Adonis Diaries

To Hassan Nasr Allah, SG of Hezbollah: An Open Letter. Part 1

Posted on: July 4, 2011

To Hassan Nasr Allah, SG of Hezbollah: An Open Letter

I have the highest respect for the Hezbollah organization that saved Lebanon twice from becoming a total non-entity within the last decade.

Since Hezbollah is the most powerful political and social movement in Lebanon in number, organization, military training, and in readiness, it has the potential to either drive Lebanon to a secular democratic system or strengthen the multi-theocratic structure that the Lebanese have been subjugated to since independence in 1943.

This important social and political force can either spread havoc or strengthen the independence of Lebanon, depending on open dialogue and communication among all Lebanese political parties.

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.

Either we keep apprehensive of a planned “Wilayat Fakih” strategy, a stronger centralized theocratic system, or Hezbollah can be the catalyst for the Lebanese society to build a State that gives a meaning to the modern citizen, regardless of religious affiliation, genders, or “tribal and feudal” chattel mentality.

Either Lebanon eases its way to a unified modern State, with secular civil laws and equitable election laws, or we will end up with two drastic different groups:  The theocratic parties, representing the archaic current political structure, or the secular and democratic political parties representing the aspiration of the new generations.

There are roadblocks to the institution of a modern Lebanese political system. These roadblocks can be surmounted by open dialogue if “theocratic fundamentals”, from all religious sects, are not set are immune to discussion and out of the realm of rational dialogue.

First roadblock.  The Lebanese aspire to freedom of expressions, opinions, and gathering.  That the ambassador of Iran feels he is entitled to meddle in our internal affairs and pressure the authorities to censure a movie produced in Iran is not acceptable and for the following reasons:

First, Hezbollah is targeted by many enemies and has already a big load to confront on many fronts.  To offer a free handle for the enemies to confronting Hezbollah as anathema to free expressions is not productive.

Second, suppressing free opinions regarding Iran political system, or discussing gender discrimination, give the strong impression that Hezbollah is stooges to the Khomeini “Wilayat Fakih” theocratic concept.

Third, the more freedom of expressions are suppressed, the more opinions go underground,and the more the censured materials are spread and viewed as representing the facts and truths.

Second roadblock.  Hezbollah needs to lay off its “theocratic” myths.

The first religious myth is the “dress codes” to both male and female. Dress codes shouldn’t be a religious matters. Dress codes for man and woman have nothing to do with religious dogma.

In Mecca, during the life of Prophet Mohammad, only noble ladies wore the veil outside their homes, as a discrimination dress code of their rank from the other working women.  When the companions of the Prophet fled to Yathreb (Medina), at the onset of persecutions, the veil was not used in Medina:  Women had vast freedom; and they had their own mind.  Actually, it was a shock for the women of Yathreb seeing a few of the companions’ wives wearing veils, as if they considered themselves of nobler ranks! (see note 1)

I suggest to Hezbollah to take the bold decision of toning down the importance of dress codes and desist of spreading this myth. Women, who have no convictions that dress codes are of the domain of religious belief, should not be pressured to cheat on their convictions.  Extending liberty to exercising the power of individual rational thinking is the best asset for higher confidence in leadership and tighter cohesion in the ranks in dire circumstances. The leaders of Hezbollah should give examples within their own family and relatives of relaxing the dress code.

The second myth to get rid off is combining political and religious responsibilities.  It certainly is a proof of internal weakness in the organization when the Secretary General feels the need to offer the face of an Imam.

The Prophet Muhammad was upset with the central “Orthodox” Church of Byzantium (Constantinople) because it labeled one of the Christian sects in Mecca (the Ebionites) as “heretic”: Muhammad’s uncle Ain Warkat was the Patriarch of this Christian-Jew sect and he taught Muhammad to read and write in the Aramaic language, the language of the Bible that the sect read in.

Muhammad abhorred central religious power and viewed it as the enemy for harmony and peace among the believers.  That is why the Prophet declined to name an Imam before his death, so that Islam should not be regulated by any religious central power; he could have named Ali as Imam and Ali would have been an excellent religious guide.

Preaching at every religious event as if in a Friday prayers, Hassan Nasr Allah is definitely sending the wrong message to the Lebanese:  The mixing of politics and religion is bound to lead to disaster.

We need to hear Hassan Nasr Allah political messages and wish he spares us his religious belief that is not the concern of the people at this junction.

What the Lebanese people, and many members of Hezbollah, understand is that Hezbollah is a shifty religious sect following the sect of the Iranian Guide in power.  For example, taking a religious story to drive through a political message, every now and then, is appropriate rhetorically, but when the entire speech is religious, the people get tired of too much chatting in matters they care less about.

Everyone should have his specialty, responsibility, and his target audience.

