Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Street Response To Strategic Destiny

I guess I did not have to wait until Friday, when Iranian President Ahmadinejad visits Syria, to know Hizbullah/Amal's stand and response to many of our questions on Lebanon's "strategic" destiny.

I just watched the news right now: thousands of Lebanese youth chanting after former MP Khatib on the gates of the U.S. embassy in Awkar, "Hail to Ahmadinejad!", "Iran, Iran, Iran!" and "Hail to Bashar Assad!".

"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."


Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

This is a provocation. Real Lebanese should retaliate by demonstrating in front of the Iranian embassy.

Anonymous said...

One word..."mourtazaqa".

Anonymous said...

This young generation never lived free before!! they do not know any better. Go live in Iran for 3 weeks and then let us know!!

zwixo said...

"Hail to Ahmadinejad"!!!
stupid stupid stupid beyond stupid

ghassan said...

It is difficult to believe that one can in the same breath denounce a helping hand and cheer those who are financing his/her destruction.!!!!

The sad thing is that our lunatic fringe is part of the cabinet!!!!
Very sad indeed.

Anonymous said...

This is Lebanon!! Did we forget the Nasser mania of the 50's?, the Assad mania, the Sadr mania etc... Every group singing its own song to their "father image" ( some in public some in private) and they call Lebanon an example of religious coexistence! Yes, but what a mess...

Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

Well, with all its faults, Hezbullah and their turbaned “Imam corner” are MUCH more secular and “Western-oriented” than say the Saudi regime and its many subsidized Lebanese stooges from Qoreytem, Bayt-al-Din (home to a notorious war criminal who massacred thousands of Christian civilians before stealing their lands) and the Grand Serail.

PM Fuad Saniura and MP Saad Al-Hariri are Wahhabi wolfes in pseudo-modernist clothes…they wear clean-cut ties and suits but, deep inside, they’re just like the Taleban- or even worse for that matter: Hariri and Saniura were both seen several times (on Saudi Arabia’s Channel 1 TV) attending Friday prayer services at Jeddah’s Central Mosque, where the residing Hambali preacher regularly calls for the “extermination of idolatrous Shiite and Christian dogs” or “Tassfiyatt al kilâb al mushrikeen al matâweelah wal-nasârah” in Saudi parlance!

As long as they don’t renounce publicly (preferably on Saudi TV) the intolerance and perversions of Wahhabi theocratic fascism, the leaders of the Future Movement will remain under suspicion in Syria and Lebanon.

And the fact that faux sheikh Saad Al-Hariri was “generously granted” a two-hour audience with Dick Cheney in Riyadh yesterday only adds to that legitimate suspicion: it should be clear by now to the people of Lebanon and the greater Middle-East, that individuals such as Dick Cheney or Paul David Wolfowitz don’t give a damn about say fair municipal elections in Zahleh, free speech in Mossul, or civil rights in Baalbeck!

Take a look at the so-called “Patriot Act” and you’ll see for yourself that these nefarious Trotskyite plotters are actually opposed to democracy and free speech in their own country: how can you trust them to promote liberty beyond America’s shores?

General Michel Aoun is right to say that the gullible March 14 dupes are shooting on the wrong target: they focus their ire on hapless/impotent figures such as president Lahoud and a weakened Syrian regime on the brink of collapse, which is no threat to Lebanon’s sovereignty anymore…while blindly ignoring the mounting threat posed by a totalitarian regime such as Saudi Arabia.

Given the current composition of our Wahhabi-controlled Parliament whose members were “elected” by way of shameless Gerrymander cooked in Riyadh’s dirty political kitchen and petrodollar-based vote rigging, it is IMPERATIVE TO AVOID BY ALL MEANS having the Al-Sa’aud stooges designate our country’s next president.

If this takes General Aoun’s allying himself with sheikh Nasrallah, well so be it!

Dr Victor de la Vega
Thomas More Center for Middle-East Studies

Doha said...

You humor me, doctor! You contradict yourself: how can Saad be close to Taliban, and at the same time get a two-hour audience with Dick Cheney?...

