Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Epitomy of Sectarian Politics

When a Lebanese Prime Minister declares that he would like to have a united, liberal and free Lebanon that is economically prosperous,
  • Maronites only see him as a Sunni, and support a Maronite leader who works against him simply to promote "Maronite Power" even though this Maronite leader is propped up by Syria.
  • Shi'as who share his views only see him as a Sunni and support Hizballah - an organization that seeks to turn all of Lebanon's Shia's into cannon fodder for "Holy" Iran.
  • Druze only see him as a Sunni leader and support him as long as their leader supports him.
Petty. Very petty. Very Lebanese. Okay... here comes a lament for Lebanon: If ONLY we could see through our sects.... If only we could come together based on shared vision of Lebanon's future, as opposed to bla bla bla.... We've heard this before a million times.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is sad but so true. My sentiments exactly. When will the Lebanese really unite for the sake of their country?
Dalal

JoseyWales said...

united, liberal and free Lebanon that is economically prosperous,

And the Sunnis like him not because of any of the above but because he's Sunni and his buddy is Saad the friend of Sunni Saudi.

Unfortunate. The problem Dalal, is that for a cross sectarian real leader to emerge, he needs to state the above, and MAKE THE CASE DAILY (with media and help by "intellectuals" who are sorely missing) that the above is very important and will impact people's lives.

For now, our people don't really understand any of the above or why it is CRUCIAL, other than it's western and American and therefore "bad".

Anonymous said...

I hear you, Joseywales. Where the heck are our intellectuals? If only our people use some common sense instead of being blinded by sectarianism.

Dalal

Raja said...

Josey,

thanks for completing the picture and for the "policy recommendation."

Both are valid points.

Anton Efendi said...

Well yes and no. As you know I am the last person to deny sectarian dynamics in Lebanon, but I do think that this is a bit of an oversimplification.

I don't know if you remember a few months ago there was an interview with Samir Geagea on Future TV where he made a very interesting statement about Fouad Seniora. To paraphrase, he said that when he, as a Maronite, looks at Fouad Seniora as a Sunni PM, and hears him talk about Lebanon (Lebanon first, Lebanese sovereignty, etc.) what more could he ask for?

In other words, he was acknowledging an important political development. Other Maronites and other Christians in the alliance share the same policy platform. The same applies to the Jumblat bloc (at least so far).

Now some may protest and say that the Maronites in question are the "weak" Maronites, as opposed to Aoun, and all that stuff, some of which is true. But one cannot draw an all-too-simplified picture either.

Looking at Lebanon now as well as Lebanon 50 years ago, similar dynamics emerge for us to draw some analogies or parallels. There always was a two-track political scene, which actually fits well with the various interlacing layers in Lebanon, be they regional, sectarian, and political.

You can look at inter-communal alliances in the 50's, and look at the roles of za'ims in each sect (Kamal Jumblat, Camille Chamoun, Pierre Gemayel, Emile Edde, the As'ads, Sa'ed Salam, etc.)

So while I do acknowledge the impulse you identify, I beg to disagree with your more broad generalization. I think Lebanon always was more complex than that, and that has always been missed. The key word is "interlacing" layers.

Anonymous said...

Raja,
If you are maronite, druze or shia then forgive my ignorance, I am completely off the mark, but otherwise if you are sunni isn't your post looking at other sects' positions and their leaders through the same narrow petty lense of sectarism you are accusing them of having?

Pat

Raja said...

I'm druze pat. You're forgiven

Anonymous said...

phew that's a releif!
Mea culpa.
Pat

Raja said...

:)

Anonymous said...

hehhehe having already admitted that I am wrong and you are right :-) , and just for the sake of argument ,
I still would like to point out that you are not being fair -your have that right- by judging Seniora on what he "declares" and the Maronite leader on his "intentions". (or other leaders)

So what you say is right only if seiniora is truthful and the Maronite leader is a liar. Which maybe is what you are trying to convey indirectly.
But in that case I can easilly forgive the maronites cause their sin would be not seing through his lies...

The same goes for the rest of the sects ...

Personaly I have no idea who is lying and I don't dare make the assumptions you make.