State business, political organization, and religion should not mix.

Lebanon has 18 formally recognized sects and we need not exacerbate our caste problems.  We need to be the vanguard to the other Arabic and Islamic States in running our life and strengthening our individual freedom for rational thinking.

Third religious myth. There is this boring and unsettling tendency at Hezbollah’s leadership to start their speeches with a long litany of the “honored” descendants of the Prophet Muhammad.

I understand that most diseases 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 to be born idiots, and vice versa. (See note 3)

Maybe it is time for Hezbollah to desist forcing on people untruths of super great offspring generated by the Prophet.  We must be inclined to pray even more forcefully for the offspring of the Prophet, 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?

Fourth religious myth.  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 and decided to adopt the Shiaa sect as the Kingdom religion.  The Shiaa had to flee the Arabic Sunni Caliphate Empire for two centuries and suffered frequent persecutions during the Ottoman Empire.

The Shiaa took roots in India and in the Maghreb in 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.  For example, the city of Aleppo and its district was a major focal point for the Ismailia Shiaa.

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 or Kufa, simply because its members are Near Eastern and not Persians.

It will pay in the medium-term for Hezbollah to re-write the history of the Shiaa in Lebanon and changing their tradition for a far away civilization, and taking official sides for this Iranian Ayatollah or that, or this Iraqi Ayatollah or that.

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

Third roadblock.  Hezbollah has to desist challenging the international community:  It is counter productive to declare that no power on earth can execute the UN resolutions, not for 300 years.  These declarations are redundant, since they have been stated several times and the Lebanese knows what can be executed on the ground.

What Hezbollah can do is re-establishing the independence and credibility of Lebanon’s judicial system and let our legal institutions handle the legal process in Lebanon.  People brought to trial may have the choice of selecting Lebanon judicial system or the International Court procedures.  Hezbollah has to relax its speeches on this hot matter:

First, the submission of official names by the International Court (IC) on Lebanon  relieves Lebanon from this masquerade that has been dragging on for over 6 years:  The 4 names have been out of Lebanon for the last 30 years, and two of the names are believed to be virtual names, not registered as Lebanese “citizens”. The IC “bomb” landed but didn’t explode: Lebanon went on as usual.

Even if the US and Israel detonate the bomb by remote control, most likely the bomb is totally outdated and rotten and will do no damage that the Lebanese have endured in the last decade.

Second, the blade of the sword of the International Court on the assassination of late Rafiq Hariri PM has been blunted:  Hezbollah did a good job discrediting this politicized court.  The Lebanese have learned that the legitimacy in the institution of this special International Court is to be desired. Why? (See note 4)

Lebanon is a very tiny, highly volatile, unstable society, and NOT immune to radical revolts. Let us declare Moratorium on:

 First, a Moratorium on spreading religious myths

Second, a Moratorium on absolute monarchs and dictators who have been spreading the poison that Arabs and Islamic people are not fit for democratic systems and rational thinking.  The “Arab Spring” uprising are one step in that direction.

There are many other roadblocks to a unified Lebanon on the highway of modern Statehood, and I might expand on this open letter.

Note 1: Prophet Muhammad did not bring the issue of dress codes until he married many women for political exigencies.  Sexual rumors spread about a few of his wives: Muhammad had to ask his wives to wear veils and long dresses when stepping out of their homes in order to minimize their recognition by the public.  Thus, a particular and local case needs not be extended to whole communities and to people of different cultures.

Note 2:  Mecca Patriarch Ain Warkat translated his “Bible” into the Aramaic slang spoken in Mecca, which was called Arabic.  The Prophet goal was to unite the “heretic” sects under common denominators by discarding the abstract notions that divided among them; after all, they all followed the daily rituals of the Jewish customs that they inherited by tradition.

Note 3:  The Prophet Muhammad did not die suddenly; he felt terribly sick for 8 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).

Note 4: The entire International Court on Lebanon is not legitimate:

First, the UN has no basis to seeking chapter seven:  Lebanon was not experiencing any civil war, and no massacres were witnessed.  A “legitimate” government was running the country.  What of the far more serious cases of “crimes against humanity” of President  Bashir of Sudan that UN is waiting to be captured and yet being warmly welcomed in China? What of Qadhafi and his son…? What of Bush Jr., Ramsfield, Tony Blair,…

Second, the Lebanese government of Seniora PM was barely representing 30% of the people when it demanded for the institution of this court.  All the Shiaa ministers (representing 60% of the people) had quit the government.  And the ministers of the Christian political party of the Tayyar (representing more than 50% of the Christians) had also quit the government.  By the Constitution, if one of the main religious group is out of the government then, the government is not “legitimate”…

Note 5:  You may read the second part of the open letter

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July 2011

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