A Lebanese pattern of selective hatred

Eyad Abu Shakra
Eyad Abu Shakra
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Aoun’s movement is taking advantage of the flow of Syrian refugees to play on the fears of Lebanese Christians and who are made to think they will be crushed by the growing number of Muslims

Eyad Abu Shakra
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Why then is the Aoun movement adamant on inciting hatred? And for how long will Hezbollah stand still while its ally is doing so?

To answer the first question, it is important to remember that elections will be held in Lebanon within a few months and during such times, “national” movements that belong to Le Penn’s school start investing in fears and igniting prejudice. The hatred card is in many cases a winning one whether this hatred is directed against a Muslim Arab, Amazigh, Kurdish, or Turkish group, a black group from Africa or the West Indies, a dark group from the Indian Subcontinent, or even a white Christian group from East Europe.

Aoun’s movement is taking advantage of the flow of Syrian refugees to play on the fears of Lebanese Christians who are made to think they will be crushed by the growing number of Muslims. The problem with this approach, however, is that it overlooks the demographic and security expansion of Hezbollah in many regions in Lebanon including predominantly Christian ones under the nose of the Aoun movement. Encouraging Christians to antagonize Sunni Muslims also creates a state of sectarian polarization that can have extremely dangerous repercussions on the region, and on the Christians first and foremost.

As for the second question about Hezbollah’s stance on Bassil’s statement, it is closely related to local electoral considerations. In a speech published in al-Nahar newspaper on November 6, 1989, Nasrallah described Aoun as a “confrontational and destructive Israeli case who only cares about his and his sect’s interests” and described his approach as “typical racist Maronite.” The only reason why Hezbollah is still supporting Aoun despite describing him as such is the fact that the former is badly in need of the latter’s representatives in the parliament to pass an election law that allows it (Hezbollah) to seize control of Lebanon’s institutions in a legal and constitutional manner, ie. through the ballot box.

*This article was published in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat on Jan. 7, 2013. Here’s the article’s link: https://www.aawsat.com/leader.asp?section=3&issueno=12459&article=711986

(Eyad Abu Shakra (also written as Ayad Abou-Chakra) began his media career in 1973 with An-Nahar newspaper in Lebanon. Joined Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper in the UK in 1979, occupying several positions including: Senior Editor, Managing Editor, and Head of Research Unit, as well as being a regular columnist. He has several published works, including books, chapters in edited books, and specialized articles, in addition to frequent regular TV and radio appearances
Active in academic, social and charity work, and a former active member of the Labour Party in the UK)


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