Hezbollah Eid al-Fitr speech seeking to divide the country, say Lebanese politicians

BEIRUT – Ahmed Qabalan, a pro-Hezbollah Shia mufti in Lebanon, railed against the foundations of the Lebanese state, including the Al-Taif Agreement which establishes equality between Christians and Muslims. Qabalan comments prompted many Lebanese politicians to unequivocally reject his comments.

On Saturday, during a speech to mark the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, Shia mufti Ahmed Qabalan called for the end of the Lebanese state in its current form. “The state of Lebanon was established on a sectarian and tyrannical basis and this is no longer valid to continue with,” Qabalan stated.

Lebanese political sources have commented that Qabalan’s inflammatory speech is particularly dangerous during the economic and political crisis the country is going through. Statements such as those made by Qabalan undermine the foundations of modern Lebanon – a multi-ethnic, multi-religious society. The signing of the Al-Taif Agreement in 1989, which forms the basis of the current constitution, helped to establish equality between Lebanon’s Christian and Muslim communities.

The primary fear, according to the same sources, is that Qabalan and Hezbollah want to break the existing charter of Lebanon and open the way for Shia Muslim majority dominance.

Lebanese politician Faris Saeed stated that, “The Lebanon of Bechara el-Khoury and Riad el-Solh reflect the most beautiful image of the country.

“You killed ‘Lebanon Al-Taif’ with your illegal weapon,” he continued. “History will record that you are leading Lebanon into the unknown and we will confront the recklessness that comes from any party.”