Harb: My draft bill is to prevent exodus of Christians -update

Lebanon Labor Minister Butros Harb defended on Friday his draft bill that calls for banning the sale of land between various Lebanese sects for 15 years.

“The real estate draft bill is reassure Lebanese Christians who believe there is a campaign to take over their property,” said Harb in an interview on Friday with MTV

He added: ” The bill prevents Christian exodus from their hometowns and preserves their mixing with the other communities,” Harb said.

Harb said : “Those who oppose the bill without providing an alternative have a hand in the displacement of Christians,” in a possible reference to MP Walid Jumblatt who described the bill as” insane” .

“Whoever has a better idea, let him present it.” Harb said .

This comes after reports that Hezbollah has been using Iranian money to buy property in the Christian areas.

“It’s a strategy. They have techniques of taking over the land bit by bit and then linking those bits,” Jdeideh municipality council member Adel Elia said last November. “In the 1960s, the Christian community used to own 60% of the land in Lebanon. Now it’s just 30%,” he said.

Update: Salam criticizes the bill

“ Minister of Labor Boutros Harb’s bill is going to increase divisions between Lebanese,” said Lebanon First bloc MP Tammam Salam in an interview on Friday.

“I ask Harb to withdraw the bill in order to preserve national unity,” National News Agency (NNA) quoted him as saying.

  • PROPHET.T

    Fine Mr. Harab, Make people feel guilty if they oppose your unconstitutional and segregationist proposal.
    If the secular enlightened intellectual lawmaker like Mr. Harb, who prides himself of being a constitutional expert, thinks along this line of thinking, what should one expect from sectarian minded people of Lebanon?
    Just because people didn’t have the right answer to preventing Christian exodus from their hometowns and preserving their mixing with the other communities, does not mean they have to resort to a segregationist proposal.
    Instead of proposing banning on inter -selling of properties between different sects, you should propose a program to discourage Christians from selling their properties,and stay in Lebanon.

    • Hannibal

      Prophet
      Sectarianism is a cancer in Lebanon that has no cure. The Sunni money comes from the gulf, the Shia money comes from Iran, and Christians have no money coming to them from anywhere. The West is Christian by name ONLY. They will never support the Christians of the Middle East but harm them further. Look at Iraq the Christians already left and those were the legitimate people of the land by being the descendants of mesopotamia people for eons. So they resort to selling and using the money to educate their kids abroad in the hope that they find work and life afterward and get the citizenship. I am now traveling in Europe and have been talking to a lot of people. Every time I encounter Christians from the Middle East be it from Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran, Egypt, etc. I ask them the same question. Will you ever go back? And the answer is unanimously, and to my chagrin, a BIG NO. It is over my friend. 100 years from now the flesh would have withered off our bones but history will show that the Middle East will be polarized by religious Moslem zealots and the Christian presence will be a thing of the past. Look at the Gulf, once the Christians Arab roamed freely and had churches and were about 50% of the population. Try to erect a church in Saudi Arabia if you can. The rest of the Middle East will follow and it is a matter of time. Religion is a Cancer whether it is black or white. It is the root of all problems and the funny part is it was never concocted by a God. Religion is a myth that people cling to because they are afraid of nothingness after death.

