BEIRUT

Editorial

Unity is the best defense

Firefighters put out a fire as policemen secure the site of an explosion at the Dahr al-Baidar area in Lebanon's Eastern Bekaa Valley June 20, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

The various security incidents across the country Friday served as a dark reminder to this country’s leaders, should they need one, that national unity is needed more than ever, and that all must work toward minimizing sectarian threats and tension.

From the suicide bombing in Dahr al-Baidar, to road closures in the capital and Tripoli, police raids in Hamra and cross-border shelling in Tfail, all events fed into a generally tense atmosphere, highlighting just how small and fragile this country is: an earthquake in the Bekaa can be felt in Beirut.

The work of the security forces is to be commended, and their successes are the result of having the guts to make difficult decisions, and decisions which transcend sectarian, religious or party political divisions.

In order to be the best that they can be, the Army and the Internal Security Forces need to feel that they have the whole country behind them. National unity is more important than ever.

Acts of violence are committed indiscriminately – all Lebanese are at risk, so all Lebanese must work together to shield the country from such fractures.

But it is most vital that all of the country’s leading figures take similar stances and rise above previously entrenched differences.

It is clear from all such security incidents over recent months that they all seek to sow discord between Sunnis and Shiites: that much cannot be denied. So it is imperative that all religious and political actors work toward reducing any such tension.

From education to preaching, it is their job to ensure that this country is insulated from the growing sectarianism sweeping through the region.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June 21, 2014, on page 7.

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Summary

The various security incidents across the country Friday served as a dark reminder to this country's leaders, should they need one, that national unity is needed more than ever, and that all must work toward minimizing sectarian threats and tension.

It is most vital that all of the country's leading figures take similar stances and rise above previously entrenched differences.

So it is imperative that all religious and political actors work toward reducing any such tension.


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