We have read about the Hezbollah denunciations of the Sunni Muslims (from Kuwaitis/Saudis
) in the past in a variety of articles, we have also pointed out to the Lebanese Christians
and their positions towards the Hezbollah incursion into Israel and the subsequent hostilities that ensued, but until now the Shiíites voices were not present or accounted for.
Mona Fayad a Lebanese intellectual has recently stirred up a debate on this issue in the Lebanese daily newspaper ďAn-NaharĒ by speaking out with a clear voice of condemnation about this very issue. In this article, as reported by the Boston Globe in an article entitled: "Essay by intellectual spurs debate on Hezbollah leaders"
, she condemns Hezbollah for subjecting the Lebanese people to a fate akin to suicide without their consent, and for forcing them to entrust their fate to the wise and infallible leadership of Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran.
In a scathing essay titled "To be a Shi'ite now," Fayad attacked fellow Shi'ites who, she says, blindly follow the leadership of Hezbollah on a path she described as "no different from suicide."
"What does it mean to be a Shi'ite for the majority of Shi'ites now, at this critical period?" Fayad wrote. "It means entrusting your fate to the wise and infallible leadership without daring to ask any question."
To be a Shi'ite now "is to block your mind" and let Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, "command you, drive you, decide for you what he wants from the weapons of Hezbollah, and force on you a victory that is no different from suicide," Fayad wrote. "To be a Shi'ite and dare such writing and such thinking means that you are a collaborator and a traitor.
A healthy debate is still ongoing in the An-Nahar newspaper, and the article highlights a few pros and cons opinions that are worthy of disseminating.Israel Bonan
Essay by intellectual spurs debate on Hezbollah leaders
By Rana Fil, Globe Correspondent, August 14, 2006
BEIRUT -- When Mona Fayad saw Lebanon engulfed in violence, she couldn't keep silent. The psychology professor at Lebanese University did something almost no Shi'ite intellectual dares to do in Beirut, at least in public: criticize Hezbollah.
In a scathing essay titled ``To be a Shi'ite now," Fayad attacked fellow Shi'ites who, she says, blindly follow the leadership of Hezbollah on a path she described as ``no different from suicide."
Her bold and unusual stance has sparked debate in the daily newspaper An-Nahar , where it was published, and it has made Fayad something of a celebrity.
``What does it mean to be a Shi'ite for the majority of Shi'ites now, at this critical period?" Fayad wrote. ``It means entrusting your fate to the wise and infallible leadership without daring to ask any question."
To be a Shi'ite now ``is to block your mind" and let Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, ``command you, drive you, decide for you what he wants from the weapons of Hezbollah, and force on you a victory that is no different from suicide," Fayad wrote. ``To be a Shi'ite and dare such writing and such thinking means that you are a collaborator and a traitor."
Since then, Fayad has been inundated with calls and e-mails from friends and strangers . ``People thank me, encourage me, and ask me if I am scared," Fayad said. ``But I am not scared because I live in a country where a bomb can fall on my head at any time, so I want to express my opinion."
Fayad's essay gave vent to some of the frustration and anger that have built up among many Shi'ites . Although largely symbolic when measured against the widespread Shi'ite embrace of Hezbollah, the piece offers a glimpse of the debate taking place among intellectuals.
An-Nahar's opinion page editor, Jihad al-Zein, who published the essay, said the piece has prompted a passionate reaction. ``People are calling me from places as far away as the United States or the Gulf countries to comment ," Zein said. ``There is vitality in the debate."
Zein, a Shi'ite intellectual, had stirred passions a few weeks ago when he wrote an open letter to Khamenei in which he questioned Iran's use of Shi'ite groups in the Middle East to advance Tehran's political interests without regard to the consequences for local Shi'ites.
Zein is being flooded with responses to Fayad's piece, so he publishes them to keep the debate alive.
``I, the Lebanese citizen from the south, a Shi'ite displaced in my country for calculations and adventures forced on me, I declare supporting Fayad," Ismail Sharafeddine, a Shi'ite intellectual, wrote. ``And I will say more: To be a Shi'ite is to demand accountability from those who took this adventure that led to the displacement of a million people."
But not everyone has appreciated Fayad's writing. In a toughly worded response, Nayef Krayyem, another Shi'ite intellectual, wrote that for Fayad, the Shi'ite is supposed to prevent Hezbollah ``from building a force capable of maintaining the dignity of opinion if Israel thinks of stealing from us the dignity of life."
``It is forbidden to be strong near Israel and if you dare, you have to pay a price you never paid before and to suffer in a way you never suffered before," Krayyem wrote.
Fayad's article has broken a longstanding taboo in the Shi'ite community. ``People have been lying to themselves, afraid of Hezbollah because it is loaded with weapons but it is time to stand up and ask why," Fayad said.
