Maronite Patriarch calls for coexistence between Lebanese sects

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During his visit to Baalbek on Saturday, Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rai called for coexistence between Lebanese sects.

“As a Maronite Patriarch, I am telling you that no matter how bad the situation becomes, on the external and domestic levels, the coexistence will never be harmed ,” Rai said in this predominantly Shiite city.

He also called on all political parties and sects to join hands in continuing to build the Lebanese state.

Rai came under fire on September 8 from the opposition March 14 parties but won praise from March 8 politicians for indirectly defending Hezbollah’s arms and linking the party’s arsenal to the termination of Israeli occupation of Lebanese territory and the return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland . Even MP Walid Jumblatt who defected from March 14 alliance was very critical of Rai’s statements.

On September 8, Rai emphasized that only when the international community exerts pressure on Israel to vacate the occupied Lebanese territory ( the Shebaa Farms, Kfar Shouba hills and the Lebanese part of the disputed border village of Ghajar ) and Israel allows Palestinians in Lebanon to return to their homes, can Hezbollah be asked to hand over its arms because they will no longer be needed.”

He added that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is “open-minded” and should be given more chances to implement the reforms he already announced.

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25 responses to “Maronite Patriarch calls for coexistence between Lebanese sects”

  1. PROPHET.T Avatar

    “It’s coexistence or no existence”,as Bertrand Russell put  it.
    Do Lebanese have any other choice,but coexistence?The alternative is nothing  but a total destruction for  all.

    1. absolutely…almost seems like a no brainer to me…the sooner all armed terrorists and militias are purged, the sooner peaceful ‘coexistence’ can begin.

  2. PROPHET.T Avatar

    “It’s coexistence or no existence”,as Bertrand Russell put  it.
    Do Lebanese have any other choice,but coexistence?The alternative is nothing  but a total destruction for  all.

    1.  Avatar

      absolutely…almost seems like a no brainer to me…the sooner all armed terrorists and militias are purged, the sooner peaceful ‘coexistence’ can begin.

  3. antar2011 Avatar

    so he calls for co existance here…..yet a week ago assumes all sunnis are going to gang up on the christians in the region….ummmmm make up your mind dear…

    1. PROPHET.T Avatar

      antar, Although I’m against  religious  leaders getting  involved in politics,The  Patriarch never  said or even  insinuated that All  Sunnis  are  ganging  up  on  Christians  or  anyone  else. He Expressed certain  fears about  extremists taking  over in  Syria. I’m not sure  His  fears  are  justified  anyway. It’s ,however, fair game to criticize  his  views,but  not to put  words  in  his  mouth.Fair  is  fair my  friend.

      1. antar2011 Avatar

        then u havent watched his interview on al arabia network.

        when u do you will change ur mind.

        anyway his fears are obviously felt by many, muslims before christians, as i said before, but it was just not right for him to generalise and go on with his assumptions as if they were going to be real for sure… this way of saying this baseless fears is just not on….he should have expressed his need to have a dialogue to make sure some of his fears are not to be translated in reality…..rather then say what he said…..

        again watch his interview on al arabia if it is still available…

        that’s one thing, another thing is his views on hizbul shaytan weapons linked to palestinian issue….well that was just outrageous and frankly not befeeting the history of what he represents…at all…he hangs around too many aounist.

        1. PROPHET.T Avatar

          antar, 
          With all due respect, Elias Al Zoghbi is not an  authority on  this  topic, nor is he an objective observer to address this  issue. He is a M14 member,and He  has  his own political agenda.
          That being  said, I won’t dismiss the  fears you and the patriarch may have,and I agree that  generalization never  serves  any  purpose  except  to inflame  situations. I do not think, that the patriarch  said  or meant  to say that  all Sunnis are  extremists.As  for  linking HA’s weapons to  the Palestinian  issue, He was  clear on  stating that  it  was  linked  to occupied territories,threats from Israel,and the  inability of Lebanese  army  to defend the nation.The  refugee issue  is as real as  the conflict  itself. It  can not  be ignored. The patriarch  ,right  or  wrong, had the  courage to express his views and fears;views that have obviously ,and understandably, touched a nerve for some M14 supporters.

