“The situation in Syria is getting worse and worse,” says Martin Accad in a recent Skype interview with EthicsDaily.com.
Accad is director of the Institute of Middle East Studies, which is headquartered at Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Beirut, Lebanon.

“Tens of thousands of refugees are in Lebanon at the moment from Syria,” says Accad, who spoke with EthicsDaily.com earlier this year as well about the “Arab spring” and its effects.

ABTS is using its ties and facilities to help refugees from Syria. It also relies on first-hand accounts to get a better picture of the actual circumstances in the war-torn country.

“It helps get the story more straight,” says Accad of the value of a personal testimony about the situation. “The media are always going to give you a certain angle. And I personally listen to the media on both sides. And it’s extremely contradictory because of the way people position themselves. One group’s rebels are the others group’s terrorists. That’s always a problem. And we need to be very careful about how we judge the situation in Syria.”

Accad cautions people not to judge the situation in Syria in political terms, but rather in terms of being faithful to the Gospel and caring for human life.

“We care for the refugees, we care for those who are suffering, we care for those who are being displaced,” says Accad, “but we cannot and shouldn’t take a political position.”

Accad goes on in the interview to talk about “utilitarian ethics” and the downsides of such in a conflict like Syria.

“I think personally that the conflict in Syria is going to drag on because of the arms that are on both sides,” says Accad, adding that the country has become a flashpoint and battleground stage on which other global powers want to act.

“It’s playing out at all sorts of levels,” says Accad.

Watch the interview with Accad at vimeo.com/ethicsdaily/skype-martinaccad1

Visit the Institute of Middle East Studies online at imeslebanon.wordpress.com

Visit Arab Baptist Theological Seminary online at www.abtslebanon.org

Watch other EthicsDaily.com Skype interviews at vimeo.com/ethicsdaily

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