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A Sectarian Regime is also a Tyrant

February 24, 2011

Headline: "Im (politically)independent, Dont underestimate me"

Yes a regime that labels people by their religion/regional/family names etc, is a discriminating regime, in Lebanon it goes further, not only are people labelled by such factors, the political (sectarian) elite try to maintain this discrimination, to stay in power.
Yes, Most of the Arab world is ruled by monarchies, but in Lebanon we transformed our democracy into a tyranny of 128+ monarchs (more on global voices/ The bigger tragedy is that these people have been literally re-elected into their positions for 30 years, in a more-or-less fair electoral system (although the regional allocation were tampered with the last time in favor of some). So, do the Lebanese citizens support a Monarchy? Do we really want to ruled by the same people for another 30+ years? (more on الشعب يريد إسقاط الإقطاعضد الطائفية، ضد الفساد، ضد الطبقة السياسية)

Well many think they’ve had enough, it’s time to UNITE Lebanese people, not to overthrow the government, but to overthrow the sectarian laws that rule this country. Still, not enough. We need to overthrow the sectarianism that resides in the Lebanese hearts as well.

Let’s just remember that a strong revolution is a focused, united one, under one slogan and one demand. “#UniteLB, because we forgot really what divided us in the first place… #Lebanon

on the topic: Beirut tweets: #Unitelb, marketing lebanon #uniteLB for a #unitedLB

13 Comments leave one →
  1. February 24, 2011 7:49 pm

    Totally agree. Every time you are denied room to maneuver that’s TYRANNY.

  2. theabdul permalink
    February 24, 2011 9:17 pm

    I think many people have had enough. One question though: the majority of the crowds of the 8th and 14th of March are young people. By this these young people are supporting sectarian politicians with sectarian programs. What change is to be expected?!

    • February 24, 2011 9:34 pm

      i really hope there’s a direct answer to that question, but there isn’t. the corrupt political machines have managed to brain wash a large portion of the generation. and by large i mean LARGE. i spoke to an NGO with members that work at USJ-center of religious research (i’m not sure thats the accurate name), they say that more than 50% of Lebanese people are sectarian, throughout the country. that’s a very scary figure..

      we can start by trying. by pointing out that moving away from sects we can focus on our real problems.

      • yjraissati permalink
        February 24, 2011 11:08 pm

        Maybe it should be the other way around. Instead of pointing out that when moving away from sects we can focus on real problems, we can, as non sectarians, directly point out concrete problems, and show people how these problems have solutions. What we need to do is act, as non sectarians.

        Problems like internet connection speed, public transport, visual pollution by outrageous numbers of billboards, traffic rules, mostly indiscriminate destruction of historic landmarks, real estate and lodging prices, shrinking public spaces, women’s rights, have relatively simple solutions.

        The way I see it, and I might be wrong, is that we’ve been maintained in a state of ‘existential’ fear. And this is always presented as a priority. Meanwhile quality of life decreases, middle class is melting away, great opportunities for the country are lost, and we’re faced on a daily basis with backward absurdities.

        The existential fear is deeply rooted. What assures people that once they give up on their group, their leader losing support, the ‘other’ won’t go on being sectarian and just grow stronger? “I’ll let go only if you let go”.
        This fear is hard to fight. But my feeling is people are sectarian also because they aren’t offered a viable option. Why should people give up on their community, for whom?

        What we need is a real opposition. And now may be the best time to have it, since I’m sure a lot of people, like us, are fed up. Not March 14, March 8 crap, that’s mostly been about re-shuffling old faces, rejecting the other party, and void meaningless blabber. We need real home grown, grass root, honest opposition.

        According to the study quoted above, some 40% are not sectarian. That is a huge number given Lebanon’s history! Honestly, I was surprised by this figure. If we can get half of that in one political party, can you picture how much this potentially weights on the political scene?

        Opposition should fight concrete day to day issues, and just -happen to- be non sectarian, because that is what we are. Being non sectarian is not enough to create a momentum. It’s just an attribute, although an important one, for something else. It can’t be imposed on people. It must grow on them. And it will only grow on them if something shows them that it is a better option…

        Sorry. Long comment. Thinking out loud. The previous posts struck a chord.

        • February 25, 2011 9:34 am

          take all the space you need, very valid argument, and i completely agree! maybe next elections! you never know! i would definitely vote for, a change, if i find sumone i can research and find clean.

  3. February 24, 2011 9:24 pm

    The democratic nature of a system can’t be evaluated with the number of leaders. What is significant is the ability of social and plurials actors (I mean really plurial not sectarian) to express their voices in the public space!

    • February 24, 2011 9:37 pm

      unfortunately un-biased leaders don’t own Media stations, and never get any coverage.
      last year, when the march for secularism in April took place, it was a mentioned as a “cute” event, and chuckled about on lebanese media station.
      This is why we blog.

  4. February 25, 2011 7:01 am

    Do unbiased leaders need media coverage, nowadays at least? What about facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, etc? These are communication plattforms, which allow for more interaction than classical media (tv, news papers). But let’s be frank: most (Lebanese) people have “more important things” to do than to think of any non-conventional program such a leader might present, or they confront you with the facts:
    – “we’ve been living so for ages and the situation is either way unchangeable”
    – “we are a small country and can not do much against global players”
    – “if the system is changed, the (sectarian) minorities will loose their priviliges”
    – blabla blabla
    My point is that many people just block the what-if thought because they do not want to do the math required! It is easier to blindly follow someone (who alledgedly does the math for you) instead of critically thinking of the proposed path.

    • February 25, 2011 9:39 am

      in other words, the same thing that has been going on in Egypt, Tunis, Libya etc.. for the past forever. It easier to blame others for the corruption, rather than admit that you are the reason it’s still there, because in lebanon we could have voted them out.
      Therefore the people are refusing to straighten up their act, which brings me to a post a fellow blogger posted which i also find a very valid approach.

      “Be the change you want to see in the world”

  5. Rethinking stuff permalink
    July 6, 2013 12:10 am

    First of all, Lebanon was never a democratic state. It was always an oligarchy, a form of dictatorship. Second, your secular pursuit will fail if you don’t even argue for it. Arguments like “it worked in Europe, so it would probably work here”, or “sectarianism violates moral principles” will be met with “who cares?”. These reasons seem to be too “abstract” to the Lebanese. The reason why political sectarianism works is because it is founded on pretty rational/ common-sensical grounds. This side would argue that limited altruism- the genuine care only for the people in your inner circle (i.e., family, sectarian community)- is too deeply rooted in Lebanese culture to be ever removed. This is pretty plausible, given the strong inductive argument behind it. So they propose a social contract as a solution. They believe that unless the influential groups in a society cooperate and establish common-ground rules which reinforce this cooperation, then no sect will live happily. Hence the Ta’if accord. The instability are usually blamed on things other than the social contract. For example many blame the growing power of Hizbullah and the interference of regional forces.


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