Beirut (AsiaNews) - Two important figures of Shiism in Lebanon have launched an appeal in support of the Syrian Revolution, in the name of the Islamic faith and in the name of freedom. Their testimony overturns popular theories regarding the civil war in Syria, as a struggle between Sunnis and Shiites, Assad being an Alawite (heretical sect of Islam, close to Shiism).
The two religious authorities are Seyyed Mohammed Hassan Al-Amin and Seyyed Hani (see photo). The term "Seyyed" indicates that they are descendants of the Prophet. They are known in Lebanon for their liberal ideas and their intellectual and political independence.
The call is aimed mainly at the Shiite community in Lebanon to return to the origins of their faith and fight oppression "in all its forms", even those of Syria.
The denunciation by the two Seyyeds stands in direct contrast to Hezbollah, the Shiite armed party supported by Assad, that is trying to present a Lebanese Shiite community united in support of the Damascus dictatorship.
For Mohammed Al-Amin and Hani Fahs, "the best guarantee for a peaceful Lebanon is seeing the emergence of a stable and free Syria under the rule of a democratic, pluralistic and modern state "
Here are excerpts of the statement below, originally written in Arabic in a solemn and sober style (English translation by Pierre Akel. For the original Arabic, click here).
We the undersigned, Seyyed Mohammed Hassan el Amin and Seyyed Hani Fahs, known near and far whether by our biographies and style of life or for our adoption of moderation, relativity and compromise.
Out of our religious, humanistic and national choices, and on the basis of our general Islamic identity, including our Shiite particular identity..
Out of our Shiite tradition of revolt against oppressors, whoever they were, and of siding with the oppressed, whoever they were.
Out of respect for our personal contributions, recognized by all, to Shiite, Arab and Islamic awakening.
Out of our tendency to raise our voices against injustices, whoever the perpetrators, and in order to clarify our stand in favor of resistance, whether against Zionist occupations in Lebanon and Palestine or against "national occupations" using Palestine and Arabism as a pretext to oppress Arab peoples.
Making no distinction between one oppressor and another, or between one people or another.
We call upon our (shiite) community to be consistent with its identity and values and to stand by Arab revolts, abandon worries about them, with the exception of brotherly concern, and, that, especially in the case of the (by the will of God) victorious Syrian revolution.
We, also, call upon our community to discard calls for unjust compromises at the expense of Syria's people and martyrs and to pray for an end to the current destruction of Syria and carnage of its people.
We, also, remind our (Lebanese Shiite) community that the best guarantee for peace in Lebanon is to have for neighbor a stable and free Syria under the rule of a democratic, pluralistic and modern state.
With no ambiguity, but with no aggressively either, we proclaim our firm stand in favor of the Syrian revolution, in the same spirit as we had stood for the revolutions of Palesine, Iran, Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. And in the same spirit as we had proclaimed our sympathy for the reformist and popular opposition movement in Iran, the reform movement in Bahrein, as well as in Mauritania and Sudan...
We are proclaiming the truth and justice out of our pure islamic memory, out of our belief in God and out of respect for the memory of Karbala (the martyrdom of Hussein) as a symbol for believers and as a cry against injustice and oppression.