It's really disturbing to see how you view things; very distorted. You focus all the time in your comments on how Saad, Seniora, and now Jumblatt are Wahhabi stooges. You believe it, but hardly anyone can believe it. How can Jumblatt be a Wahhabi? What does massacring Christians during the civil war have to do with Jumblatt being a Wahhabi?

Please let us remember when the Wahhabi Saudi Arabia gave work visas in the 80s only to ultra-right Christians, and denied it to Lebanese Muslims and their families, afraid that they would spread socialist/communist propaganda in their country. Let us not forget how Saudi Arabia was totally opposed to Kamal Jumblatt's creed and supported Chamoun and his likes. In fact, Dory Chamoun went to Saudi Arabia to congratulate King Abdullah for becoming a King and extolled the stellar relations his family has with the Saudis.

I lived in Saudi Arabia and my family faced the issues I'm mentioning first-hand. So do not spew your propaganda lightly on our blog!

Anonymous said...

doctor hate Sunnis de la vega, get a life.
You are so anti-sunni that I think your next step is to accuse them of both global warming and the Ozone hole.
Get a life, get some common sense and enjoy the big mosque in Beirut built by sunni money, enjoy the Metropolitan hotel, built by sunni money, enjoy the palm trees on manara, they remind us of saudi arabia, enjoy the sunni prime minister we have for our country, enjoy the sunni participation in 14 March, enjoy the sunni scholarships of Hariri foundation, enjoy that and sleep tonight to wake up tomorrow with hatred filling you because you are an ant who cant live with other people who have different religions and have more money than you do.

Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

I think you got me wrong dude: I’m not “anti-Sunni” nor am I anti-Buddhist or anti-Zoroastrian for that matter!

It’s just that I can’t stand corruption and fanaticism, the two pillars upon which the Saudis have build their regime: if Saniura and Hariri like it that way, that’s fine with me as long as they don’t try to impose their paymaster’s way of life on the Lebanese people.

Hariri has already resettled in Jeddah: Saniura should emulate his goateed master and let Gen. Aoun and his secular allies steer the country towards a more moderate course.

hummbumm said...

Victor, Who are Aoun's secular allies? Not Frangieh and Michel Murr please... Do you mean Hizbullah aka The party of GOD? cause secularism is not exactly the first thing i think about when the word party of GOD runs through my mind. Jumblatt is as secular as Aoun, Gagea is secular as well. Speaking of fanatics, well most of us who remember Aoun of the old days would label him rather fanatical, I mean fighting to the bitter end against an overwhelming force requires a certain rigid belief system

Anonymous said...

Dunno mate, at least Hizbullah and Amal were opposed to the so-called "Taef agreement" imposed at gunpoint on Lebanon in 1989 by King Fahd, Sheikh Ibn Baz and Gen. Hafiz al-Asad...

For the record, the Grand Mufti of Lebanon, Rafic al-Hariri and Fuad Saniura strongly supported the Taef agreement...

And, unlike the pro-Saudi Murabitoon and other PLO-trained/Saudi-financed Lebanese terrorists and their Druze allies, Hizbullah's militants never ever burned the Lebanese flag or massacred Christian civilians, wich kind of makes a BIG difference, if you're "secular" that is....

hummbumm said...

Clearly you were not in West Beirut after Feb 84 when our good friends HA and Amal came out of the camps and imposed their moral vision.
Look don't be deliberatly obtuse, if you asked HA whether they considered themselves secular, they would laugh. They are not secular. The massacres of christians that happened did not happend from any religious calling. Jumblatt was not offering conversion or some religious vision, it was rather ethnic cleansing. Hideous yes, but not part of some Saudi plan. neither of course where the atrocities committed by christian forces, though actually religious signage etc.. was much more prevalent on the christian side, also not inspired by the Saudis.. you may perceive Jumblatt, and others on both sides may be war criminals but he is still secular. I worry about the Saudi connection as well, but i worry way way more about the IRan connection which you conveniently ignore, like Iran is some secular democracy pushing secularism throughout the region, please

Anonymous said...


