BEIRUT: Grand Mufti Mohammad Rashid Qabbani said Monday that he does not accept to act under the order of any group, saying this was the reason for his disagreements with the Future Movement and its allies in the March 14 alliance. “I don’t accept to act on the order of any group and this is why I disagreed with the Future Movement and the March 14 coalition,” Qabbani told a visiting delegation from the board of the Press Federation headed by its President Elias Aoun. “I did not disagree with them because of their policy, for their policy is national, but as individuals, they are not up to the job,” he added. Once a close ally of the Future Movement, Qabbani’s ties with the group have cooled over the past few months and many Future Movement MPs have criticized him. Qabbani expected that the regional turmoil would eventually destabilize Lebanon. Also, Qabbani said Sidon-based Sheikh Ahmad Assir does not fall under the authority of Dar al-Fatwa, adding that Sidon’s mufti should be asked about the controversial preacher’s activities. “Dar al-Fatwa does not have the authority to take measures against this sheikh, because there is no state ... almost all institutions have lost their stature.”
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 16, 2012, on page 4.