A series of events signaling the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Tripoli have raised concerns among the city’s Christian community. The burning of the al-Saeh library earlier this year and the attacks on Makiya Café during the month of Ramadan, followed by a series of decisions including a ban on alcohol advertising have reinforced a stereotype that Tripoli harbors extremist Islamic groups.


“The question of whether or not we should be afraid for the Christians in Lebanon and in Tripoli, particularly, is one for the security forces to answer,” Father Shukri Khoury told NOW. “These attacks are due to the deteriorating security situation, not to the rise of fundamentalism.”


Khoury said that since the implementation of the security plan in Tripoli, people have regained their faith in the security forces. But he says that there are huge numbers of non-Lebanese living in the country today who are not part of the social fabric and that their presence can be used by foreign groups to sow alienation and division and fuel sectarian strife among the country’s various communities. [Link]