          1. antar2011 Avatar

            but he is not the only one who is saying the patriarch has made a mistake….

            thank you for agreeing with me about the patriarch generalising…that’s a big step forward.

            i also think that it’s best to give the patriarch the benefit of the doubt and agree that it was not his intentions to say all sunnis are going to join together and oppress the christians and any other minority in lebanon….but the way was just not right…i can give him the benefit of the doubt even if i am annoyed at his chosen words [since he is in a position to know the responsibility in declaring such statements] but i am sure others [who can take advantage of this] won’t and then the patriarch would have created tensions from nothing…tensions that we sure can do without atm.

            it is important to know that the patriarch, before had strong views about the weapons of Hizbollah….he declared once in an interview on different channels that he thinks that the weapons of hizbullah are not legal and they should be under the control of the govt…yet now he is linking them to the resolution of the palestinian issue…which could never be resolved…this means the partiriarch has encouraged something bkerki had always opposed…having a side above the law…ye3ni that is something really very suprising not to the muslims but also to the christians themselves…

            the refugee issue indeed cannot be ignored, the israeli threat cannot be ignored…but having weapons outside the control of the govt is not the way to solve it especially those weapons have become a threat to internal peace…

            defending the views of the patriarch is to be expected but when he makes a mistake…there should be no issue in telling him, sorry mate, but you made a mistake rather then giving him excuses that contradicts the essence of what the patriarch stands for…

          2. antar2011 Avatar

            but he is not the only one who is saying the patriarch has made a mistake….

            thank you for agreeing with me about the patriarch generalising…that’s a big step forward.

            i also think that it’s best to give the patriarch the benefit of the doubt and agree that it was not his intentions to say all sunnis are going to join together and oppress the christians and any other minority in lebanon….but the way was just not right…i can give him the benefit of the doubt even if i am annoyed at his chosen words [since he is in a position to know the responsibility in declaring such statements] but i am sure others [who can take advantage of this] won’t and then the patriarch would have created tensions from nothing…tensions that we sure can do without atm.

            it is important to know that the patriarch, before had strong views about the weapons of Hizbollah….he declared once in an interview on different channels that he thinks that the weapons of hizbullah are not legal and they should be under the control of the govt…yet now he is linking them to the resolution of the palestinian issue…which could never be resolved…this means the partiriarch has encouraged something bkerki had always opposed…having a side above the law…ye3ni that is something really very suprising not to the muslims but also to the christians themselves…

            the refugee issue indeed cannot be ignored, the israeli threat cannot be ignored…but having weapons outside the control of the govt is not the way to solve it especially those weapons have become a threat to internal peace…

            defending the views of the patriarch is to be expected but when he makes a mistake…there should be no issue in telling him, sorry mate, but you made a mistake rather then giving him excuses that contradicts the essence of what the patriarch stands for…

      2. antar2011 Avatar

        read Elias al Zoghbi’s article today on now lebanon website in Arabic, if you can..

    2. shankarees Avatar

      Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist (both radical crazies) most probably will gang up on Christians.  Not all Sunnites belong to these group so your claim is unfounded and the Patriarch did not say all Sunnis.

      1. antar2011 Avatar

        and you are an idiot!

        i am not even giving u the respect in replying to your stupid comment!

  4.  Avatar

    so he calls for co existance here…..yet a week ago assumes all sunnis are going to gang up on the christians in the region….ummmmm make up your mind dear…

    1. PROPHET.T Avatar

      antar, Although I’m against  religious  leaders getting  involved in politics,The  Patriarch never  said or even  insinuated that All  Sunnis  are  ganging  up  on  Christians  or  anyone  else. He Expressed certain  fears about  extremists taking  over in  Syria. I’m not sure  His  fears  are  justified  or not, but It’s  fair enough to criticize  his  views,but  not to put  words  in  his  mouth.Fair  is  fair my  friend.

