Shiite Council Hits Out at al-Rahi over ‘Sectarian Incitement’


The Higher Islamic Shiite Council on Sunday condemned what it called “the remarks voiced by a major religious leader against the Islamic Shiite sect,” in reference to Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi.

“The rhetoric has descended into sectarian incitement that stirs sentiments, distorts facts and hurls false accusations against a sect that offered the best of its young men and capabilities in the battle of the country’s liberation,” the Council said in a statement.

“If we are demanding to keep the Finance Ministry with the Shiite sect, that is out of our keenness on national partnership in the executive authority,” it added.

Noting that “no voices had condemned the violation of the National Pact when a government was formed without the Shiite sect,” the Council said any rotation of ministerial portfolios should be accompanied by a rotation of the so-called first degree posts in state administrations — such as the army chief and the central bank governor.

“The policy of elimination, isolation and marginalization — which Imam Sayyed Moussa al-Sadr had long warned against — cannot build a country not produce a state,” the Shiite Council cautioned.

“We have called and are still calling for abolishing political sectarianism and endorsing citizenship as the standard in political action, within a just state based on equality in rights and duties regardless of sectarian privileges,” it added.

Apparently referring to the club of former premiers, the Council said it regrets that “a corrupt political class” is trying to “impose its conditions.”

“It comprises those who bet on crushing the Resistance and prolonging the war against it,” the Council added, in a veiled jab against ex-PM Fouad Saniora.

“We consider that this group is responsible for the country’s current economic collapse… due to its policy of share distribution, shady deals, the waste of public funds and the violation of the Constitution,” the Shiite Council charged.

“Today it is trying to impose itself as a savior of the country,” the Council decried.

Al-Rahi on Sunday hit out at Hizbullah and Amal Movement without naming them, in connection with the ongoing row over the finance ministerial portfolio.

“What entitles a sect to demand a certain ministry as if it owns it, what entitles it to suspend the government’s formation until it gets what it wants, causing political paralysis and economic, financial and social damages?” al-Rahi said in his Sunday Mass sermon.



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