to unite the Muslims and the Hindus. In addition, some Buddhists, like those we are seeing now in Myanmar, can be considered martyrs.
Interviewer: They are victims of the lack of religious freedom.
Father Samir Khalil Al-Yasou'i: Yes, because first, there must be non-violence. The violent cannot be considered a martyr...
...Interviewer: Do you think that Christians are persecuted in Saudi Arabia?
Father Samir Khalil Al-Yasou'i: By law, Christians are not allowed to exist there. If a person prays within his own home – as in the case of some people from India, the Philippines, and Pakistan – he is sent to prison and flogged. If a man wears a cross under his shirt... The Saudi airline... This appeared on the Internet three weeks ago, and was removed after they received complaints. They had a list of things that travelers must not take on board: The Holy Bible, any non-Muslim religious symbol, and so on...
...Father Samir Khalil Al-Yasou'i: There's no doubt that among the countries that violate human rights the most, one finds China and Saudi Arabia. This is well known. But this constitutes cowardice on the part of the Western world. They dare not say a word to Saudi Arabia, because they need the Saudi oil and money. So they keep quiet. This is cowardice.