      1.  Avatar

        then u havent watched his interview on al arabia network.

        when u do you will change ur mind.

        anyway his fears are obviously felt by many, muslims before christians, as i said before, but it was just not right for him to generalise and go on with his assumptions as if they were going to be real for sure… this way of saying this baseless fears is just not on….he should have expressed his need to have a dialogue to make sure some of his fears are not to be translated in reality…..rather then say what he said…..

        again watch his interview on al arabia if it is still available…

        that’s one thing, another thing is his views on hizbul shaytan weapons linked to palestinian issue….well that was just outrageous and frankly not befeeting the history of what he represents…at all…he hangs around too many aounist.

        1. PROPHET.T Avatar

          antar, 
          With all due respect, Elias Al Zoghbi is an  authority on  this  topic, nor is an objective observer to address this  issue. He is a M14 member,and He  has  his own political agenda.
          That being  said, I won’t dismiss the  fears the  patriarch or  you have.And I agree that  generalization never  serves  any  purpose  except  to inflame  situations. I do not think, that the patriarch  said  or meant  to say that  all Sunnis are  extremists.A  for  linking HA’S weapons to  the Palestinian  issue, He was  clear on  stating that  it  was  linked  to occupied territories,threats from Israel,and the  inability of Lebanese  army  to defend the nation.the  refugee issue  is as real as  the conflict  itself. It  can not  be ignored. The patriarch  ,right  or  wrong, had the  courage to express his views and fears.

          1.  Avatar

            but he is not the only one who is saying the patriarch has made a mistake….

            thank you for agreeing with me about the patriarch generalising…that’s a big step forward.

            i also think that it’s best to give the patriarch the benefit of the doubt and agree that it was not his intentions to say all sunnis are going to join together and oppress the christians and any other minority in lebanon….but the way was just not right…i can give him the benefit of the doubt even if i am annoyed at his chosen words [since he is in a position to know the responsibility in declaring such statements] but i am sure others [who can take advantage of this] won’t and then the patriarch would have created tensions from nothing…tensions that we sure can do without atm.

            it is important to know that the patriarch, before had strong views about the weapons of Hizbollah….he declared once in an interview on different channels that he thinks that the weapons of hizbullah are not legal and they should be under the control of the govt…yet now he is linking them to the resolution of the palestinian issue…which could never be resolved…this means the partiriarch has encouraged something bkerki had always opposed…having a side above the law…ye3ni that is something really very suprising not to the muslims but also to the christians themselves…

            the refugee issue indeed cannot be ignored, the israeli threat cannot be ignored…but having weapons outside the control of the govt is not the way to solve it especially those weapons have become a threat to internal peace…

            defending the views of the patriarch is to be expected but when he makes a mistake…there should be no issue in telling him, sorry mate, but you made a mistake rather then giving him excuses that contradicts the essence of what the patriarch stands for…

      2.  Avatar

        then u havent watched his interview on al arabia network.

        when u do you will change ur mind.

        anyway his fears are obviously felt by many, muslims before christians, as i said before, but it was just not right for him to generalise and go on with his assumptions as if they were going to be real for sure… this way of saying this baseless fears is just not on….he should have expressed his need to have a dialogue to make sure some of his fears are not to be translated in reality…..rather then say what he said…..

        again watch his interview on al arabia if it is still available…

        that’s one thing, another thing is his views on hizbul shaytan weapons linked to palestinian issue….well that was just outrageous and frankly not befeeting the history of what he represents…at all…he hangs around too many aounist.

      3.  Avatar

        read Elias al Zoghbi’s article today on now lebanon website in Arabic, if you can..

    2.  Avatar

      Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist (both radical crazies) most probably will gang up on Christians.  Not all Sunnites belong to these group so your claim is unfounded and the Patriarch did not say all Sunnis.

      1.  Avatar

        and you are an idiot!

        i am not even giving u the respect in replying to your stupid comment!

      2.  Avatar

        and you are an idiot!

        i am not even giving u the respect in replying to your stupid comment!

  5. Coexistence is a must  for survival !There must be no political and social upheavals that upset and harm this coexistence!Political freedom is necessary !All must sit ,talk and agree to reach policies that are acceptable and appeal to all !

  6.  Avatar

    Coexistence is a must  for survival !There must be no political and social upheavals that upset and harm this coexistence!Political freedom is necessary !All must sit ,talk and agree to reach policies that are acceptable and appeal to all !

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