BEIRUT: The threatening messages that were written on the walls of churches in Tripoli were childish, and burning Islamist flags in Ashrafieh was stupid, according to Tripoli MP Mohammad Kabbara.
“The stupidity that pushed some to burn the Shahada [“There is no God but God”] flag in Ashrafieh, reproduced a similar stupidity in Tripoli's Al-Mina neighborhood, which was translated into writing trifles on the walls of some churches," Kabbara said in a statement Wednesday
“The acts are not worth discussion or exaggeration,” he added.
Kabbara said the writings were no more than some “childish acts” that contradict Tripoli’s tolerant culture.
“We call on everyone to stick to the coexistence formula enjoyed by the city, without giving these instances any dimensions that they do not deserve.”
Stressing that Tripoli belongs to its entire people from different sects; Kabbara expressed confidence that the people will together overthrow the "walls conspiracy," as they once overthrew conspiracies that targeted the city’s security.
Tensions have risen in Tripoli since last week, with several incidents of intimidation against the city's Christian community.
Crosses were allegedly burned over the weekend and several churches were defaced with threatening messages, thought to be in retaliation for the burning of Islamist flags by several youths in Beirut's Sassine Square.
“We came to slaughter you, you worshipers of the cross," read graffiti on the wall of Mar Elias Church in the Mina neighborhood, while several other churches were sprayed with “The Islamic State is Coming.”
The incidents have been widely condemned by officials, with Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi promising a full investigation into any attempts to incite sectarian strife, and the Lebanese Army enhancing security arrangements in the city.