Adonis Diaries

Still Marching for secular reforms? What distance the Lebanese have to travel for snatching civil rights and full citizenship?

Posted on: April 23, 2012

Still Marching for secular reforms? What distance the Lebanese have to travel for civil rights?

It is no longer this game of replacing a dictator here and an absolute monarch there:  The youth in Lebanon want to change the sectarian political and social structure.

It is no longer replacing a feudal leader here or a warlord there: The youth in Lebanon want to change the archaic and medieval system in Lebanon that used and abused the Lebanese since independence in 1943.

It is no longer substituting a sectarian political party in this government with another one in the Parliament:  The youth in Lebanon want to step forward vigorously into the modern age.

Alex Rowell posted on April 20 “Lebanese march for secularism

“In two weeks and two days, the Lebanese Laïque (secular) Pride activist group will hold its third annual Seculars March Towards Citizenship, a 3-hour procession from Sanayeh to Ain el-Mraisseh (in Beirut), calling for “a secular civil state founded on citizenship” and “the abolition of institutional sectarianism”.

Demonstrators carry placards at a previous Lebanese Laïque Pride march (Photo courtesy of Lebanese Laïque Pride Facebook group)

The six key demands of the Laique Pride are:

1. Enacting a unified Civil Code for the Personal Status Law (Personal Status is identified by each of the 18 officially recognized religious sect)
2. Passing the Law for Protection of Women from Family Violence submitted by KAFA to the Lebanese parliament
3. Abolishing article 522 of the penal law, which drops charges against a rapist if he marries his victim
4. Amending the nationality law for the right of Lebanese women to grant their nationality to their family members
5. Passing the Draft Law Prohibiting the Pre-Censorship [of] Cinema and Theatre
6. Withdrawing the Lebanese Internet Regulation Act (LIRA) draft law

I’m aware that some Lebanese think that it is a rather good thing that, in their country, wives may be legally raped and beaten; marital and inheritance disputes are settled by theologians; films and plays are routinely censored; and a child born to the wrong faith can’t become president.

For those who feel otherwise, however, the march starts at 16:00 at Sanayeh Gardens, May 6th.” End of Rowell post.

Long and uninterrupted waves of protests and uprising are invading the streets of this dormant lake in the “Arab” world.  It has been two months that raging and determined upheavals have been buffeting the lax and antiquated “Arab” regimes.

The youth in Lebanon have been calling for mass demonstrations to rebuilding a governing system based on citizenship vital rights for equality, fairness, and justice to all; regardless of religious affiliation, feudal mentality, genders differentiation in the public service jobs and the voting rights under a fair and equitable representation of all classes and strata in society.

The youth in Lebanon are calling to march for a modern Lebanon and the youth have been delivering under heavy rain.

This time around, it is no longer sectarian and feudal political parties calling for mass demonstrations for a political sectarian gain, for a feudal equilibrium political sharing gimmick, for oligarchic domination of one sect or one foreign influence policy.

If the old guards of the political system want to maintain a sectarian structure, the youth want nothing to do with it.

If the old guards of clerics, feudal, and comprador monopolist merchants are very satisfied with an archaic system, the youth in Lebanon want this structure down and done with.

This is a genuine uprising of a new Lebanon, tired and exhausted, buffeted for 6 decades by comfortably established sectarian and feudal “leaders’.  The old system has been relegating the Lebanese to medieval ages.

Do we have 19 recognized sects?  So what!  Do we have to be governed by the religious clerics backing feudal leaders and overseas princes and emirs?

No, the youth in Lebanon don’t have to abide by the ridiculous dictates of dinosaurs of older times.

I suggest that this determined movement be organized in every town and village.

It is not necessary to have mass gathering in the Capital Beirut:  A few supporters for secular reforms everywhere in Lebanon, marching with banners and calling for discussion on the ways to instituting such a society is far more effective to dislodge a rooted system.

Lebanon is not its Capital:  The movement has to be disseminated in rural and far distant districts that constitute the backbone of the current decrepit political system.

Lebanon has been plagued by sectarian regimes since its inception. If we cannot surmount this calamity now, should we wait another half a century on feasibility study?

This is as good a time as any other periods to raise our head as viable citizens and not chattel, to be bought and sold by feudal and religious clerics.

Youth in Lebanon are trying to displace the sectarian and feudal political parties and reclaiming the streets.  A modern Lebanon is on the rise: Archaic power composition has got to make room for new blood and determination.

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April 2012

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