31 July, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 08/16/2010
LEBANON
Offensive to Christians, Jesus series broadcast on Shia networks for Ramadan is cancelled
by Fady Noun
Shia-controlled Al-Manar and NBN networks pull Iranian series based on an apocryphal story about Jesus in which Judas dies in his place. The golden rule of dialogue triumphs over misunderstandings. The controversy is likened to the Muhammad caricature.

Beirut (AsiaNews) – There is no freedom without respect for others. The West does not know this, claiming instead that the right to free expression is absolute and that it can be exercised without controls. By contrast, Lebanon provides an example of the former. Al-Manar TV and NBN are Shia-oriented networks.  Last Thursday, they stopped broadcasting a 17-episode series on the life of Jesus for the month of Ramadan, based on the gospel of Barnabas, a text considered apocryphal by scholars. According to the text, the Apostle Judas took Jesus’ place and died on the Cross.

It was a good decision according to Lebanon’s Information Minister Tarek Mitri because “it showed once again that Lebanon is in the forefront of interfaith dialogue,” that it “respected the golden rule of dialogue, namely speaking about others in ways that they can recognise themselves.” In his view, the decision is “ground breaking and shall serve as a model in other situations”.

Church authorities and Christians in general were upset when the series’ first two episodes were shown on 11 and 12 August. After viewing them, the Catholic Information Centre (CIC), on behalf of the Assembly of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops of Lebanon, called for a stop to the series in order that some scenes deemed offensive to the Christian faith removed. However, “Soon, it was realised that there was too much to” cut, Mitri said.

Tensions between the authorities and the population lasted only 24 hours. Around 2 pm on Friday, during a hectic press conference held at the CIC headquarters, the Information minister announced with pride that both networks had decided of their own free will to drop the series.

Top officials at the two networks took the decision “so as not to offend the Christian faith or hurt the religious feelings of Christians.”

Mgr Bechara Rahi, Maronite archbishop of Jbeil and president of the Bishops’ Commission on Social Communications, and other Church leaders, stood with Mitri when the latter described the decision “as going beyond politics” or “a power relationship where there is a winner and a loser”. For him, it transcends a purely legal solution since the General Security Office could have banned the series.

When Western media published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, Muslims the world over demanded public apologies. In this case, journalists asked Tarek Mitri if the insult warranted reparations and excuses. His response was to say that the series’ withdrawal “is more eloquent than a thousand apologies.”

“It is a victory for Lebanon, for its cultural and religious originality,” Mitri explained, adding that he appreciated the networks’ decision to bear the financial burden caused by breaking the contract to broadcast the series.

For his part, Maronite archbishop of Jbeil simply said, “Truth triumphed”.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
10/14/2011 MIDDLE EAST – ISLAM
The role of Christians and minorities in the Arab world’s future
by Tarek Mitri
03/21/2008 PAKISTAN
Christians and Muslims together against violence in Faisalabad
by Qaiser Felix
02/13/2008 LEBANON
Clashes between opposing factions ahead of pro-government rally
06/08/2005 LEBANON
Divisions and tensions on the eve of the elections on Mount Lebanon and in the Bekaa
by Youssef Hourany
02/15/2008 PAKISTAN
Bishops: 'no' to the cartoons on Muhammad; it's a mistake to republish them
by Qaiser Felix

Editor's choices
ISRAEL - IRAN
After nuclear deal, Israel ought to become Iran’s best ally
by Uri AvneryThis is the thesis of Uri Avnery, leader of Gush Shalom, a major supporter of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. According to the great statesman and peace activist, Iran only wants to be a regional power in the Islamic world, able to trade with everyone, inspired by a sophisticated experience that goes back thousands of years. Iran, which faces backward-looking Gulf monarchies and emirates, could be a great ally against Daesh. Meanwhile in Israel Netanyahu, politicians and the media continue to blunder.
ASIA
PIME in China: new men in new facilities
by Piero GheddoThe mission in China is possible. It should focus more on educational facilities. Old and new martyrs offer a role model. Here is a commented review of a letter the PIME superior general sent out to his confreres after a trip to China.
EUROPE – ISLAM
For Nîmes imam, the Islamic State group kills Christians, but also threatens Islam in Europe
by Hocine Drouiche*Political Islam is becoming a "thuggish Islam," one that values ​​lying, hate, and enmity. Christians and the West are its enemies. However, Islam has had periods in which dialogue, reason, encounter, assimilation were held in high esteem. The belligerent Islam that fascinates so many young people is the result of myths and manipulations and causes Islamophobia. It is time to create and develop Europe’s own Islam, one that guarantees freedom of conscience and coexistence with Christians and Jews. Solving the Palestinian problem requires dialogue.

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.