BEIRUT

Editorial

A victory for coexistence

Lebanese Sheikh Abdul Latif Deryan looks on during a session at the Dar al-Fatwa, the seat of the Sunni Muslim clergy, to elect the Grand Sunni Muslim Mufti on August 10, 2014 in central Beirut. AFP PHOTO / ANWAR AMRO

The election of a new grand mufti for Lebanon Sunday signaled a resounding defeat for parties that have spent several years trying to sow division in the Sunni community’s highest religious body.

The overarching message of Sheikh Abdel-Latif Derian’s election was one of firm consensus by leading Sunni political and religious figures. The smooth election both advanced the institution of Dar al-Fatwa and highlighted how the Sunni community is united on priority issues such as national cohesion, support for the Lebanese Army and security institutions, and upholding the Constitution.

This was evident when former Prime Minister Saad Hariri hosted the electoral body’s members and others for a luncheon afterward. The event gathered figures who have sparred in the past over Dar al-Fatwa and also saw Qabbani also take part, meaning the former mufti made a dignified exit from the political scene.

Hariri stressed how long-standing support for Christian-Muslim coexistence in Lebanon would remain a cornerstone of Dar al-Fatwa – a message urgently needed today, as the region is afflicted with ultra-extremists who claim to speak and act in the name of Islam.

The array of figures who gathered for Sunday’s election and luncheon were not participating in an ordinary set of ceremonies. By coming together at this time, they delivered a strong message that by being unified on the core issues – moderation, national sovereignty, and the rule of law – their community can contribute to isolating the extremists who pose a challenge to Lebanon, the region, and the more than 1 billion Muslims worldwide.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 11, 2014, on page 7.

Recommended

Advertisement

Comments

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. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here