International

Choosing freedom over martyrdom

Demonstrators in Beirut against the Syrian occupation of Lebanon have changed the name of their protest’s location from “Martyrs’ Square” to “Freedom Square.”

Anyone familiar with the depressing and bloody history of “martyrdom” in the Middle East should find this significant. State-run Arab media and Islamist preachers have for decades been commending the virtues of martyrdom and turning “martyrs” into heroes, in what amounts to an officially-sanctioned death cult.

By changing the name of the Beirut square, I’d like to believe, the protestors are signalling (among other things) that they prefer a free life over a “glorious” death.

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