BEIRUT: Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani accused world superpowers Monday of seeking to drag Lebanon into a regional conflict while he was on a tour of recent bombing sites in north Lebanon and Beirut's southern suburbs.
“Superpowers insist on dragging Lebanon into the Arab fight because Lebanon and Jordan are the only countries which did not enter this [conflict],” he said speaking from the northern city of Tripoli.
Qabbani said car bombings that targeted Beirut’s southern suburbs and Tripoli recently were the work of one party.
“When they bombed Dahiyeh [southern suburbs], they thought they would turn Shiites against Sunnis and when they bombed the mosques in Tripoli they thought they would turn Tripoli residents against Shiites,” he said.
“But the wisdom of the people disappointed their hopes,” Qabbani said.
His remarks came during a tour of the site of the twin bombings in Tripoli, north Lebanon, that left at least 47 people killed and more than 500 wounded.
The Tripoli attacks came a few days after a car blast in the Beirut southern suburb of Ruwaiss killed 27 people and wounded hundreds.
The mufti launched a vehement attack against Lebanese politicians, calling on them to fear God.
“Even if they ruled 100 years, at the end they will take their mansions to their graves,” he said.
Later during the day, Qabbani visited the blast site in Ruwaiss where he was met by officials and lawmakers from Hezbollah.
“I came to you and I know the first crime was in Ruwaiss to tell you that our pain is one,” the mufti said.
Sayyed Ibrahim Amin Sayyed, the head of Hezbollah's political council, welcomed Qabbani in the southern suburbs and said “the blood in Tripoli and Ruwaiss is the same.”
The mufti warned that the blasts that targeted the Sunni-dominated Tripoli and Shiite-dominated southern suburbs of Beirut could expand to target Christians as well.
“The person who flamed Dahiyeh [southern suburbs] and Tripoli will not hesitate to burn Christians too,” he said.
He added that there is an American plot to deport Christians from the Middle East and called for preventing such a scheme.
“We should cooperate with Christians to assure the world that we are all partners in the nation,” he said.
The mufti also urged Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam to form a national unity Cabinet in which the disputes between political rivals can be addressed.
“The Prime Minister-designate should form an all-inclusive Cabinet to move disputes out of the streets,” said the mufti.