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Minority Rights in the Middle East$
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Joshua Castellino and Kathleen A. Cavanaugh

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199679492

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199679492.001.0001

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Minority Rights in Lebanon

Minority Rights in Lebanon

(p.334) 6 Minority Rights in Lebanon
Minority Rights in the Middle East

Joshua Castellino

Kathleen A. Cavanaugh

Oxford University Press

This chapter is particularly significant as we explore the issue of minority rights in the Middle East. In examining both its history as well as the current Lebanese political landscape, we expose the colonial mythmaking of a ‘territorial unified Lebanon as a nation-state’ which has, historically, rested upon another foundational myth: Lebanon as a secular and tolerant society. Lebanon is significant to the study of minority rights since the earliest documented treaty on minorities was framed in the context of protection for the Maronites. Historiographies on Lebanon often describe Mount Lebanon as a haven for persecuted groups elsewhere in the region from the seventh century onward. Current narratives replicate this notion of a ‘centuries-old heritage as a place of refuge for those fleeing religious intolerance’. Yet such an image sits uneasily with Lebanon’s colonial past and fractured present.

Keywords:   Secural and tolerant society, Maronites, Lebanon, colonial past

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