Angry Lebanese protest over attack on Tripoli library

tripoli library 3Hundreds of Lebanese took to the streets of the northern city of Tripoli on Saturday to protest the torching of a decades-old library owned by a Greek Orthodox priest.

The demonstrators held up banners that read “Tripoli, peaceful town” and “This is contrary to the values of the Prophet,” in reference to the Muslim Prophet Mohammed.

Assailants set alight the Sa’eh library belonging to Father Ibrahim Surouj on Friday night, destroying two-thirds of the 80,000 books and manuscripts it stored, a security official told AFP.

The attack came a day after “a pamphlet was discovered inside one of the books at the library that was insulting to Islam and the prophet Mohammad,” the official said at the time.

Later, however, “it became clear the priest had nothing to do with the pamphlet,” said the same source.

“Then on Friday night, the library was torched,” he added.

The attack left the shelves and walls of the library charred.

tripoli library father surouj 3
Sa’eh library owner Father Ibrahim Surouj

But the Greek Orthodox priest forgave those responsible for the attack, in a statement aired on television on Saturday.

The library is located in the historic heart of Tripoli, Lebanon’s second city and scene of frequent Syria-related violence pitting Sunnis against members of the minority Alawite community, to which Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad belongs.

Sectarian violence involving the city’s Christians has been extremely rare in recent years.

But Friday’s incident comes amid a backdrop of growing religious radicalism in Lebanon related to the war in neighboring Syria.

March 14 condemns burning of library

Future Movement bloc MP Mohammad Kabbara voiced on Saturday March 14 coalition’s condemnation of the burning of a library owned by a Greek Orthodox priest in Tripoli.

“The torching of the library is [akin to] targeting the cultural image of the city,” Kabbara said on Saturday following a meeting of the Tripoli Declaration Committee.

The Future parliamentarian expressed March 14 officials’ and Tripoli figures’ solidarity with the owner of the library, Father Ibrahim Surouj, and stressed the importance of coexistence in Tripoli.

“Evil hands appear to be refusing to leave Tripoli alone to enjoy stability and evil minds want to accuse the city of terrorism in all possible means.” Kabbara said adding “March 14 condemns and deplores the attack that only indicates the immoral character of the perpetrators.”

Kabbra added: “Nothing stands in the way of implementing the Tripoli Declaration and we all stress on the necessity to end the spread of weapons because this has become a must to protect religious coexistence.”

Similarly March 14 forces general-secretariat coordinator Fares Soueid condemned the incident following the March 14 meeting in Tripoli:

” Tripoli remains the capital of the North and what happened to Father Ibrahim Surouj required that we all come here to say that there is a conspiracy and the city remains a place for religious coexistence.”

He added: “We are Lebanese people against any Christian, Sunni and Shiite extremism.”

AFP/ Agencies

  • Hannibal

    That is a good reason to go digital 😛

    • Maborlz Ez-Hari

      Not the same but then again I’m old fashioned.

    • Andre

      what a stupid comment.

      • Hannibal

        It takes a stupid person to read a stupid comment… Don’t be a stiff. It was a joke.

  • Hannibal

    That is a good reason to go digital 😛

    • Maborlz Ez-Hari

      Not the same but then again I’m old fashioned.

    • Andre

      what a stupid comment.

      • Hannibal

        It takes a stupid person to read a stupid comment… Don’t be a stiff. It was a joke.

  • 5thDrawer

    No chips left to steal from KFC – burn a book treasury instead.

  • 5thDrawer

    No chips left to steal from KFC – burn a book treasury instead.

  • guss043

    The priest has nothing to do with the pamphlet ,but I read the pamphlet and everything in it is true and taken from Kitab al Tabakat , why the Muslim don’t admit what is written in their own books , the Hadith and the book “Kitab al Tabakat ” that describes the perverted sexual behaviour of Mohammad , just go to you tube and listen to father Boutors Zakaria quoting th book of tabakat , he’s a scholar that forced many Islamic scholars or to admit what he quote from their own books or make them answering him by twisting the truth .

  • guss043

    The priest has nothing to do with the pamphlet ,but I read the pamphlet and everything in it is true and taken from Kitab al Tabakat , why the Muslim don’t admit what is written in their own books , the Hadith and the book “Kitab al Tabakat ” that describes the perverted sexual behaviour of Mohammad , just go to you tube and listen to father Boutors Zakaria quoting th book of tabakat , he’s a scholar that forced many Islamic scholars or to admit what he quote from their own books or make them answering him by twisting the truth .

  • guss043

    As much as they say people did condemn the act but there were many just passed by and spit on the Library and were calling to slaughter the priest , from Lebanon to Saudi Arabia , just read Annahar below comments and you could tell that we are living with the people who Ibn Khaldoun described them well !!

    • Hind Abyad

      They were Salafists, (radicals like Takfiris), friday they warned the priest.
      Are they Lebanese? In any case they should be put in forced labour not
      sitting reading in prison.