I could not have said it any better. Thank you.

It has become evident that Aon's sole interest lies in Baabda. Label him Christian, secular, pro-resistance, anti-resistance doesnt matter..Whatever label might put his lard bleep in the Baabda seat, is fine by him.

You see, I really feel bad for Micho. For 15 straight years, the poor guy dreamt of storming back through Beirut international airport declaring victory against the forces of tyranny. Ironically, he did come back STORMING (please refer to his fiery speeches upon his return). But his 'glorious' return was marred and tarnished by the fact that it was engineered simply to break up the march 14th alliance and the forces that truly liberated the nation...presumably the very cause that kept him away. Yes indeed, he came back, but his return wasnt nearly as satisfying as he though it might be.

Micho...I know habeebi..life sucks... Just quit. Baabda ma fee.

Anonymous said...

Mich Aoun thinks he is the right president because he thinks we need another general in Baabda. We tried him once and was only taken out with force, car for a second try ?

Anonymous said...

Victor I fully agree with you
The Wahhabi are a fanatical sect hiding their true nature. They tolerate the christians while not allowing a church to be built in Saudi Arabia. They have inundated Pakistan with medresseh and mosques that have bred the talibans and all the 9/11 terrorists. (Not a single shia was involved.. curious coincidence) They have built a overgrown mosque in the middle of Solidere camp in the center of Beirut to show their power. Now they are horrified by the ascent of the Shias in Iran and Irak and just don't know how to deal with that as money does not seem to be enough to stop the Shias, oppressed and neglected for centuries to affirm themselves in whatever way possible , even sometimes excessively. For the Sunnis, it must be made clear, the Shia are heretics!! How can the Saudis accept to see them emerge as a power they have to deal with and more, and a power not yet corruptible. The Hariri and the lebanese sunnis in general may not be as fanatic as the Saudi establishment but deep inside they have a well rooted mistrust in the Shia. Yet thet let (and encourage) the lebanese christians to throw the stones at Hezb, Iran, the Alawi, while they want to appear neutral. Ignoring the religious fanaticism of the Saudis and the power of their money is a huge mistake.
Thanks Victor

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:11..

"Solidere" is a publically traded company, not a location!!! Dude..

And wait..you are annoyed by the mosque that was built there?? Is Michel Aon annoyed by it? Why are you annoyed by it? Please...go on..explain thyself.

Anonymous said...

I love those complaining about the mosque in central beirut, and I dont see them complaining about a church in every village in Lebanon, but a fact remains, all of kesserwan has no mosques, neither the northern metn area, neither hazmieh or ain el roumaneh, or jounieh altough there is a big muslim population living in those areas.
Ok how about building a very small mosque in Harissa, not a big one, just a small one, how about that ??

Doha said...


I think we have way diverted from the topic at hand. This blog, and particulary my posts, is not a place to bash any religion, nor a platform to either discuss religious issues or incite religious hatred. I'm here to discuss politics, social and economic issues...not religious.

Anonymous said...

It's true that any wahabbi influence on Lebanon is worrysome. But Syriran remains a bigger problem.

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

"For the Sunnis, it must be made clear, the Shia are heretics!! "

That's simplistic.

Most Sunni schools consider that a man who profess the shihada and observe the five pillars of Islam is a Muslim. This may not apply to Druze or Allawite, but applies to standard Shias.

Wahabbism does not recognize the traditional schools of Sunnism. By Saudi's standard, a large majority of the Sunnis are heretical. I mean, the simple act of having a tombstone or celebreting Muhammad birthday's makes you a polytheist.

And to the anon above: there's churches in Lebanon's villages because there is or there was Christian there, not because some fanatic came to provoke the local population. Now unless you propose to tear these Churches down cause your friends cleansed the population there, please shut your stinking mouth. Thank you. And FYI, there's a mosque that is under construnction in Hazmieh.

Anonymous said...

The best reply to this Vic dude came from Michael Totten:

"You're notorious in Beirut for thinking everyone and their pet kitty cat is a Wahhabi. So we're not going to have this discussion."

