ON NOVEMBER 11, 2014 AT 2:30 PM
Rifaat Nasrallah knows all too well the onslaught ISIS brings into every country its insurgents infiltrate. The needless slaughter of men, women, and even children in neighboring countries was enough for him to build an army of equally angry civilians. However, Nasrallah isn’t a military commander. He’s a Lebanese Christian, and he’s not going to let his hometown be turned into the next trophy of the Islamic State. “If it weren’t for us, it would be another Mosul for the Christians in Lebanon,” he says. Mosul, Iraq made headlines when every Christian was killed or driven from the city, bringing an end to at least 2,000 years of Christian occupation. The world was shocked to hear of a park in the city, where ISIS fighters were displaying the heads of children they had butchered.
Nasrallah, a veteran of Lebanon’s civil war, commands an all-Christian militia, which he credits for keeping ISIS at bay in Syria.
However, his army isn’t working alone. The Christian militia has paired with Hezbollah, Shi’a Islamist militant group based in his country, according to FOX News. But why pair up with a group that has clearly been an enemy? One fighter explains that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and both armies must rely on one another to defeat ISIS.
The Daily Beast reports:
One of Nasrallah’s deputies, a man asked to only be identified as George, argues that Hezbollah is a natural ally for the country’s Christians. “It’s not about religion anymore,” he says. “We are sharing a common enemy now—ISIS is trying to kill both of us.” Hezbollah, an ally of Iran and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has openly participated in the Syrian civil war since 2013, fighting against rebel groups and extremist Islamists such as Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS. Nasrallah’s militia has been very successful in keeping ISIS at bay and securing the border with Syria, something even the Lebanese army failed to do. Nasrallah adds that he has no respect for Christians willing to flee without fighting. He holds defending the innocent against such brutal slaughter as the ultimate virtue, and feels that it is a Christian’s duty to protect the land they have called home for 2,000 years. “We are not guests in the Middle East,” he says. “We are the owners of this region.”Just as in Israel, Muslims continue to declare foreign land as their own, promised to them by a false god, one who demands rape and murder for the furthering of an oppressive religion.