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Intervention of Mr. Tanios CHAHWAN, Member of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, President of the National Council for the Laity in Lebanon (LEBANON), auditor
The formulation of modernity in the Arab Muslim world represents a problem at the same time tragic and complex: tragic because this formulation is touched by a major and complex handicap, in the fact that its understanding does not depend on just one factor, but on several, of an endogenous and exogenous nature, which overlap and are interdependent. They operate from a well-determined content and become visible, in the framework of a complex dynamic, through the ways of action and reaction.
In effect, the movement of history between Islam and the West is a pendular movement of flux and reflux. In the wake of historical stages, these factors - which are historical, ideological, religious, social, psychological, psycho-social and cultural - were formed and were amplified on one side and the other...
About the endogenous factors, I consider:
- “The Arabs’ view of their past, multifaceted up to now, which tends to be represented as a healthy screen against cultural drifting”.
- The glorification of history.
- The Arabs’ inferiority complex regarding the West.
- The Palestinian cause.
- The conflict about Islam between those of Islam.
- The holy in Islam.
- The relation of Islam to Patrimony.
As for the exogenous, I distinguish:
- “The speech of the West on Arabic Muslim values, sometimes ambiguous but often hostile”.
- The Promethean complex of the West.
- The West’s fear for its decline.
- The covetousness of the West in the Arab Muslim world.
This Synod Assembly is called upon to help Eastern Christians to commit once again with their fellow citizens and to contribute answers of hope, that favor the development of a dynamic process of renewal and renaissance of Arabicity, which would foresee:
- the understanding and apprehension of the social reality of the Arab world in view of its transformation;
- cultural reconciliation between East and West with a view to making less fatal the logic of conflict and opposition between them which is often preached through the logic of history’s movements.
[00135-02.02] [UD015] [Original text: French]