      • nagy_michael2

        Hind my dear I have to agree with you on this one. I think Lebanon should hang these assholes by their testicles..

    • Hind Abyad

      Saudi Arabia had only one Cultural heritage (they stole from the Hashemits), the Mecca magnificent architecture, are demolished to build luxurious appartements for multi-millionaires.

  • guss043

    As much as they say people did condemn the act but there were many just passed by and spit on the Library and were calling to slaughter the priest , from Lebanon to Saudi Arabia , just read Annahar below comments and you could tell that we are living with the people who Ibn Khaldoun described them well !!

    • Hind Abyad

      They were Salafists, (radicals like Takfiris), friday they warned the priest, seems there were Corans they dont agee with. Are they Lebanese? In any case they should be put in forced labour not sitting reading in prison, were are the laws in Lebanon??

      • nagy_michael2

        Hind my dear I have to agree with you on this one. I think Lebanon should hang these assholes by their testicles..

    • Hind Abyad

      Saudi Arabia had only one Cultural heritage (they stole from the Hashemits), the Mecca magnificent architecture, are demolished to build luxurious appartements for multi-millionaires.

  • GENUG

    Muslims love to torch libraries and documents – the qur’an commands cultural genocide and a wiping away of all else save for allah. THIS IS CULTURAL GENOCIDE!!!!! ANY TIME A LIBRARY IS BURNED, MUSEUM TRASHED, ARTIFACTS OBLITERATED – so so so wrong!!!!!! Islam should be outlawed and eradicated – it’s a warlord death cult of oppression, slavery and tyranny. It’s worse than Nazism – it’s lasted for 1400 years – it needs to be vaporized.

    • Hind Abyad

      Then ask your Prime Minister & US President to stop sending barbarian al Qaeda, Takfiris, Saudi illitered Jihadists, Talibans, destroy 6000 old Syria the Cradle of Civilisation, you desguised clown, were were you when hundreds of libraries, Museums, Ancient artifacts, were being burned an destroyed in Syria? THAT WAS CULTURAL GENOCIDE!!!!! Don’t tell it to people who can’t do anything about it.

      • GENUG

        I plead DAILY with my Congresswoman – Nita Lowey, a friend. I send her pictures, articles, entreats to STOP OBAMA’S MADNESS!!!!! Short of an armed revolt in the States, We the People are just about powerless as you because our “leaders” have failed us, just as yours. They line their pockets and steal from ours. Obama IS your enemy, we have become his slaves. Tune in to Twitterverse – WE are NOT happy over this. The problem is Obama was voted in because of his skin color – NOT because of principles. Where was the Muslim and Arab world when the Buddahs were blown up? the burning of the library at Tiimbuktu? The destruction of tombs, books, Egypt Museum? Looting at Babylon? The Wafq destroying 1st Temple artifacts and archeology at the Temple Mount? I ask my people, you ask yours!!! Rise Up!

        • Hind Abyad

          Thank you for the good intentions.

          • GENUG

            I’ve been trying hard since my birth…. long family tradition of having government dossiers….. :>) Stay Safe! This may be slow, but we will turn it around!

  • GENUG

    Muslims love to torch libraries and documents – the qur’an commands cultural genocide and a wiping away of all else save for allah. THIS IS CULTURAL GENOCIDE!!!!! ANY TIME A LIBRARY IS BURNED, MUSEUM TRASHED, ARTIFACTS OBLITERATED – so so so wrong!!!!!! Islam should be outlawed and eradicated – it’s a warlord death cult of oppression, slavery and tyranny. It’s worse than Nazism – it’s lasted for 1400 years – it needs to be vaporized.

    • Hind Abyad

      Then ask your Prime Minister & US President to stop sending babarian, al Qaeda, Takfiris, Saudi illitered Jihadists, Talibans, destroy 6000 old Syria the Cradle of Civilisation, you desguised clown, were were you when hundreds of libraries, Museums, Ancient artifacts, were being burned an destroyed in Syria? THAT WAS CULTURAL GENOCIDE!!!!! Don’t tell it to people who can’t do anything about it.

      • GENUG

        I plead DAILY with my Congresswoman – Nita Lowey, a friend. I send her pictures, articles, entreats to STOP OBAMA’S MADNESS!!!!! Short of an armed revolt in the States, We the People are just about powerless as you because our “leaders” have failed us, just as yours. They line their pockets and steal from ours. Obama IS your enemy, we have become his slaves. Tune in to Twitterverse – WE are NOT happy over this. The problem is Obama was voted in because of his skin color – NOT because of principles. Where was the Muslim and Arab world when the Buddahs were blown up? the burning of the library at Tiimbuktu? The destruction of tombs, books, Egypt Museum? Looting at Babylon? The Wafq destroying 1st Temple artifacts and archeology at the Temple Mount? I ask my people, you ask yours!!! Rise Up!

        • Hind Abyad

          Thank you for the good intentions.

          • GENUG

            I’ve been trying hard since my birth…. long family tradition of having government dossiers….. :>) Stay Safe! This may be slow, but we will turn it around!