BAALBEK, Lebanon: Religious, political and social dignitaries met Friday with Future Movement officials in Baalbek’s Al-Rahman Mosque to express their objection to Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani’s recent decision to replace the muftis of Akkar and Baalbek.
Qabbani Monday issued a statement in which he appointed new regional muftis – Sheikh Mohammad Zeid Bakkar Zakaria was appointed as mufti of Akkar, Sheikh Ayman Rifai as mufti of Baalbek-Hermel and Sheikh Medrar Hibal as mufti of Tyre.
Qabbani also appointed Sheikh Youssef Idriss as new general secretary for the Higher Islamic Council to replace Sheikh Khaldoun Oraymet, who was appointed as the head of Dar al-Fatwa’s health center.
A statement issued after the meeting slammed Qabbani’s decisions, saying, “These decisions confirm the [grand] mufti’s persistence in his political battle against the will and political orientations of the majority of the Sunni sect in Lebanon and especially in Akkar and Baalbek.
“These decisions are malicious and express a grudge and a desire to exact revenge and this hasty and ominous step will lead to widening differences and increase conflict.”
The statement urged the Higher Islamic Council to address the steps taken by the grand mufti’s and to reverse his policy, “which will cause Dar al-Fatwa to oppose the will of the majority of Sunnis in Beirut and other governorates who are fighting, along with people from other sects, the policies that aim at restoring foreign hegemony over Lebanon.”
It also called for the comprehensive reform of all the institutions of Dar al-Fatwa and to respect democratic principles that call for elections and respect for the rules of procedure.