Shamseddine may be among speakers at Sunday rally, report

Former minister Ibrahim Shamseddine may be among the speakers at the March 13 rally according to to report by Central news Agency.

Shamseddine is the son of former president of the Higher Shiite Counsel, Imam Mohammad Mehdi Shamseddine .

During his speech yesterday caretaker PM Saad Harriri addressed the Shiites of Lebanon by saying:

“Was it not Imam Mohammad Mehdi Shamseddine who banned the use of arms by any Lebanese against his Lebanese brother? A day will come where I will tell you what Imam Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah used to tell me.”

“Was it not the Shiites who asked for sovereignty of the state in the South? Did not Imam Moussa Sadr rally against strife, war and non-state arms?” he added

Imam Mohammad Mehdi Shamseddine

“We commit to Imam Shamseddine’s declaration and Imam Sadr’s rejection of arms. Don’t get carried away with claims and rest assured that no statelet can take the place of the Lebanese state and our democratic system.” Hariri said in reference to Hezbollah’s state within a state

During an interview in April 2008 Former minister Shamseddine was quoted as saying:

“The Shiites are not Hezbollah and Hezbollah is not the Shiites.”

His presence at the rally will carry a lot of weight according to observers

March 14 marks the 6th anniversary of the Cedar revolution when over 1 million Lebanese gathered in down Beirut to protest against the murder of the the late PM Rafik Hariri and called on Syrian troops to leave Lebanon. The Syrian troops withdrew in April 2005, but the Syrian regime retained its influence through Hezbollah and its March 8 allies

The March 14 coalition is holding the rally on Sunday March 13 “to reaffirm its commitment to the principles of the Cedar Revolution” , according to a Future Movement statement

Hariri vowed last week to fight the use of non-state weapons “peacefully and democratically.”

Imam Shamseddine

Imam Shamseddine was known for his moderation and diplomacy. He was a strong advocate of Christian-Muslim coexistence while at the same time advocating fundamental changes in the Lebanese confessional political system in order to create what he referred to as “al dawla al madaniyya” or the ” civic state” in a country which has struggled to overcome confessional divisions since the devastating 1975-1990 civil war. “There is no Lebanon without its Christians and there is no Lebanon without its Muslims,” he once said.

In 1994 he was elected president of the Council, which he led until his death in 2001