“I say and look toward France to think
seriously of what would be next. Are we heading in Syria toward a Sunni-Alawite
civil war? This, then, is a genocide and not democracy and reform. Are we
heading toward a division of Syria to mini sectarian states?” Rai said in an
interview with France 24.
said the international community must do more than simply “inflame wars” in
Arab countries, and consider what might follow political change.
we are asking the international community and France is not to rush into
resolutions that strive to change regimes,” Rai added.
bloody crackdown on the five-month anti government uprising in Syria has been
met with heavy criticism from the international community and calls for
President Bashar Assad to step down.
United Nations Security Council issued a statement on Aug. 4 condemning
violence there, which Lebanon later disassociated itself from.
are also fears that the toppling of Assad's government could be followed by
increased sectarian tension and conflict between the Sunni Muslim majority and
the minority Alawite sect to which Assad belongs.
who is scheduled to meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy during his eight-day
visit to France, voiced fears over the fate of minorities, particularly
Christians, in the Arab world in the event of regime change, citing Iraq as an
wanted a democracy in Iraq and this democracy claimed many lives … the
international community and France should think about where we are heading. Is
it toward extremist, violent governments or toward dividing the Arab world?”
the invasion of Iraq in 2003 which toppled President Saddam Hussein’s
government, the country experienced sectarian conflict coupled with an
insurgency that has so far left more than 60,000 Iraqi civilians dead,
according to NGOs.
are worried about Christian presence [in some Arab countries] because we don't
want them to be treated as foreigners, we are not foreigners. And if Arab
regimes are religion-based, meaning that Islam is the state's religion ... then
we live in constant danger,” Rai added.
patriarch said that the international community and the church should help
Christians in Syria as part of an endeavor to protect all minorities, whether Christians