BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Christian, Muslim groups urge Lebanon neutrality

  • A member loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) waves an ISIS flag in Raqqa, Syria. (REUTERS/File)

BEIRUT: Moderate and independent Lebanese Christian and Muslim figures Tuesday called for a Lebanon free from Hezbollah or the radical Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).

A statement issued Tuesday by the moderate groups the Lady of the Mountains and the Shiite Consultative Gathering as well as other independent Lebanese figures slammed ISIS and Wilayat al-Faqih, an indirect reference to Hezbollah, as “spiritual sisters.”

Under the Wilayat al-Faqih doctrine, which was introduced in Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the supreme ayatollah, or highest religious authority, has final say in political matters as well.

The statement said the victories scored by ISIS and Hezbollah “are only an overwhelming evidence of the failure of the two schemes together, and that they are the product of an endless war.”

Signed by 12 Lebanese personalities who took part in the gathering held Monday as part of the groups’ periodic meetings, the statement pledged solidarity with the “forces of moderation in confronting the two schemes as well as terrorism and dictatorships alike.”

Hezbollah has remained evasive about its adherence to Wilayat al-Faqih and support for the establishment of an Islamic state in Lebanon inspired by that doctrine.

The participants also called on all those who share with them this view to support their initiative, which was launched last April in a memo to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon aimed at neutralizing Lebanon.

 
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