France's far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen did a really great job during her visit to Lebanon.
She made international headlines and gave the world something to see, particularly with her refusal to wear a headscarf for a scheduled meeting with the country's Grand Mufti Abdul Latif Derian – despite the fact that she had been informed of the requirements prior to the meeting.
As a result, the meeting was cancelled.
"You can pass on my respects to the Grand Mufti, but I will not cover myself up," she said on Tuesday, according to CNN.
Her stance has earned her the praise of far-right wingers and Islamophobes alike, and while international media hailed her decision, most left out one important detail: Her refusal goes against the rules of Dar al-Fatwa, Lebanon's highest Sunni authority, and would have probably gone overlooked had the meeting taken place elsewhere.
But, it's not just about disrespecting the rules of the religious government institution.
Its about painting an entire country as backward and regressive.
Some may argue that she had every right to refuse wearing the hijab. Maybe in the realm of the absolute, this is true.
But, not the way she did it. Not by taking a stand to pander to Islamophobes and right-wingers. Not by making it seem that Christians in the country have been persecuted, discriminated against, treated poorly - all because of Muslims.
And definitely not by using an entire nation as an electoral platform, especially a nation that has come a long way since sectarian strife broke Lebanon into pieces.
But, thank God for sarcasm, right?
Lebanon's sectarian civil war ended in 1990 and it took us 27 years to rebuild unity. 27 years of preaching acceptance and tolerance. 27 years of fighting against sectarianism.
It's not perfect. No. But at least we've finally come to terms with the notion of acceptance.
Sectarianism still exists within society, within government.
But we're no longer fighting in the streets. Instead, today's generation is fighting back. Today's generation doesn't see sectarian division as the answer, but recognizes it as the problem.
But Le Pen wants to play by her rules alone. She wants to play hero even at our expense.
Thanks to her, the world has made a joke of our country.
A photo of Trudeau in a hijab has been making the rounds on Reddit.
"BREAKING: Justin Trudeau has a meeting with Lebanon," the caption reads, suggesting that Canada's liberal PM would only be able to visit the country wearing a headscarf.
Shame on people for making a joke out of a hijab. Shame on people for actually believing that Lebanon does not tolerate and accept various religions.
A country that is a melting pot of people from 18 different sects ... is now seen as an intolerant one. Thank you Le Pen. Really.
Just FYI Le Pen ... we live for co-existence in Lebanon. Maybe you should take note?
Tyre, a predominately Muslim town in South Lebanon, lit up its Christmas trees back in December
And the Muslim-majority city of Tripoli too ...
A mosque and church are loving neighbors in downtown Beirut
Remember that time when Lebanon's Archbishop visited wounded Muslims after the #BeirutBombing of Nov 2015?
Following the November 2015 Beirut bombings – when two suicide bombers blew themselves up in Bourj al-Barajneh in the southern suburbs of Beirut – Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, the Vatican nuncio to Lebanon, visited all those wounded.
The wounded were all said to be Muslim, according to the Catholic Herald.
"God loves tolerance, and he is bigger than any desire for vengeance," Caccia said during the visit.
"Lebanon’s message of diversity should be preserved" and it should stand out "despite all crises."
The bombing killed 43 civilians and wounded more than 200.
'Lebanon is more than a country – it is a message.' - Pope Jean Paul II
The words of Pope Jean Paul II from 20 years ago still ring true today: "Lebanon is more than a country: it is a message of freedom and an example of pluralism for East and West."
The late Pope made this statement during his 1997 visit to Lebanon. We will remember his message Marine, not yours.
Thanks for stopping by, but don't come back any time soon.
Nadine Mazloum contributed to this post.