Lebanon News

Imam of Amin mosque threatened during prayers

Lebanese soldiers stand guard outside of the Mohammad al-Amin Mosque in Beirut, Friday, March 1, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani condemned the harassment of an imam delivering a sermon at the Mohammad Amin Mosque in Beirut Friday.

In a statement, Qabbani condemned the “groups responsible for this behavior,” which he said was aimed at “inciting strife between Muslims in their mosques.”

In a statement, Dar al-Fatwa’s General Directorate of Islamic Endowments described the incident which began when an unspecified number of young men hurled insults at Sheikh Hisham Khalifa, the head of Islamic Endowments, while he was delivering a sermon at the mosque. The youths also tried to remove Khalifa from the pulpit during the tense exchange, the statement added.

Khalifa’s address focused on using wisdom, patience and closing divides in order to resolve matters in the country, when the incident took place.

Khalifa’s bodyguards soon stepped in and pushed the youths back, allowing the sheikh to continue with his sermon.

Khalifa later told the media that his assaulters told him they were armed, but an eyewitness told The Daily Star that the men were not carrying weapons. For its part, the Army denied reports that armed men had entered the mosque.

“We will bury you here if you attack [former Prime Minister Saad] Hariri or talk politics [during the sermon],” one of them was heard telling the sheikh, according to the witness.

Following the exchange, Khalifa delivered a brief five-minute sermon, in contrast to his usual 30-minute one, about the plight of Islamist detainees in Roumieh prison.

Dar al-Fatwa’s General Directorate of Islamic Endowments said Khalifa completed his sermon “and led Friday prayers as usual,” adding that security forces arrived directly at the mosque after the youths had fled the scene.

Dar al-Fatwa denounced the incident and said it was “violating the principles and teachings of Islam.”

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 02, 2013, on page 2.




Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (

comments powered by Disqus



Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here