By Andrew L. Jaffee
So “Muslims are an oppressed minority in this country?” One wouldn’t have made this conclusion if attending my hometown’s annual Maronite Christian Lebanese festival, held last weekend here in downtown Middle America. Amongst the throngs of Polish-, German-, Lithuanian-, Franco-, Scottish-, Irish-, Anglo-, African-, Jewish-, Latino-, etc.-Americans were Muslims, too. Several women were sporting their hijab (head scarves). If so oppressed, would Muslims have been there having a good time with the rest of us? Conversely, if these women were radical Islamists, would they have been at a Christian-sponsored festival involving belly-dancing, beer-kegs, and plenty of male/female fraternization? Everybody needs to chill out a little bit.
Festival organizers had a display on Lebanese history, including Phoenician and Maronite factoids. There was no shilling for the Palestinians; no railing against Israel; no anti-Muslim sentiments. It all was in good taste, despite how badly Lebanese Christians have been treated in their homeland by other Arabs and Muslims.