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Do you think Lebanese Muslims are to blame for Lebanon's demise?

Manifesto

Manifesto

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Historically, Lebanese Christians have always embraced a nationalistic agenda, which focused on Lebanon's sovereignty and distancing from regional conflicts.

Lebanese Muslims, on the other hand, have often put regional interests above their country's, be it Pan-Arabism or the liberation of Palestine. Lebanon's sovereignty wasn't always on their list priorities, as they favored unity with the Arab world.

Let's examine these four points:

1-The 1958 crisis:
Lebanese Muslims pushed the government to join the newly created United Arab Republic, while the Christians wanted to keep Lebanon aligned with Western powers. The crisis caused a brief civil war.

2-Lebanese Civil War: Muslims allied with the PLO, turning Lebanon into a launch pad for attacks against Israel.

3-Lebanese-Israeli conflict: Muslims opposed the May 17 Agreement of 1983, which could have resulted in a peace treaty with Israel.

4-Lebanese-Syria conflict: While most Lebanese fought Syrian occupation, the Shiites supported it, and were even sad to see Syrian forces leave Lebanon.

Taking the the aforementioned points into account, do you think Lebanon would have been better off as a purely Christian country?
Do you think the Christians' neutral policies could have spared Lebanon all these wars?
 
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  • Mighty Goat

    Mighty Goat

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    Lebanese Muslims,
    Who are Lebanese "Muslims." ? This is very funny that you think there is something called Lebanese "Muslims" which again is something that does not exist you construct as if it is something that actually exists.
     
    Manifesto

    Manifesto

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    Who are Lebanese "Muslims." ? This is very funny that you think there is something called Lebanese "Muslims" which again is something that does not exist you construct as if it is something that actually exists.
    Care to elaborate?
     
    L

    lebanese1

    Legendary Member
    4-Lebanese-Syria conflict: While most Lebanese fought Syrian occupation, the Shiites supported it, and were even sad to see Syrian forces leave Lebanon.
    This sentence alone destroys your whole credibility. Yes right, Sunni and Druze fought Syria vehemently between 1990 and 2005 and only Shiites supported it.
     
    Manifesto

    Manifesto

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    This sentence alone destroys your whole credibility. Yes right, Sunni and Druze fought Syria vehemently between 1990 and 2005 and only Shiites supported it.
    That's not what I meant. I was referring to the Cedar Revolution. While most Lebanese were demanding the ouster of Syrian forces from Lebanon, the Shiites themselves were very adamant to see Bachar leave Lebanon, even going as far as thanking Syria.
     
    L

    lebanese1

    Legendary Member
    That's not what I meant. I was referring to the Cedar Revolution. While most Lebanese were demanding the ouster of Syrian forces from Lebanon, the Shiites themselves were very adamant to see Bachar leave Lebanon, even going as far as thanking Syria.
    Not everyone wanted Syria out for the sake of Lebanon. :) , especially those who were pro-Syrians between 1990 and 2005.
     
    Mighty Goat

    Mighty Goat

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    Care to elaborate?
    "Muslim" is a discursive formation institutionalized in the sectarian system of government. The actual players in these events were not "Muslim" versus Christians. It was Christian versus Christian political leadership as constituted by the system. At the base, these were not Christians versus Muslims. In the sector of Arab nationalists in 1958 there were Christians and also in the SSNP and the Phalanges there were Muslims. (see Micheal Hudson the Precarious Republic)

    Similarly in 1975 the PSP supported the Palestinians and so did Christians on the left like the Communists and others.

    The dichotomy of Christian Muslim did not exist as an identity at the base. Muslim Christian is the discourse of the sectarian system. It is the discourse that gives them legitimacy to exist by constructing something that does not actually exist at the base.

    At the base people are not Muslim and Christian. People have political ideologies and these ideologies are not conservative except within the Muslim radical right conservative parties which as you rightly identified in another post are being formulated and constituted as a system of government by the Christian radical right now becoming FPM.
     
    My Moria Moon

    My Moria Moon

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    I predict this thread to be the Stalingrad of the forum, even when the subject is basically another type of useless 3aweel over the ruins in the form of blame game.

    Mani, your good intentions to balance out your other thread topic in an objective attempt at reflecting over our recent history, will put you between the hammer and the anvil, nonetheless. :)

    There's a good possibility that things may have looked differently today if the Christians (Maronites) had

    - never agreed to any Cairo battikh agreement allowing the arming of Palestinian refugees on our land and their free buzzing on our south
    - given their Muslim partners an own "Christian" engineered version of Taif, way before signing the Cairo agreement 1969, like directly before or after the 1958 khaddah.
     
    Manifesto

    Manifesto

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    "Muslim" is a discursive formation institutionalized in the sectarian system of government. The actual players in these events were not "Muslim" versus Christians. It was Christian versus Christian political leadership as constituted by the system. At the base, these were not Christians versus Muslims. In the sector of Arab nationalists in 1958 there were Christians and also in the SSNP and the Phalanges there were Muslims. (see Micheal Hudson the Precarious Republic)

    Similarly in 1975 the PSP supported the Palestinians and so did Christians on the left like the Communists and others.

