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1. Editorial

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Article title: 
1. Editorial
Publishers: 
Year: 
2006
Week: 
23
Article number: 
1
Date of source: 
16-08-2006
Author: 
Cornelis Hulsman
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Article summary: 

On the war in Lebanon, the bias towards Israel and the Israeli version of conflict situations. Initiating a forum for peace.
Problems and consequences of emotional Arab reporting and lacking sufficient facts.

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The war in Lebanon seems to have ended and we hope this will last. In the past few weeks we have been flooded with articles and emails about Lebanon which has resulted in the establishment of a new website: www.lebanonforpeace.com

The discussion about setting up a new website started with the letter of Martin Accad in Christianity Today [art. 2 in this issue] and I am grateful to both Martin Accad and Christianity Today for allowing AWR to place Dr. Accad’s text.

Like Dr. Accad, I am not very pleased with much Western Evangelical reporting about the Middle East because it tends to be Islamophobic and takes a highly negative attitude towards Arabs. As a result, many Western Christians hardly ever hear the voices of Christian Arabs.

The consequence is a bias towards Israel and the Israeli version of conflict situations. The least Western Christians could do is hear both sides of the story.

Of course there are many problems with Arab reporting or that of emigrants from Arab countries in the West. It is often not based on enough facts, fails to explain the context and is too opinionated and emotional as is, for example, obvious in art. 31 of Adil Guindy in this issue of AWR.

Emotional Arab reporting that lacks sufficient facts may also be related to a strong oral culture and a weak written culture whereby people with whom we meet, including many intellectuals, may be very able to express their views orally, but have a hard time formulating that in a rational way on paper. They also tend to take the differences in cultures, between the Arab world and the West, insufficiently into account and thus assume, often wrongly, that the reader understands what they are writing.

It is therefore necessary to build a number of discussion forums around our own website www.cawu.org, the first of such discussion forums is www.lebanonforpeace.com. We are very pleased that Sawsan Mustafa is willing to moderate this and that Dr. Martin Accad and Rev. Dr. Riad Kassis have agreed to become special contributors. Members of "Lebanon for Peace" can address whatever questions they have to them.

The website is a forum for peace, inviting everyone to contribute with their views, and providing information about initiatives that provide humanitarian support. “Lebanon for Peace” will be a forum where different initiatives and websites, which try to give a response to the situation in Lebanon, are linked to each other. Please send in letters with your own experiences and articles you have seen and want to share with others. Ask questions to which others may be able to respond.

The rules for this website are simple: we advocate peace and no calls for violence will be allowed. All constructive opinions are welcome. We expect writers to refrain from shouting and using offensive language that harms proper communication between people with different opinions.

Please sign up for this website. There are no costs involved. Please also advise organizations you know to link to www.lebanonforpeace.com The war seems to have ended but it will take a long time for all human suffering to heal and real peace to take its place. We pray for peace for Lebanon!

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