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Lebanon’s Mufti slams politicians for creating 'fake democracy'

Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani speaks during a press conference in Dar al-Fatwa in Beirut, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: The Grand Mufti of Lebanon Sheikh Mohammad Qabbani Wednesday slammed the “dictatorship” of political leaders who have made Lebanese live in a “fake democracy.”

“To this day, we are still looking for reasons behind our disputes, making this another cause for our weakness, and we have even boasted for a long time that we and noone else enjoy democracy in this Levant,” Qabbani said in a statement on the occasion of Prophet Mohammad’s birthday.

“We see in the arenas of Arab regions, men who are ahead of us. They fought for and achieved freedom and democracy.

“But we remain prisoners of a fake democracy that carries with it the ugliest forms of complex dictatorship, horrible sectarianism practices, and wait-and-see and speculative policies.

“Congratulations to us and to Lebanon on this democracy and the dictatorship which we are living in,” he said.

Addressing Lebanese of all sects, Qabbani warned that Lebanon cannot move forward toward a just state so long as “dictatorships” of both leaders and parties strengthen divides and disputes among fellow citizens in order to maintain political power and gains “by lying and trading lies.”

Turning to the so far fruitless efforts by lawmakers to develop a new electoral law for this summer’s general elections, Qabbani said the only way to rid Lebanon of this “dictatorship system” is to give everyone the right to be represented in Parliament.

He accused each religious sect of monopolizing the votes of its congregation and said the rival March 8 and March 14 political camps are both benefiting from each other “in shaping this complex dictatorial system which generates a non-stop conflict and prevents our system from progressing.”

“Parliament is the voice of the people,” he stressed as he called on Lebanese to “wake up ... before strife tears them apart and [they] lose themselves and their homeland Lebanon, and before they regret it.”

 

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