Adonis Diaries

Archive for March 10th, 2011

Is Lebanon a Multi-Theocratic State: Are Lebanese that religious?

Nine weeks ago, the clerics of the Sunni Moslem sect in Lebanon gathered in a general session to admonish the newly appointed Prime Minister Mikati to abide by the revised political guidelines.  Is that a form of democracy?

The clerics of this sect were convened by Saad Hariri PM who was fired by 11 ministers from his post.  It appeared to Hariri that being fired was an incomprehensible practice:  He believed that since he is a Saudi citizen then he should be viewed as a Saudi monarch Prince or something…

The clerics and bishops of the Maronite Christian sect meet regularly to remind the President of the Republic and the Maronite deputies in the Parliament of their Church political orientation.  Is that a kind of Republic system?

The Maronite  clerics alienated more than half the Maronites by siding with particular sectarian political parties and getting deeply involved in State politics.

The clerics of the Shia Moslem sect meets regularly to regurgitate the position of Hezbollah political stands.

Actually, it is the Secretary General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasr Allah (who combines the spiritual and temporal powers under the Iranian concept of “Wilayat Faqih“), who draws the strategic and tactical moves for the Shias in Lebanon.  Is that a new concept of Parliamentary system?

In the 1980’s, the Lebanese were on their knees: Israel occupied most of the south region and Syria the remaining parts.  Lebanon was divided into self-autonomous sectarian cantons due to the consequences of the protracted civil war that started in 1975 and the massive transfer of citizens.

The new Islamic regime in Iran that displaced the Shah extended a fresh Shia religious fervor to the Shias in Lebanon, along with training, organization, and arms to resisting Israeli occupiers.

Israel was forced to withdraw from Lebanon in 2000, unilaterally and no negotiation, after suffering determined resistance from Hezbollah. Hezbollah resistance in 2006, to yet another Israeli preemptive incursion, and winning the war offered Lebanon a deterrence leverage that was lacking for decades.

Should Hezbollah continue adopting religion as the main ideological force to resisting the enemy Israel?  And for how long?  Should Nasr Allah keep his position for life as a religious leader too?  Should Lebanon remains a sectarian State for another century?

There are plenty of disinformation related to Lebanon’s social and political structure.

There is a vast chasm between what is written in the “Constitution” and what is and has been practiced for over 70 years, since the independence of Lebanon in 1943 and recognition as a State by the UN in 1946 (2 years before the recognition of Israel).

Lebanon is a feudal, sectarian, and tribal society governed by feudal, sectarian representatives of warlords, wealthy families and old money class.  The feudal class inherited their titles of Emir, Pasha, Bey, Sheihk…from the Ottoman Empire as heads of tribes sided with the Ottoman invaders and presented another form of “loyalty” to obscurantist caliphates.

France confirmed the rooted sectarian division during its mandated power from 1919 to 1943, and much longer after the independence of Lebanon, by instituting the Christians as the ruling class and enjoying privileges in power and in trade.

Should the Lebanese wait 9 months every time a new Sunni Prime Minister has to form a government in order to satisfy 18 recognized sects, six regional powers, and five superpowers?

This month, the youth in Lebanon started mass demonstrations, regularly, every week, demanding that religious affiliation be cancelled from all official documents.  The youth are engaged in sit-ins in many cities demanding civil marriage and reforming genders discriminating laws.  The youth have been chanting: “We want to change the regime

Are Lebanese that religious?

They are governed by religious appointed “leaders”.  The youth are entangled in a hellish cycle of religious interests, restricted in sectarian enclaves; each sect established its own private schooling system, health and social security facilities…

The youth want to get rid of a century of indignity and chattel mentality.  They want a political system that transform all the private sectarian facilities to the control and evaluation of a civic State, and the dissemination of a civic orientation and education.

The youth of Lebanon are going to maintain and sustain the mass upheavals in the Arab World because their programs for reform and change are linked and rooted to all the in-depth reforms aspired by youths in the other Arab States.

The youth of Lebanon are shouldering the difficult and protracted long-term changes needed in developing countries.

State mocking us:  What is “Cultured my ass” Lebanese?

There are plenty of disinformation concerning the Lebanese people.  It is time to get outraged and discuss exaggerated misconceptions disseminated about Lebanese in general, and particularly how our governments mock our fantastic characteristics.

They say: “The Lebanese is proud”.  Proud my ass.  For over 70 years, the Lebanese have been treated as chattel: Individuals and entire communities were treated as bulk and traded to a feudal “leader” here or a sectarian warlord chief there.  Proud my ass.  The Lebanese ended up behaving with chattel mentality at every election:  A people indifferent, apathetic sheep following in Indian file, behind medieval-minded “leaders”.

They say: “The Lebanese is smart”.  Smart my ass.  The Tunisian is smart: He overthrew the Ben Ali dictator regime and dismantled the oligarchic political apparatus.  Not a single figure from the old system is represented in the current government and previous practices of State Security laws went down the drain.

The Egyptian is smart:  He wiped out the Mubarak regime and displaced all the old political and administrative figures. He devastated the State Security centers that humiliated and heaped indignities on him for four decades.  The Libyan, the citizen in Bahrein, in Yemen, in Oman are catching up at the speed of a bullet train.

They say: “The Lebanese is cultured”.  What is “Cultured my ass?” Is babbling in three languages and inserting words in three languages in a single sentence a measure of culture?  How about a demonstration of ignorance in three languages?  How about incoherence in expressing in one system of language, its rich meanings and traditional texture?

Cultured my ass.  Knowing a language is being able to read and comprehending a language in the original version:  If you hate to read and never read anything of value, or cannot understand a complicated paragraph then, how being cultured is defined?

A century ago, the educated Lebanese mastered the languages they learned, but first mastered the Arabic language:  They emulated the Renaissance Man with their polyvalent knowledge.  When they immigrated, they carried on their education tradition and were on the forefront of reforms, teaching, publishing, and changes.

Cultured? Get out of it.  You don’t want to be visiting Lebanon prison system. You don’t want to be entangled in our legal system.  You don’t want to feeling frustrated with our gender discriminating laws.  You don’t want to read about the horror stories of maltreatment of “imported” foreign maids.  You don’t want to be a poor visitor or a “non-western” tourist.  Even Israel, the worst apartheid State system, now and then feels ashamed of its policies.  We don’t:  We prefer to amass our dirt under the carpet, out of procrastination and indifference.

They say: “The Lebanese is skilled”  Skilled my ass. I am not aware of valid technical schools in Lebanon.  Skilled people are imported from Syria and Egypt.  Find me a plumber, an electrician, or any worthwhile skilled artisan in Lebanon who is less than 65 years of age.  “Modernity” has displaced family artisan heritage and no “ancient monarchs” are demanding work of arts from Lebanese skilled workers.

They say: “The Lebanese is versatile in knowledge”.  Knowledgeable my ass.  I have taught in Universities and I don’t recall students graduating in rationality, scientific, or critical thinking.  They graduate as the staunchest supporters of this feudal and sectarian system.  How can you use a graduate student who has no patience to study, make the effort to reflect, and invest time to acquiring knowledge by their own volition?

A month ago, youth in Lebanon have been demonstrating regularly every week, demanding change in the sectarian political system.  They want to cancel all mention of religious affiliation in all official documents.  They want civil marriage.  They want laws not discriminating on genders, religion… They want fair and equitable election laws representing all classes and citizens.

The youth in Lebanon want to reverse this trend of ill-cultured conditions, falsehood misinformation, and humiliating situations.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

March 2011
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