      • PROPHET.T

        Hannibal,
        First, I want to wish you a happy and healthy New Year.
        With a new year just starting, One could only wish for a miracle to shake the middle east out of its darkness, but the reality always hurts; Changes are not on the horizon. It is just wishful and romantic thinking that some of us living in the west still entertain. Whether it’s the issue of Christian exodus from the Middle East, or the miserable regimes passing on their legacies to their children, nothing is promising. Every day that passes by, I’m becoming more pessimistic, and less encouraged that, in my life time, I can see any of my dreams for the region becoming realities; Instead, I see the same picture you have painted regarding the future of Christianity in the entire middle east, and a worse picture for the whole Arab world.
        I won’t get in the details today ,because I Think you and I know have discussed them more than once, and because I’m trying not to ruin my first day of the year for the sake of my family. Watching the horrible news out of Alexandria was bad enough for me this morning; it reinforced my sad conclusions, which I briefly stated above.
        I’m usually more optimistic, and I hope that I can regain it again.
        I will, however, repeat what I’ve always called for; that Arab and Muslim countries have an urgent responsibility to protect, and treat Christian communities equally, and make sure that there is no interference or restriction on their rights to practice their faith as they wish. They need to ensure that Christians have proper political representation in government institutions. Political representation is the corner stone for any community’s existence and integration in its surrounding.
        Enjoy your stay in Europe,and safe trip back Home.

        • Hannibal

          Happy 1/1/11 to you too my friend. We should correspond on 1/11/11 and on 11/1/11 😉 Peace and good will to you and yours and to ALL those who frequent this site.

  • PROPHET.T

    Fine Mr. Harab, Make people feel guilty if they oppose your unconstitutional and segregationist proposal.
    If the secular enlightened intellectual lawmaker like Mr. Harb, who prides himself of being a constitutional expert, thinks along this line of thinking, what should one expect from sectarian minded people of Lebanon?
    Just because people didn’t have the right answer to preventing Christian exodus from their hometowns and preserving their mixing with the other communities, does not mean they have to resort to a segregationist proposal.
    Instead of proposing banning on inter -selling of properties between different sects, you should propose a program to discourage Christians from selling their properties.

    • Prophet
      Sectarianism is a cancer in Lebanon that has no cure. The Sunni money comes from the gulf, the Shia money comes from Iran, and Christians have no money coming to them from anywhere. The West is Christian by name ONLY. They will never support the Christians of the Middle East but harm them further. Look at Iraq the Christians already left and those were the legitimate people of the land by being the descendants of mesopotamia people for eons. So they resort to selling and using the money to educate their kids abroad in the hope that they find work and life afterward and get the citizenship. I am now traveling in Europe and have been talking to a lot of people. Every time I encounter Christians from the Middle East be it from Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran, Egypt, etc. I ask them the same question. Will you ever go back? And the answer is unanimously, and to my chagrin, a BIG NO. It is over my friend. 100 years from now the flesh would have withered off our bones but history will show that the Middle East will be polarized by religious Moslem zealots and the Christian presence will be a thing of the past. Look at the Gulf, once the Christians Arab roamed freely and had churches and were about 50% of the population. Try to erect a church in Saudi Arabia if you can. The rest of the Middle East will follow and it is a matter of time. Religion is a Cancer whether it is black or white. It is the root of all problems and the funny part is it was never concocted by a God. Religion is a myth that people cling to because they are afraid of nothingness after death.

      • PROPHET.T

        Hannibal,
        First, I want to wish you a happy and healthy New Year.
        With a new year just starting, One could only wish for a miracle to shake the middle east out of its darkness, but the reality always hurts ,that changes are not on the horizon. It is wishful and romantic thinking that some of us living in the west still entertain. Whether it’s the issue of Christian exodus from the Middle East, or the miserable regimes passing on their legacies to their children, nothing is promising. Every day that passes by, I’m becoming more pessimistic, and less encouraged that, in my life time, I can see any of my dreams for the region becoming realities; Instead, I see the same picture you have painted regarding the future of Christianity in the entire middle east, and a worse picture for the whole Arab world.
        I won’t get in the details today ,because I Think you and I know have discussed them more than once, and because I’m trying not to ruin my first day of the year for the sake of my family. Watching the horrible news out of Alexandria was bad enough for me this morning; it reinforced my sad conclusions, which I briefly stated above.
        I’m usually more optimistic, and I hope that I can regain it again.
        Get home safe, and enjoy your stay in Europe.

        • Happy 1/1/11 to you too my friend. We should correspond on 1/11/11 and on 11/1/11 😉 Peace and good will to you and yours and to ALL those who frequent this site.

