This article in Vatican Insider:Pope’s visit helped reveal the deep desire of the Lebanese to live in peace has this statement, I thought was very interesting in terms of all the stories about violence and protests against the US:
Not only Christians but also many Muslims welcome his visit and his message that the different religious communities in this land can live together in peace and harmony.
“His visit and message is very important for all of us and for the whole region too. We all agree, even Hezbollah welcomes him”, Madame Nadia Daouk Sabra, a Muslim and wife of a former Lebanese minister and aunt of the Minister of Information”, told me shortly after the Pope had spoken.
“Lebanon is an example of civilization to the world, it shows that Muslims and Christians can live together, but this is a message that disturbs others, like those who have inspired the troubles in Tripoli”, she said.
She was referring to the burning of the KFC restaurant and protests – also some against the Pope’s visit - in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, in recent days, where one person was killed. The protests were sparked by the film “The Innocence of Muslims”, that has offended Muslims in many lands.
“The bearded ones of Tripoli are not true Muslims. I am a Muslim. My father went to Mecca twenty-two times. These people are not Muslims, they are terrorists in the name of Islam, and they are being paid by people in Saudi Arabia and Qatar”, Mohammad Anis Karddoura, a prominent Lebanese painter and sculptor, told me.
Madame Sabra, his friend, nodded in agreement. Others have told me this too in recent days.
“The Pope is right to speak out. Ignorance is dangerous. What they are doing is against the Arab identity. Christians and Muslims can live together in peace. The Lebanon shows this to the world. That message bothers them,” Karddoura added.
I thought this was interesting because I think as a culture, we have the impression that world domination and the forced spread of Islam is the Arab identity. I was wondering if anyone has more direct knowledge, any Muslims on this forum or people who have lived or visited extensively in the region would comment on true Islamic identity.