BEIRUT: The dispute within the Higher Islamic Council generated further divisions Thursday, with the Bekaa Valley region of Rashaya now having two muftis.
Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani, the head of the Higher Islamic Council, appointed Sheikh Bassam Tarras mufti for Rashaya.
Tarras was supposed to replace Sheikh Ahmad Ladan, whose term expired.
But during a session Thursday chaired by former Minister Omar Miskawi, the deputy head of the Higher Islamic Council, members of the body who are close to the Future Movement reiterated that muftis of districts and members of administrative councils whose terms have expired, including Ladan, should remain in their posts until new ones are elected.
Late last year, members convening under Miskawi extended the term of the body till the end of 2013.
Deeming the move illegal, Qababni held council elections in April. Sidon has had two muftis since May as a result of the dispute.