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suleiman in brazil - sao paoloLebanese President Michel Suleiman praised on Tuesday the judicial council’s approval of the first civil marriage that took place inside the Lebanese territory.

“This paves the way for a modern civil state and initiates the separation from sectarianism,” National News Agency quoted Suleiman as saying.

The Lebanese Supreme Council of the Judiciary approved on Monday evening the legalization of civil marriage in Lebanon.

The council also announced that there is nothing in the constitution  that stands against the registration of Kholoud Succariyeh’s marriage to Nidal Darwish, who became the first couple to be wed by way of a civil marriage inside Lebanon.

The council which is headed by Justice minister Shakib Qortbawi sent its recommendation to interior minister Marwan Charbel according to the report .

The council stipulated in its recommendation that the couple should cross out their religious affiliation from their IDs for the civil marriage to be legal.

Kholoud Sukkariyeh and Nidal Darwish
Kholoud Succariyeh and Nidal Darwish, who became the first couple to be wed by way of a civil marriage inside Lebanon.

So far no word from the Grand Mufti of the Republic Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani .

Qabbani declared war on civil Marriage last month by issuing a fatwa branding as an apostate any Muslim politician who approves its legislation.

“Any Muslim with legal or executive authority in Lebanon who supports the legalisation of civil marriage is an apostate and outside the religion of Islam,” he said on the website of Dar al-Fatwa, the official institution for fatwas.

He branded Civil marriage as a bacteria.

“There are predators lurking among us, trying to sow the bacteria of civil marriage in Lebanon, but they should know that the religious scholars will not hesitate to do their duty” and prevent the passage of such a bill. ”

He issued a warning to Muslim officials who support the Civil marriage issue that they would not be eligible to be buried in a Muslim cemetery

“ Such officials would not be washed, would not be wrapped in a burial shroud, would not have prayers for their soul in line with Islamic rules, and would not be buried in a Muslim cemetery,” Qabbani warned

His fatwa came days after President Suleiman’s announcement in Arabic and English on his Facebook page that Lebanon should work on drafting a civil marriage law to help build unity in the multi-faith country. Suleiman’s announcement appeared to have helped the issue gain momentum . 95 % of the respondents reportedly backed the president’s position .

Progressive Socialist part leader MP Walid Jiublat praised Suleiman’s stance on the issue and called it courageous.

Former PM Saad also praised Suleiman ‘s stance and blasted Qabbani’s fatwa

The first one to denounce civil marriage was Prime Minister Najib Mikati who called the debate on the issue a waste of time and useless .

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