On Monday, The New York Times, in an effort to show that radical Islamists in Lebanon hate Israel but actually love Christians, published an article in which representatives of Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism and whose government encourages chants of “Death to the U.S.,” celebrated Christmas, and Hezbollah, which has been named a terrorist organization by the United states, imported a Santa Claus.
Promoting the piece, the Times wrote on Twitter, “Hezbollah, the Shiite political movement and militia that the United States has branded a terrorist organization, has helped ring in the season in previous years, importing a Santa to Beirut’s southern suburbs to distribute gifts.”
The Times reported on an Iranian-sponsored event on Saturday at which an Iranian cultural attaché stood near “a twinkling Christmas tree, a gold star gilding its tip. Angel ornaments and miniature Santa hats nestled among its branches. Fake snow dusted fake pine needles.” The attaché proclaimed, “Today, we’re celebrating the birth of Christ and also the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.” The new mufti of the Shiite Muslims of Lebanon, Ahmed Kabalan, added that Christians and Muslims “are one family, against corruption, with social justice, against authority, against Israel, with the Lebanese Army and with the resistance.”
The Times also tried to cleanse the deadly terrorist group Hezbollah, writing:
Even Hezbollah, the Shiite political movement and militia that the United States has branded a terrorist organization, has helped ring in the season. In previous years, it imported a Santa to Beirut’s southern suburbs to distribute gifts. On Saturday, Hezbollah representatives were on hand for the Iranian Christmas concert, an event also featuring handicrafts by Iranian artists, but the organization skipped Santa this year because of financial constraints.
The Times writes that although there have been problems with the Sunni areas of Lebanon vis-à-vis Christianity, notably, according to one television news report, some Christmas trees in Tripoli being burned down in 2015, such thinking was absent among the Shiite Muslims. The Times quoted Ahmad Tarjoman, 48, a Beirut-based correspondent for Iranian state television, asserting, “We follow Imam Ali, who told us to respect other cultures.”
In case the Times missed it, the Hezbollah manifesto of 2009 states:
Following World War II, the United States became the center of polarization and hegemony in the world; as such a project witnessed tremendous development on the levels of domination and subjugation that is unprecedented in history, making use and taking advantage of the multifaceted achievements on the several levels of knowledge, culture, technology, economy as well as the military level - that are supported by an economic-political system that only views the world as markets that are to abide by the American view.
The most dangerous aspect in the western hegemony - the American one precisely - is that they consider themselves owners of the world and therefore, this expanding strategy along with the economic-capitalist project has become a “western expanding strategy” that turned to be an international scheme of limitless greed … There is no doubt that the American Terrorism is the origin of all terrorism in this world.
The State Department declared Hezbollah a terrorist organization in 1997; at a State Department briefing in October 2017, Nick Rasmussen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, stated:
Lebanese Hizballah has repeatedly demonstrated for the world its true character. It is an organization that relies on terrorism as well as other forms of violence and coercion to achieve its goals. And this takes place in spite of the group’s attempts to portray itself as a legitimate political party. Prior to September 11th, I think everybody knows Hizballah was responsible for the terrorism-related deaths of more U.S. citizens than any other foreign terrorist organization.
Now, for many Americans, their introduction to the threat posed by this group came after Hizballah’s attack on the U.S. embassy in Beirut in April of 1983. That horrific attack killed 63 and wounded an additional 120 individuals, and it was followed by an even more deadly attack on our Marine barracks in October of 1983 which killed 241 Americans and wounded an additional 128 Americans.
So Hizballah’s penchant for violence has not changed over the last three decades. We’ve seen time and time again with its international terrorism unit, the External Security Organization, also known as the IJO, the Islamic Jihad Organization, and Unit 910, 9-1-0. But its deployment of operatives to nearly every corner of the globe continues to engage in terrorism-related activity.
As far as Iran loving Christianity, as Open Doors has reported:
While the government is anti-Christian, it does grant some limited freedoms to historical Christian churches. They are allowed to preach to fellow countrymen in their own language but are forbidden from ministering to people from Muslim backgrounds. Members of these historical churches are treated as second-class citizens, and they have reported imprisonment, physical abuse, harassment and discrimination, and jail terms, particularly for reaching out to Muslims. Converts from Islam and non-traditional Christian denominations (including Evangelical, Baptist and Pentecostal communities) experience the worst of the persecution. Leaders and church members have been arrested and imprisoned long-term for “crimes against the national security."