Lebanon’s Grand Mufti compares elections boycott to surrender

Mufti-Derian
File photo of Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian, Lebanons Grand Mufti . On Friday April 1 , 2022. He blasted the corrupt rulers and urged the people to vote for change in the upcoming elections . “We are witnessing the demolition or destruction of everything that the Lebanese built in 100 years , he was quoted as telling the people ahead of Ramadan (Photo by Wissam Fanash/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced earlier this year his intent to boycott the upcoming parliamentary elections and his decision to step away from the domestic political scene for the time being. Hariri, who once enjoyed strong ties with the West and the Gulf, saw his image tarnished in recent years after making multiple concessions to Hezbollah and its allies Amal and the Free Patriotic Movement . According to analysts it was Hariri that made the concessions and not the Sunni community and he should be the one paying for his own mistakes, not the community as a whole. Boycotting the elections by the Sunnis as Hariri stipulated is a very dangerous act the analysts say

BEIRUT- Lebanon’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian compared on Thursday a boycott of the upcoming parliamentary elections to “surrender”.


“We do not want to hand Lebanon over to the enemies of Arabism,” he declared during a meeting with ambassadors of the Gulf Cooperation Council to Beirut, a possible reference top the Iranian backed Hezbollah militia which has been interfering in the internal affairs of several Arab nations

The elections are set for Sunday.

“The elections and their victors will set Lebanon’s path and its relations with its Arab brothers and friends,” continued Derian.

The GCC delegation, which met Derian at Dar al-Fatwa in Beirut, included Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Waleed Bukhari, Kuwaiti Ambassador Abdel Aal al-Qenai and Qatari Ambassador Ibrahim al-Sahlawi.

Qenai said after the meeting that the talks were an opportunity to discuss the situation in Lebanon and its ties with the Gulf.

“We expressed to the Grand Mufti our support for him and everything that falls in the interest of this brotherly country,” he stressed.

A statement from Dar al-Fatwa said the gatherers hoped that the “elections would be transparent and that they would reflect the aspirations and hopes of the Lebanese people.”

“A negative view of the elections does not build a nation, rather it paves the way for others to fill the vacuum and determine the Arab identity of Lebanon and its people,” they warned.

“The ambassadors urge the Lebanese to prioritize their national interest above all else and to take part in the elections” so that figures “who should preserve Lebanon, its sovereignty, freedom, independence and territorial integrity are elected to office.”

Derian, for his part, underscored the “excellent” fraternal relations shared between Lebanon and Gulf states and their wise leaderships.

“Lebanon is at a critical juncture that demands united ranks and the bolstering of Lebanese relations with the Gulf, fraternal Arab countries and friendly nations in way that will benefit Lebanon and the Lebanese people, who are suffering from the state’s shortcomings in addressing their economic and living concerns,” he continued.

Sunday’s elections are a significant chapter in Lebanon’s history, he declared.

“We have urged the people to take part, not to boycott the polls,” he stated, adding that no official has called for a boycott.

“Elections are a religious and national duty that should not be underestimated. The victors would be chosen through the Lebanese people’s free democratic will,” said Derian.

Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his intent to boycott the upcoming parliamentary elections and his decision to step away from the domestic political scene for the time being.

Reading from a prepared statement, a tearful Hariri called on members of his Future Movement political party to follow suit and suspend their participation in politics.

Hariri should pay for his mistakes not the Sunni community

Hariri, who once enjoyed strong ties with the West and the Gulf, saw his image tarnished in recent years after making multiple concessions to Hezbollah and its allies Amal and the free patriotic Movement .

According to analysts it was ” Hariri that made the concessions and he should be the one paying for his mistakes and not the Sunni community . Boycotting the elections by the Sunnis as Hariri stipulated is a very dangerous act the analysts say and will result in handing over all the Sunni rights on a silver platter to the Iranian backed Hezbollah militia . If things are bad now imagine how will they be in the future if Hezbollah takes over all the Sunni seats ” , the analysts said adding : “Farsi could then become the official language of Lebanon and not Arabic”

“The Sunni community leaders should insist that their constituents should exercise their right to vote”. The analyst added and ” should forget about Hariri . If Hariri lost his bet it doesn’t mean that the Sunnis should be all losers . Eventually Hariri will realize that he made a grave mistake in telling his followers to abstain from voting .

“The Sunnis should listen to their Mufti who has their interest at heart” , the analyst added

ASHARQ AL AWSAT/ YA LIBNAN

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