The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) have been a topic of fraught debate for several years now. Not only does their extremist ideology bear very little resemblance the peaceful tenants preached in the Quran but their ruthless slaughter of those who they deem to be “disbelievers” has caused extreme loss of innocent life in the regions that they occupy and beyond as they continue to plan and execute terrorist attacks in both eastern and western countries.
Mentions of ISIS normally trigger revulsion and immediate denunciation from across the globe as people have naturally found themselves invested in the fight to neutralise the group after seeing picture after video after statistic that elaborates on the organisation’s atrocities and senseless acts of violence. It’s consequently understandable that one man got very riled up when he was put face to face with a man that refused to condemn the terror group.
A Lebanese news debate that ended in violence less than a minute after it began has got the internet in quite the flurry.
Last Monday, Bilal Daqmaq, a well-known Lebanese cleric who is a critic of Syrian President, Bashar-al-Assad’s regime was invited to take part in a debate on OTV. He was joined by another guest, a former Syrian MP, Ahmad Shlash, who is on the side of the government in the divisive Syrian war.
The host of the debate made sure to offer his condolences to Shlash who had just lost a cousin the day before. Shlash’s family member was murdered by ISIS, who had accused him of collaborating with the Syrian government.
The host then naturally turned to the show’s other guest, Bilal Daqmaq to ask him whether he would also like to extend his condolences to the grieving man. However, he did not respond in the manner that anyone would have expected him to. He simply said:
“I extend my condolences to the Syrian people for anyone killed.”
Daqmaq failed to instantly condemn ISIS’ brutal actions, and offer a personal condolence to Mr. Shlash. And Shlash naturally took offence and he testily replied:
“Brother, [the host] asked you a straight question: Are you extending me condolences or not?”
Daqmaq again failed to have the appropriate response, with his arms folded he made his position clear when he said, “it’s none of your business”. And this made it war. Mr Shlash whole-heartedly rose to the bait when he stood up and shouted, “how can it possibly be none of my business!” And then it quickly turned into physical fight, which can be seen in the video below.
In the video we can see the pair rather violently battle it out, and unfortunately the poor host gets very much caught up in the crossfire.
Before coming to blows, the video shows both men swearing and shouting at each other before Shlash stands up abruptly, sending his chair flying. Glasses of water are thrown everywhere, and then Shlash and Daqmaq really go for it: the two men are seen pulling at each other’s beards, knocking each other to the floor as well as delivering and receiving some nasty looking kicks and punches.
The unlucky host got a good drenching from the water that was thrown and then decided that it was about time to intervene, he pulled the two away from each other but of course, they continued to shout and swear, vying to resolve the issue by battling it out physically.
Phew. Whilst we can’t blame people for having strong reactions when it comes to ISIS, we can encourage them to figure things out a bit more diplomatically. Let’s stay dignified, shall we folks?