While CNN was busy firing senior editor for Middle East affairs Octavia Nasr for tweeting niceties about Hezbollah's recently deceased spiritual leader, another effusive tribute to terrorist Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah seeped out into cyberspace -- this one coming from, shockingly enough, the British Ambassador to Lebanon. Said Ambassador Frances Guy of Fadlallah:
One of the privileges of being a diplomat is the people you meet; great and small, passionate and furious. People in Lebanon like to ask me which politician I admire most. It is an unfair question, obviously, and many are seeking to make a political response of their own. I usually avoid answering by referring to those I enjoy meeting the most and those that impress me the most. Until yesterday my preferred answer was to refer to Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, head of the Shia clergy in Lebanon and much admired leader of many Shia muslims throughout the world. When you visited him you could be sure of a real debate, a respectful argument and you knew you would leave his presence feeling a better person. That for me is the real effect of a true man of religion; leaving an impact on everyone he meets, no matter what their faith....
The world needs more men like him willing to reach out across faiths, acknowledging the reality of the modern world and daring to confront old constraints.
"Reach out across faiths?" That's one way of putting it. As Daniel Halper noted Monday, Fadallah was the religious leader who interpreted the Koran to provide justification for suicide bombings. He was believed to be responsible for the deaths of 241 Marines and 58 French paratroopers in the 1983 Lebanon bombings, denied the Holocaust, and--with his venomous rhetoric--fueled a decades-long conflict that claimed the lives of countless Israeli lives.
To say that it's deeply unprofessional and wholly inappropriate for a representative of the British government--a close ally of the U.S. and France, plus a supposed friend of Israel--to be publicly honoring Fadallah is a gross understatement.