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Nov 07, 2006
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Lebanese Catholic Bishop Gregoire Haddad Criticizes Hizbullah and the Shiite Concept of Martyrdom

#1316 | 04:19
Source: Heya TV (Lebanon)

Following are excerpts from an interview with Lebanese Catholic Bishop Gregoire Haddad, which aired on Heya TV on November 7, 2006:

Interviewer: You reject martyrdom, even if it is committed for a higher cause. You consider it to be... You reject it...

Bishop Gregoire Haddad: That's because harming Man and humanity is forbidden, and nobody has the right to kill himself, even if it is for a higher cause, like the liberation of the Palestinian land, and so on.

Interviewer: Your writings...

Bishop Gregoire Haddad: This stems from my faith... This stems from my faith. I do not deal with politics. I have never presented my candidacy, or supported any candidate on a specific issue. According to my faith, anything that harms Man harms the faith and harms God. This means that the path of martyrdom-seeking is itself wrong, even if it is for the liberation of Lebanon from the Israelis, or for the liberation of Palestine and the Palestinians. What I mean is that one day, everybody must realize that the goal may be very lofty, but if the means we used to reach it harm human beings, their honor and lives, this is wrong. The end does not justify the means. I greatly admire all those who were martyred Lebanon, in the past as well as recently... from Hizbullah, for example. I greatly admire the people who...

Interviewer: How can you admire them, while you criticize them?

Bishop Gregoire Haddad: I admire them on the subjective level, but in objective terms, they are wrong. They have gone astray. They are acting against Man and humanity by doing this. Even when they call themselves "Hizbullah" ["Party of God"] - what gives them the right to call themselves the party of God?


Interviewer: You have criticized the political conduct, the political way of dealing with the Palestinian issue...

Bishop Gregoire Haddad: Because the way they deal with it is against Man. When it is done in a non-violent manner – for example, against Israel – I support it, but when it gets violent - I am against it, even when it pertains to a very important cause, is a very important one, such as the liberation of Palestine.


I admired the goal of the resistance, which is liberation, but the means they use... They kill human beings...

Interviewer: But there are justifications.

Bishop Gregoire Haddad: These justification are wrong. Nothing justifies the killing of a human being.

Interviewer: They believe that it is justified because it leads to results.

Bishop Gregoire Haddad: That's why I say that we must distinguish between the subjective and the objective, like I just told you. On the subjective level, these martyrdom-seekers... like Jesus says: "No love is greater than the love of a man who sacrifices himself for his loved ones." Martyrdom in this case has a very high value, from a subjective perspective. But from an objective perspective, it is wrong, because a human being is forbidden to kill another human being, even if the cause is lofty.

Interviewer: But you live in a society that is all wrong, yet you criticize the essence of belief... The Shiites believe in the concept of martyrdom. It is part of their faith, yet today, you criticize...

Bishop Gregoire Haddad: I criticize it, because it is against Man. The Koran says: "Whoever slays a soul – unless it is for murder or for spreading corruption in the land – it is as though he killed all of Mankind." It is written in the Koran. They do not quote this verse. They quote the verses that permitted killing as a means to the truth. I don't have the right to pass judgment on the Koran or the Muslims' belief, but I can say that killing another human being is wrong, whatever the reason.


Even if you kill someone who comes to kill you, it is against humanity. You must take non-violent methods, methods that I call "economic." If the Arabs were to unite their economies against Israel, they would get rid of it completely within two months.

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