He has never presented any factual evidence of Hariri and co. being wahhabis. Assiting to mosque sermons does not make one a wahhabi, unless he considers the millions of muslims who make a Hajj or 'Umra in Saudi Arabia and who also listen to wahhabi sermons as wahhabis. And before anyone jumps on the Al-Amin mosque rant, this project has been around for over 40 years. Hariri's contribution allowed its construction to start, however it's not his mosque. This has been the goal of Beirut sunnis since the 50's, to have a true congregational mosque in Beirut(a jami'as opposed to a masjid). It's funny how you have so-called "sunnis from Beirut" who jump from blog to blog denouncing Hariri and his so-called mosque, while any real beiruti sunni remembers the donation boxes for the construction of a large mosque (there was a small mosque in this location originally) in beiruti stores since the 50's.

Anonymous said...

I must respectfully disagree about the mosque. I think the size of the mosque is just too big. Lebanon and especially down town should be about different religions living together peacefully. Not trying to one up each other. The Mosque is a lot larger then any other church in the area. And it really says "look how much bigger and grander we are". It really shows a lot of disrespect to the Christian population of Beirut.

If needed the Mosque could have been made a large size in a more integrated manner. But did it really require 4 minarets? Does it have to make every building in downtown (not just the churches) look like miniatures?

I really think that if there were not other Christians, Druzes etc. in Lebanon then the Mosques would not be so numerous and neither would their speaker systems be so loud.

Anonymous said...

This is the biggest mosque for Lebanese people and if not in Beirut where do you want it? Do we ever ask where to build the churches, no one ever disagrees on those churches. I come from a mixed marriage and took both religions at heart, unlike those born from a single religion parents.
Every city with a big muslem population needs to have a great or large mosque for them, If they paid for it, its even better, if its a large one, its even better. The project truly started in the 1950s and the donations given to start this project were stolen several times until Hariri paid his money to errect it and he was attacked many times for not offering this donation until eventualy he gave up and did.
As for my dear MR Vox. I am a christian and you cant ask me to shut my mouth when i give you 1/3 of the area of lebanon as an example of the lack of mosques and you give me one mosque location in return. The point is, deep in the south or in the most non christian areas, there is a church, but the opposite is not true. Saudis started moving out of broumana and ain saadeh when their request for a mosque was denied. As a christian, i find it funny to call wahhabis fanatics, when we dont allow them to practice their religion yet, we accept their money and rent them our houses and accept their donations, but no, a mosque is not allowed, its minarets will surely mess the skyline of broumana or baabdat or bekfaya or rabieh or ballouneh or ajaltoun or ghazeer.
please reply now

Anonymous said...

Maronites have a huge church in Harissa, which is in the middle of the maronite heartland. Why can't the sunnis also have a large mosque in the middle of Beirut, which is traditionally a sunni city? If you wonder why there is a need for such a large mosque, go to Damascus, Cairo, Aleppo, Casablanca Istanbul, Baghdad, or any other city with a muslim majority. They all have at least one large CENTRAL mosque, the congregational jami'. All other small mosques are called masjids, and they serve as regular, everyday mosques. The jami' however is the place where people congregate to follow the friday prayer or on religious holidays. Before al Amin mosque, there were no such thing in Beirut.

