On July 22, 2014, I wrote an article under the title ‘O Christians! Get out of our homelands’. The article at the time met, and still does, an unprecedented attention, and it became perhaps the most famous article in the history of the Arab press, as its publication coincided with the increasing terrorist attacks against Christians by ISIS in our countries. I will republish it with some changes because of its contents rekindles painful memories for many.
I have now republished the article because another article dating back to April 23, 2016 entitled ‘O Muslims, get out of our homes’ is fast spreading.
The old article says: “O Christians of Damascus, Yabroud and Ma’aloula, get out from our homelands, O Christians of Mosul, Nineveh, and Baghdad get out from our countries, O Christians of Lebanon, from our mountains and valleys, get out, O Christians of Palestine and the island, from our shores and soil, get out all from under our skins, we hate you, and we do not want you among us. Get out; we are tired of progress, civilization, openness, tolerance, love, brotherhood, co-existence and forgiveness.
Go out to be free to kill each other, you are neither of us nor we of you, get out, we are tired of being the origin in Egypt, Iraq, Syria and Palestine, get out so that we do not feel ashamed when our eyes meet with your eyes wondering what happened?
Get out and leave us with our misfortunes, for there are those who welcome you, so that we will stay here far from you and from your claims, your knowledge and your experiences, get out and leave us with fanaticism, and hatred.
Get out, because we have seen enough of what you call civilization, and with your departure we will be devoted to ending the remaining traces of it and destroying the idols that your ancestors left and idols and monuments, from stone, poetry, prose and literature.
Get out, neither Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Kuwait, Palestine, Jordan nor North Africa, needs you, nor those who lived among us before you, including gypsies and the Jews.
Go and get out and take your mercy with you. After ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Al-Nusra, we do not need sympathy and mercy, let blood flow and violence spread, hearts be cut open, livers eaten, tongues pulled out, necks slit, knees smashed, and we will return to ancient medicine and use herbs for treatment and read from ancient books and resort to fortune telling looking for good luck.
Leave, our Christians, and take with you all the traces and remains of Gibran, Sarkon Boulos, Al-Carmeli, Youssef Al-Saegh, Saadi Al-Maleh, the sons of Takla, Al-Yazji, Al-Bustani, and Al-Akhtal Al-Saghir.
Take your universities and hospitals with you and close your missionaries, because even Mikhail Naima we do not need him, nor Mai Ziada or the sons of Maalouf, Sarouf, Ghali, Zidan, Al Khazin, Busters, Thabit, and Sakakini, for these are all not of us and we are not of them.
Yes, leave us, we want to return to our deserts, for we have longed for our swords, our soil and our animals, and we do not need you or your linguistic and poetic contributions, for we have what we can sing about you from the poems of murder and bloodshed. Stay alienated, Christians, for we have replaced you with the culture of digging graves.
The older article says: O our Muslims, go back to your homelands: O Muslims of France, Belgium, Britain and Germany, and O Muslims of the rest of Europe and America, we are tired of you, so pack your bags and depart from us, return to your homelands, go back and take your schools with you, and perhaps you are tired of secularism of our schools and take your ideas with you, your homelands need them.
Uproot what you have planted, if you planted something, then the sun of your country needs its shade, especially as you hate our cold weather, so leave us with our destructive rains and storms.
Leave us, you hate our crosses, the bells of our churches annoy you, the robes of our monks annoy you, and the chants of our prayers annoy you. What do you want from us? Do you not consider our food forbidden, our clothes unclean and our homes filthy? So why don’t you return to your halal food, clean clothes, and blessed homes?
You mock us and describe us as dirty; because we don’t wash enough. We will not disagree with you, and confirm your assumptions, and therefore go away and leave us with our impurity. You say that we lack jealousy, and honor issues do not concern us. Are you not afraid that your children will be influenced by us in the future, and they will become like us, lacking jealousy, so why do you not leave us with your honor and chastity?
You blame us because we turn the cheek on those who slap us, and here also we will not disagree with you, although we saved the world twice in the modern era from the great tyrants, but do not forget that tolerance is contagious, and one day your families will become like us, so why do you not leave us, before you are afflicted with plagues of forgiveness and love?
You hate our feasts, hate our statues and mock our icons, and consider them as idolatry and polytheism, and you reject Christmas trees and Easter eggs, and you forbid the gift of flowers, and you forbid everything related to pigs, meat and materials, so why do you not return to your sheep, cattle and camels, in order to feed them, milk them, and eat their halal meat as you wish and leave us with our pigs, and their unpleasant shapes?
You hate secularism in your homelands, but you are risking your life in order to come to our secularism and live under its shadow. And as soon as you are settled, you will demand their benefits, the rights of citizenship and equality.
You forbid others from establishing places of worship in your homes, or private cemeteries, and as soon as you set foot on our homelands, your voices become louder and louder and demand construction of mosques and graves of your own.
You do not like our music, do not tend to our arts, mock our operas, and reject our culture, but you are desperate to come to us.
We only say thank you, and for your cultural, industrial and scientific contributions, and now honor us by returning to your paradises from which you came, for they need your knowledge more because enough is enough for us.
By Ahmad Alsarraf