Adonis Diaries

Spreading myths: Hezbollah and… Part two

Posted on: July 12, 2010

Hezbollah to desist spreading myths: Encore

In a previous post I discussed the two myths: dress codes, and the mixing of State and religious responsibilities.

I also stated the reasons for selecting Hezbollah for my topic, though all 18 religious sects and castes in Lebanon are no better. There are three reasons I am focusing on Hezbollah:

First, I need to have a specific target in order to minimize tendencies for generalization;

Second, Hezbollah is the most powerful movement in Lebanon in number, organization, military training, and in readiness and thus, this important social and political force can either spread havoc or strengthen the independence of Lebanon depending on the level of serious close dialogue and communication among the Lebanese political parties; and

Third, because I have a high respect for this organization that saved Lebanon twice from becoming a total non-entity within the last decade. Yes, with Hezbollah I feel that Lebanon is no longer just a State recognized by the UN but has acquired the status of a Nation; a tiny Nation but with the potential of agreeing that we are one people under the law and against all contingencies.

There is this boring and unsettling tendency at Hezbollah’s leadership to start their speeches with a long litany of the “honored” descendents of the Prophet Muhammad.  I understand that most diseases and physical ailments are inherited, but I have not stumbled on studies characterizing intelligence, learning, and wisdom attributed to inherited genes.  Actually, research have demonstrated that offspring of highly intelligent men are generally born idiots.

The Prophet Muhammad did not die suddenly; he felt terribly sick for eight days and realized that he is to die soon.  The Prophet was fully conscious, many times, and he said the Morning Prayer before he died in the arms for his beloved and young wife Aicha. If the prophet wanted a close relative to inherit the title of Imam he would have done so. He still had two daughters and two son-in-laws and many close relatives who were Moslems. (Muhammad had four daughters, all married, and two sons; two of the married daughters died before him and his two sons died in infancy before reaching the age of 4).

Maybe it is time for Hezbollah to desist forcing on people “untruths of super great offspring” generated by the Prophet. Yes, we must be inclined to pray even more forcefully for them because the odds are that they suffered immensely by the high expectations impelled upon them by ignorant and lazy-minded followers. Maybe it is time to expect the next Mahdi to be born from the common people instead of some “noble” creed.

My fourth worry is this trend of re-writing history to please cultural propaganda of a nascent Islamic regional power such as Iran.  Shiaa have lived in northern Palestine, Lebanon, and northern Syria many centuries before the Turkish Safavid Empire ruled Iran in the 17th century.  The Safavid Empire decided to adopt the Shiaa sect as the Kingdom religion, though the first monarch was a Sunni Turkish tribe leader.

For many centuries, the Shiaa had to flee the Arabic Sunni Caliphate successive Empires and suffered frequent persecutions during the Ottoman Empire.  The Chiaa took roots in India and in the Maghreb (North Africa).

From the Maghreb they converged to Egypt and ruled during the Fatimid Dynasty for over a century and enjoyed many converts in Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria when Baghdad’s central power was very weak.   The city of Aleppo (Syria) and its district was a major focal point for the Ismailia Shiaa (known as Hashashine).

The Shiaa also converged from India to Herat (west Afghanistan) and to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan before spreading to East Iran and the eastern shores of the Arabic Peninsula.  Consequently, the Shiaa in the Near East are its inhabitants and form an intrinsic part of the fabric of this region: they adopted the same customs and tradition.

If for political exigencies, Hezbollah needs to select leaders who attended religious schools in Qom of Iran then, it does not follow that this short–term need should be the trend.  Hezbollah has no advantage to alienate the main religious center in Al Najaf and then Kufa simply because its members are Near Eastern and not Persians.

It does not pay in the medium-term for Hezbollah to re-write the history of theSChiaa in Lebanon, changing their tradition for a far away civilization, and taking official sides for this Iranian Ayatollah or that, or this Iraqi Ayatollah or that.

Hezbollah is a resistance movement against any invader to Lebanon because it is Lebanese people and not a branch or an extension or a mercenary force to any regional power. Changing culture and history of the Chiaa in Lebanon can be as dangerous a trend as fomenting civil war.

2 Responses to "Spreading myths: Hezbollah and… Part two"

[…] Part two. Spreading myths: Hezbollah? […]

[…] Part two. Spreading myths: Hezbollah? […]

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July 2010

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