Shiite intellectuals: the 'culture of discord' of Hezbollah and Amal threaten national unity
by Fady Noun

Over 40 leading figures from the Lebanese Shiite world against the violence promoted last weekend by the militants of the two parties. A "petty" policy that feeds on "divisions and discord". The parties in power "paralyzed" before risk of famine and economic collapse.

Beirut (AsiaNews / LOJ) - On June 9 a group of Shiite intellectuals published a press release signed by 43 leading personalities, to denounce the sectarian slogans launched by Hezbollah and Amal during the clashes with the demonstrators in Martyr Square.

The reference is to the clashes on Saturday 6 June, in the context of the protests promoted by citizens and activist groups against the current government. The petitioners claim that sectarian behavior fits into the context of a "petty policy that feeds on divisions and discord", and reaffirm support for the October 17 revolt movement and their commitment to "change in view to create one rule of law ".

The document is titled "Shiite culture opposes injustice and corruption and calls for a civilized, democratic and just state." The petitioners point out from the beginning that one of the main results of the October 17 protest is that "the Lebanese took to the streets, guided only by their common belonging to the nation". The citizens, the document continues, have refused "to be confined in confessional chains and united in the face of a power that has always invested in its community influence to consolidate corruption and patronage and weaken the state".

Recalling that "attempts to stifle the uprising had started from the early days and have never stopped", the petitioners note that the incidents of June 6 [inter-confessional clashes in Martyrs' Square, Tarik Jedidé and Chiyah- Aïn el-Remmané] have highlighted a policy that tends to bind the Lebanese in confessional chains and to recruit them in view of the battles triggered by this fragmentation.

"The insistence in chanting the slogan 'Shiites, Shiites, Shiites' by organized and remote-controlled factions - the document continues - has the sole objective of provoking, with the use, among others, of blasphemous expressions". "This deliberate behavior reflects the impasse in which the parties in power find themselves paralyzed in the face of the threat of famine and economic collapse. At the same time, it refers to their irresponsibility towards society and the state. The stalemate is such that these parties do not hesitate to foment discord and use it to preserve their hegemony and corruption "continue the Shiite intellectuals, who reaffirm their support for the 17 October movement. At the same time, they reaffirm their "adhesion to the prospects of a civilized state and coexistence".

They "stigmatize sectarian and petty policies that feed on divisions and discord and appeal to the Lebanese to remain committed to change to create a rule of law based on citizenship and the Constitution". "We feel forces that are taking root in the generalization of the culture of divisions, isolationism and arrogance and which are investing in demagogy and confessional instincts. And whose choices are suicidal and reflect the behavior of those who are weak in religion, patriotism and spirit "observe the petitioners, before noting at the same time that the slogans brandished by the partisans of Hezbollah and Amal on June 6" are against to the Lebanese Arab Shiite identity, as well as to the Islamic identity. They represent - concludes the document - a temporary and shameful culture, which seeks to transform an open community, that of the Shiites, into a group closed to all the values ​​consolidated by all its imams over time, in particular by Ali".

Here are some of the signatories of the document:

Assaad Haïdar, Ahmad Ayache - Journalists

Harès Sleiman - University professor and political analyst

Habib Kercht - Politician and entrepreneur

Hassan Hajje Hassan - Teacher

Hussein Allaou - Activist

Khalil Kazem Khalil - Retired Ambassador

Charif Dirani - Doctor, lives in France

Ali Sabri Hamadé - Engineer and politician

Ali Mohammad Hassan el-Amine - Publisher of al-Janoubia, candidate in the last elections

Ali Beydoun, Ali Zeayter - Doctors

Hajje Abbas Ismaïl - Former president of the Békaa municipality

Ali Dirani - Engineer

Ghaleb Yaghi - Former president of the Baalbeck municipality

Karim Mroué - Political analyst and writer

Lina Hamdan - Activist

Mona Fayad - Politologist and university professor

Layal Mansour - Economist and university teacher

Lina Husseini - Activist

Mona Ghandour writer, artist

Yassdine Chamass - Entrepreneur

Added to these are various personalities from the world culture, education and belonging to the liberal professions.