  • PROPHET.T

    I hope you can excuse my wild imagination in this comment.
    If Mr. Harb’s proposed bill, which calls for banning on sales of real estate properties between people of different faiths (maybe sects too), ever to become a law, what would prevent any Member of the parliament from calling for a ban on marriage between people of different faiths /sects, area?lol
    Mr. Harb “justifies” his bill by claiming that the ban will prevent the exodus of Lebanese Christians, and preserve the number of Christians in Lebanon. Any one could, as wrongly as Mr Harb, justify the banning of marriage between Christians and Muslims using the same segregationist analogy. Most religious leaders, who opposed the voluntary civil marriage law, would love to see a ban on marriage between different faiths, and possibly between different sects.
    Knowing the slickness of Lebanese politicians, I would not be surprised, to wake up one day and read, that some slick short sighted idiot, is presenting such a Bill to restrict marriage to same faith or same sect. After all, this is Lebanon. lol
    I wonder, how would a Lebanese couple who come from different faiths be treated according to Mr. Harb’s proposed law? No one has, to my knowledge, addressed this question. Does any one have any inputs on this, by anyone? Lol.
    A husband can’t buy land in his wife’s town, or from her cousin, neither can she buy land at her husband’s town, or from his uncle. Lol.
    Is it possible that this proposal is meant to drive down property prices, so that the rich in every sect can grab land from needy people at a cheaper price? Again nothing surprises me about Lebanese politicians anymore.
    Is it my paranoia or my imagination that drives me to think like this?lol . I can’t figure this one out either,lol

  • PROPHET.T

    You better excuse my wild imagination in this comment.
    If this bill draft,which calls for banning on sales of real estate properties between people of different faiths(maybe sects too), ever to become a law, what would prevent any Member of the parliament from calling for a ban on marriage between people of different sects?
    Mr. Harb justifies his bill by claiming that the ban will prevent the exodus of Lebanese Christians,and preserve the number of Christians in Lebanon.
    Knowing the slickness of Lebanese politicians, It would not surprise me to wake up one day and read that some slick short sighted idiot , is presenting such a Bill to restrict marriage to same faith or same sect.After all this Lebanon,lol
    Any one could ,as wrongly as Mr Harb, justify the banning of marriage between Christians and Muslims using the same segregationist analogy.Most religious leaders who opposed the voluntary civil marriage law, would love to see a ban on marriage between different faiths, and possibly between different sects.
    I wonder, how would a Lebanese couple who come from different faiths be treated according to Mr, Harb’s proposed law? No one has , to my knowledge , addressed this question.Any inputs?lol
    A husband can’t buy land in his wife’s town, or from her cousin, Neither can she buy land at her husband’s town ,or from his uncle.lol

  • PROPHET.T

    You better excuse my wild imagination in this comment.
    If this bill draft,which calls for banning on sales of real estate properties between people of different faiths(maybe sects too), ever to become a law, what would prevent any Member of the parliament from calling for a ban on marriage between people of different sects?
    Mr. Harb justifies his bill by claiming that the ban will prevent the exodus of Lebanese Christians,and preserve the number of Christians in Lebanon.
    Knowing the slickness of Lebanese politicians, It would not surprise me to wake up one day and read that some slick short sighted idiot , is presenting such a Bill to restrict marriage to same faith or same sect.After all this Lebanon,lol
    Any one could ,as wrongly as Mr Harb, justify the banning of marriage between Christians and Muslims using the same segregationist analogy.Most religious leaders who opposed the voluntary civil marriage law, would love to see a ban on marriage between different faiths, and possibly between different sects.
    I wonder, how would a Lebanese couple who come from different faiths be treated according to Mr, Harb’s proposed law? No one has , to my knowledge , addressed this question.Any inputs?lol
    A husband can’t buy land in his wife’s town, or from her cousin, Neither can she buy land at her husband’s town ,or from his uncle.lol