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Nov 25, 2019
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Lebanese Shiite Scholar Mohammad Al-Hajj Ali Al-Amili: A Modern, Democratic Lebanon Is in Everybody’s Best Interest, Including Shiites; Lebanese and Iraqi Shiites Are Disappointed with the Islamic Movements

#7632 | 02:56
Source: Al-Arabiya TV (Dubai/Saudi Arabia)

In a November 25, 2019 interview on Al-Arabiya Network (Saudi Arabia), Lebanese Shiite scholar Mohammad Al-Hajj Ali Al-Amili criticized Lebanese Shiites for acting as if they are still part of the political opposition in Lebanon even though they are in power. He said that the recent demonstrations in Lebanon have positive implications for Lebanese citizens of every sect, including Shiites, and that a modern, democratic state is in everybody’s best interest. He also said that Shiites in Lebanon and Iraq are disappointed in the Shiite Islamic movements.

Interviewer: When young people [in Lebanon]\ chant “Shiites, Shiites,“ do they really represent the Shiites, or are they merely chanting slogans without realizing the danger of it?

[…]

Mohammad Al-Hajj Ali Al-Amili: The way I see it, they definitely realize the danger in this slogan. Let’s look at this the other way around. If a Sunni, Christian, or Druze group started chanting the same slogans, it would be considered a significant provocation of the Shiite public. Today, unfortunately, the Shiites are in power, but they talk as if they are still in the opposition. It is as if the Shiites do not want to admit that today, they constitute the spearhead of government in Lebanon. Their rhetoric has not changed from the time they were in the opposition. This is why they feel like they are being politically suppressed in some way and as if there is a plan to finish them off. They should have realized that just as this popular protest has positive implications for every sect, it has positive implications for the circumstances of the Shiites. It improves their situation. It is in the best interest of the Shiites in particular for there to be a modern, democratic country in Lebanon with a just and transparent political system. This is in everybody’s interest, and certainly in our interest as Shiites.

[…]

Generally speaking, the entire political ruling class benefits from the sectarian circumstances in Lebanon and wishes to cement sectarianism in the Republic of Lebanon in order to prolong its rule in this country.

[…]

[The Shiites] in Iraq are being silenced and their views are being suppressed in a political manner that is identical to what we see Shiites in Lebanon. The Shiites in Iraq are suffering the same things they are suffering in Lebanon. It is true with regard to everybody. The people’s rights are being neglected and they are not being treated in the humane fashion that is appropriate. There is no political development in Shiite society. The Shiites in Lebanon and Iraq had great expectations when the Islamic movements joined the political scene, but they were appalled by the performance of the Shiite Islamic movements, which they consider to be worse, perhaps than their predecessors.

[…]

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