Concerning its location, it's not done on purpose to hide the maronite cathedral. In fact it's upper structures are built at an angle with respect to the street such that the church can (somewhat) be seen from the beginning of Martyr's square.
As I said before, this project came about in the 50's and at that time there were no empty plots of land in the downtown. They were all occupied, and considering how busy and successful this sector was there was little chance of anybody willing to sell a large plot of his land. Thus the simplest, most cost-effective way to build a new mosque was to use a plot of land already belonging to the islamic Waqf (religious land-owning authority). The waqf had to decide on which mosque or other religious structure to demolish in order to build the new mosque in its place and the choice was placed on the old al-amin mosque because compared to all other religious structures, this was relatively young (built in the early 1900's) while all other structures are considerably older and have more historical value(al-omari mosque dates from the 1100's, the Ibn Arraq zawiya from the 1400's, the Amir Munzer mosque from the 1600's, the Majidiya mosque from the early 1800's, the Mansour Assaf mosque from the 1500's, etc. There was also a small cemetery near the souks that held the remains of Beirut dignitaries).
Since the 50's, there was a project to build a large mosque on this site. The early plans closely resemble the now- finished mosque, with the main difference being the colour of the dome which was originally supposed to be covered by metalic zinc plates, but Hariri changed it to a turquoise blue. Beirutis have been donating for this project since the 50's, however on many occasions the money misteriously "dissapeared". After the war, there was alot of bickering between Dar al Fatwa, the Mohamad al Amin foundation and various sunni religious movements and prominent families which caused further delay to the construction. Hariri managed to overcome these problems (mainly through bribing the al Amin foundation) and got the construction started. But it is NOT his mosque. He was burried there as a token of appreciation for his "help" in getting it built.

I hope this long post will close the stupid "Oh Hariri built a huge mosque next to a church" argument that does nothing but expose the sectarian nature of the people using it.

Hassan said...

Sure, you can have your mosque. But i'd think the money can be better spent. Schools, in Wadi Khaled and Akkar, are a better idea to spend millions of dollars.

Hassan said...

"that does nothing but expose the sectarian nature of the people using it. "


"shut up or i'll accuse you of being sectarian"

Doha said...

Thank you Anon 4:07AM for taking the time to explain the history behind the mosque. Hassan, I really do not think that what Anon meant was "shut up or i'll accuse you of being sectarian"; let's not search for excuses to instigate more arguments. What people decide to do with their money is a personal issue. Please let us leave it at that and move on to discuss more pertinent issues in our country.

Thank you for contributing to this post.

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

OK, first of all, I didn't say that there shouldn't be any mosque in Christian regions (there should be, provided that there's Muslims inhabitants in the region), I only refuted your claims that there was none.

Second of all, there are mosques in Kesrawan and in the Jbeil region (both in Jbain and in ther hinterland), so once again, you are wrong.

Anonymous said...

hassan said...

Sure, you can have your mosque. But i'd think the money can be better spent. Schools, in Wadi Khaled and Akkar, are a better idea to spend millions of dollars.

6:38 AM

Maybe you should tell that to Hizbollah, instead of spending millions on building that huge persian-style mosque on the entrance of Baalbak, they could've built schools, hospitals or fixed up the city a little buit. God knows Baalbak needs more of that than Beirut.

You have no right to tell people to do with their OWN money; besides I don't see how you can relate a mosque built by and for Beirutis to schools in Wadi Khaled. Oh wait, maybe it's because both of these people are sunnis, and your sectarian mind immediately made the connection between the two. You also have no right to judge people based on what you perceive as their intentions.
It's really sad how deep down inside most people are sectarian but they all live in denial.

Anonymous said...

"You have no right to tell people to do with their OWN money"

Yes because when Hezbollah indebt the country, make the foreign investors flee, harm economic growth and then ask for governnmental investments (=inter sectarian Lebanese solidarity) for the Shia regions, they are doing with their own money right?

I guess not.

Anonymous said...

Mosque or Church, this is irrelevant. I am making a clear distinction between Wahhabis and Sunnis, yet I insist on Wahhabi's fanaticism, social backwardness and their despise of the Shias. Just an example: if you compare the role of women in Iran, the bastion of Shiism, and the role of women in Saudi Arabia, the bastion of Wahhabism, you'll realize that the Shia have shown to be much more oriented to social justice and welfare than the Wahhabis. Where in a any modern society in the world, women are not allowed to drive a car, to go out alone, to ask for divorce and be often the second or third wife?
Obsessed by their proselytism, they will spend money financing Medresseh and Mosque rather than reform the social injustices dominant in their society and in other poor moslem countries. Today the power of money rest in the hands of the Wahhabis, therefore I think their influence is great on the sunnis in the middle east and on the balance of power in the area.