Christian-Muslim relations in Lebanon today can benefit from the letter and -- the spirit of the civil rights enactment guaranteed to Christians in 628 C.E. -- when Prophet Muhammad granted the Charter of Privileges to the monks of -- St. Catherine Monastery in Mt. Sinai. The Charter consists of several clauses -- enacting civil rights for Christian refugees including freedom of movement, -- freedom from arbitrary arrest and confinement, freedom to work and to own -- a home."
Alaa, from Shatila camp, whose little brother Omar asked their mother if "Baba Roumieh" (the Pope from Rome) would visit Shatila, said she hopes that "the Pope will urge and advocate that all Christians in Lebanon support meaningful civil rights legislation for Palestinian refugees in compliance with international law and Christian morality. We urge Pope Benedict to condemn the racist and anti-Palestinian language and graffiti that has polluted public discussion for the past half century in Lebanon and has undermined dialogue."
Civil rights for Lebanon's Palestinian refugees have been denied for too long. -- These days are pregnant with potential new tragedies that nobody wishes -- upon anybody else. Hopefully Pope Benedict XVI will urge the faithful to support the earliest possible enactment of Civil Rights legislation for Palestinian refugees.