``We've been forced to shut up for decades because we are at war but we have to speak in critical periods so that the leaders know who are with them and who are not," Fayad said. ``The future of Lebanon is at stake."
Fayad is not discouraged by the criticism. ``If I get to the point where I can't write what I believe in, life has no meaning."
Introduction copyright by Israel Bonan, 2006. Original article © Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company
Original content is Copyright by the author 2006. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000210.html where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Disributed by ZNN list. Subscribe by sending a message to ZNNfirstname.lastname@example.org. Please forward by e-mail with this notice, cite this article and link to it. Other uses by permission only.
Replies: 8 Comments
68% of non-Jews who fled in the 1947-49 war (Syria, Transjordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Egypt etc against Jewish Palestine)left of their own accord. Jewish public figures emplored them to stay but they followed the calls of their leaders to leave so it would be easier to commit genocide against the Jews. Those 'Southern Syrians' deserve(d) everything they get/got.
Adam, Monday, August 28th
And we , the Jews from Atrab countries and Iran have no Right of return, because?
Did we live suspended in air? No, we had homes, we had lives we had assets. And I give two guesses, what do you think happened to the Billions we left behind?
Oh, I guess you must have cornered the market on suffering, and no one else but Arabs suffered.
When you realize that the equation is balanced (I will not say tilted in our favor; because I know pain and I know that Palestinians suffered as well. But unfortunately for you, you see only one side), you will understand that it is time to start thinking of the future, and future without peace and hope for a better life is not what we dream for our children; and neither should you for your children.
Israel Bonan, Tuesday, August 15th
"The only difference is, we got help, we succeeded in life; while the Arabs left their own kin in tents as wards of the the UN for 60 years.
Don't send them arms, give them back their dignity. Absorb them in your mainstream and give them the life they deserve instead of segragating them in camps. But then, you deem it better to have them blow themselves up instead."
Yes the right of return IS one of the issues we are blowing ourselves up about...
Safa, Tuesday, August 15th
With all due respect Safa,
You seem to have forgotten about the 850,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries.
And by the way I happen to be one of them.
To only talk about one side of the Middle East narrative is to deny anything ever happened to any of us.
If you care to find out a bit more about our stories, I can be very accomodating indeed.
Fairness, and history demands even handedness when we discuss tragic occurences and dislocations.
The only difference is, we got help, we succeeded in life; while the Arabs left their own kin in tents as wards of the the UN for 60 years.
Don't send them arms, give them back their dignity. Absorb them in your mainstream and give them the life they deserve instead of segragating them in camps. But then, you deem it better to have them blow themselves up instead.
It is all a matter of values, and what cultures ascribe to the human life as a value.
And good day to you too.
Israel Bonan, Tuesday, August 15th
Civil war?? HizbAllah was created in RESPONSE to Israel's invasion of south Lebanon and the killing of 20 000 Lebanese and persecution of Shiaas.
HibAllah enjoys support of Sunnis, Shiaas and Christians alike. How can you compare it to Nazism when the AIM of their EXISTANCE is to ensure Lebanese sovreignty over all its lands?
Mr. Bonan, History is relative as to who tells it. 58 years, the lifespan of Israel is barely history and as well as facts I have the elders of an entire population to tell me how they were displaced in 1948.
MR. Levine, propoganda is usually written between the lines.
Safa, Tuesday, August 15th
I assume that because one Lebanese Shia opposses the stance of Hizbollah that others do so as well.
Hizbollah brought death and destruction to Lebanon much in the same way that the PLO did over 20 years ago.
Hopefully the Lebanese people will realize that Israel has done Lebanon a favour and in the next election 3 not 23 Hizbollah MP's will be elected!
You wrote: "AND last time I checked spreading propaganda about sectarian violence was a tool used to undermine the other side." Where in the article did Mr. Bonan state anything about sectarian violence?
Murray Levine, Monday, August 14th
You obviously did not read the article to discern the support Dr Fayad has enjoyed, and we do not suborn violence let alone sectarian violence.
Lebanon has always been a good neighbor, until the likes of Arafat and Nasrallah managed to destroy its harmony and create civil wars, and governments within governments.
Nazi Germany also rose to prominence through the democratic process only to destroy Germany and her existing institutions.
So Safa, read up on your history and don't reject sanity out of hand because you have already made up your mind to be close minded.
Israel Bonan, Monday, August 14th
You cannot assume that because one individual opposes the stance of Hizbolla the Lebanese public feel the same. Why are there 23 elected MP's in the Lebanese parliment who are members of Hizbolla. Last time I checked the Lebanese government was in support of Hizbolla military action and last time I checked the Lebanese government was a democratic government of the people. AND last time I checked spreading propaganda about sectarian violence was a tool used to undermine the other side.
Safa, Monday, August 14th
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