Thursday, December 13, 2012

Walbridge's Dearborn book





Without Forgetting the Imam: Lebanese Shi'is in an American Community (1997) by Linda Walbridge is an excellent book on the Shia of Dearborn. One hopes that those who want to learn about that community do read her book- particularly federal law enforcement who have a special interest in that area of the world. The insights and the depth of knowledge she has are remarkable. She was able to attain them because she was trusted by the community who opened their homes to her.

One hopes that those interested in that community read Walbridge and not the drivel that is written about the community by Zionist Christians and Zionist Jews who see attacking and defaming that community as somehow helping Israel. In the alternative they see the defaming and demonizing as payback for the Shia Lebanese group Hizbullah fighting Israel and succeeding in removing it from the South of Lebanon.

 However, there are two errors in the book I want to mention. First- On page 35 she writes that "Minority groups have been able to persist in Lebanon because of its inaccessible mountainous area." The Lebanese historian Kamal Salibi years ago- in 1988- debunked that myth. Is it possible the Muslim armies who invaded and destroyed empires, near and far, were not able to reach to the mountainous area? This is Salibi's question. And his answer is highly unlikely. Second- On page 36 she writes that "Lebanon is unique among the Middle Eastern countries in that it is home to a very large Christian population." Egypt has more Christians than all the other Arab countries combined.

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