The following are excerpts from an interview with Father Kamil Mubarak, the Dean of Political Science at Al-Hikma University in Lebanon. The interview which aired on OTV TV on January 5, 2010.
Father Kamil Mubarak: The federal system can resolve the problem of sectarianism in Lebanon, just like it has resolved the problem of cultural diversity throughout the world. Switzerland is a confederation. Belgium is a confederation. What is the UAE?! The USA, Germany... All these countries, which are the leading countries in the world today in the material, cultural, and technological senses, are founded on the federal system. Why does the Lebanese mind fear this idea? They tell you that this is partition. This is not partition, and saying so amounts to mental backwardness.
What you have in Lebanon today is sectarian federalism. Each sect has its own laws of personal status.
Interviewer: Aren't you afraid that this will lead to partition?
Kamil Mubarak: Not at all. Why should it lead to partition, as long as the Lebanese are in agreement on this? In most cases, the sects in Lebanon are geographically dispersed. A certain federation does not have to be united with other regions. You don't need all the Sunnis to constitute one federation, all the Christians another federation, and all the Shiites or all the Druze their own federation. It doesn't have to be like that. There is nothing to prevent Lebanon from having 12 federations. If you look at the map, there could be six Muslim and six Christian federations. This is clear as day. These federations would exist within the framework of one state.
Interviewer: Aren't you afraid that some sects might have hegemony over people like you?
Kamil Mubarak: Let them have hegemony. If in the Sunni federation, they want to instate Islamic law – fine.