Saturday, January 4, 2014

Met. Ephrem Kyriakos Condemns the Burning of al-Sa'eh Bookstore

Last night, the al-Saeh bookstore in Tripoli, owned by Fr Ibrahim Sarrouj, was burned down after a text insulting Muhammad was allegedly found in it. This is one of the oldest bookstores and publishing houses in Lebanon and it contained many rare books. For an excellent profile of Fr Ibrahim, see here.

More about this crime can be read here and here (note that there is some confusion because "bookstore" and "library" are the same word in Arabic). Arabic original of the text below here.

Communique issued from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Tripoli, Koura and their Dependencies

Before the heinous crime that resulted in the burning of the al-Sa'eh Bookstore owned by the priest Ibrahim Sarrouj, we cannot but denounce this act of vandalism that aims to strike the social fiber of the city of Tripoli and its surroundings. We condemn it in the strongest possible terms insofar as it furthers the plan to sow division in the region and is an assault on reason, culture and humanity in general. It reminds us of the burnings of the libraries of Baghdad and Alexandria and the decline and ignorance left in their wake.

The fingers of civil strife, which have been reaching for our city for many days, have succeeded in weaving lies and fabrications about an article of which they know Fr Ibrahim is innocent, since its author is well-known and published it on his website some time ago. Formal inquiries have proven this.

But those who work for and incite civil strife have persisted in their plans to strike the city and its surroundings and terrorize its residents. This only serves those who plot evil against national unity. It distorts the face for Tripoli and its heritage, built by all our forefathers of all religions and sects.

Regarding what happened, we demand that the judicial authorities conduct a transparent inquiry, discover the perpetrators and instigators of civil strife and division, try them and sentence them to a severe punishment, so that they and others will realize that toying with the city and its residents is a crime and that they will not reach their goal.

We take this occasion to ask all civil and spiritual authorities, leaders of civil society and the media to help to triumph a calm and constructive discourse and to refrain from incitement and spreading poison.
We implore God to preserve Tripoli and Lebanon from every evil.

January 4, 2014

1 comment:

Unknown said...

A tragic loss of what was clearly an amazing bookstore!

Thanks for spreading word of this.

It seems the Syria crisis and spillover has emboldened all Salafi radicals in the area.