    The dichotomy of Christian Muslim did not exist as an identity at the base. Muslim Christian is the discourse of the sectarian system. It is the discourse that gives them legitimacy to exist by constructing something that does not actually exist at the base.

    At the base people are not Muslim and Christian. People have political ideologies and these ideologies are not conservative except within the Muslim radical right conservative parties which as you rightly identified in another post are being formulated and constituted as a system of government by the Christian radical right now becoming FPM.
    Yes, there were some Leftist Christians fighting alongside the PLO, but there weren't any Muslims fighting with the LF and other Christian militias.
     
    Mighty Goat

    Mighty Goat

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    Yes, there were some Leftist Christians fighting alongside the PLO, but there weren't any Muslims fighting with the LF and other Christian militias.
    Yes there were if you consider the Shi'a Muslims. The SSNP and the Phalanges included Shi'a. This is why Muslim becomes problematic. There were little Sunnis in SSNP and no Sunnis in the Phalanges, but certainly Shi'a.
     
    Manifesto

    Manifesto

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    I predict this thread to be the Stalingrad of the forum
    Lol. I know my question may seem risqué, but it's a question that I've always pondered. Since the establishment of Lebanon, Muslims have always struggled with the idea of a sovereign Lebanon. They saw their Arab identity as more important than their Lebanese identity.
    First they rejected the State of Greater Lebanon, wishing to merge with Syria instead. At different occasions, they welcomed Arab invaders and militia men and took part in regional conflicts at the expense of Lebanon's stability.

    I think Pan-Arabism has always been at the core of Lebanon's problems and perhaps if Lebanese Muslims had embraced a more neutral stance and put their Lebanese identity above all they would have avoided Lebanon many conflicts.
     
    Mighty Goat

    Mighty Goat

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    @manifesto What you refer to as "Msulim" may be accurately stated as Sunni Muslim. Since, this struggle over power was embodied in a struggle within the actors of the National Pact itself. Sunni being a representative of "Muslim" and Maronite is a representative of "Christian".

    It is accurate to say that Sunni Muslims supported Arab nationalism, and so did the Druze. They both stood in the defense of Arabism or Arab nationalism. They also supported the Palestinians. Radical Sunni nationalists who are also conservative Sunnis called for pan-Arabism, now they dropped Arabism into Islamism.

    The largest numbers of the Shi'a supported two parties that promoted the non Arab identity . SSNP advocated non Arab Syria and the Phalanges advocated non Arab Lebanon.(here I refer to Hudson again)

    In 1958 both the SSNP and the Phalanges supported non Arab Lebanon, they disagreed on the National Pct and the confessional system of government.

    This was a clash of identities and not of religions. This was a clash of alliances and identities defining such alliances.

    The non Arab identity of the Shi'a found a home outside Syria and Lebanon. This is in Iran. This was the resolution of the Metwali identity crisis after the transformation of this identity from the non-Arab Metwali being an identity given to them by the Arab Conquest to a Shi'a an identity also given by the Arab Conquest to the Arabs that allied with Al Hussein.

    The Arab identity does not exist anymore. Now Sunnis speak the language of the power that disseminates Sunni discourse and unlike 1958 this is not Egypt. It is Saudi Arabia. Egypt is dead.

    Turkey, and its secular Sunni system would never make it to regional powers in the Sunni world, due to the language barrier. We may say the same about Iran, since without Sayed Hassan Nsarallah and Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shi'a cannot immerse themselves in Persian culture due to the language barrier. But, there is Iraq.

    Two popular Sunni entities are going to shape the future of the Sunni Arabs. These are the Syrians and the Lebanese. These two Sunni population within what is termed Sunni Islam are the only two popular basis that actually exist as a secular population capable of shaping public opinion.

    The Syrians support Assad and the Syrians are Sunni. They do not support Assad. They support the sovereignty of the state and the security of the state. They are sovereign. The people are sovereign not the government, since people empower government and not the other way around.

    Back to the Christian, Muslim point. I think that at the popular level in the Lebanese State there is an existing strong popular "Muslim" force, composed of "Shi'a", "Sunni" and "Druze". This force is secular.

    It is this "Muslim" force that "Christians want to incorporate into confessional identities constructed by the concessional system of the state. It is this popular and secular force that is making the state formation based on the confessional formula rather impossible since 1943, two civil wars and they cannot.

    This is now also the case in Syria. There are "Alwawite", "Druze", "Sunni" , "Shi'a" , and "Christians" in Syria that are secular and this is the power that is preventing the confessional system from coming into being and not Assad, and not Hezbollah.

    These people see Assad and Hezbollah as the lesser of the two evils. This is because they would never allow a confessional system to take control of the state.
     
    Dark Angel

    Dark Angel

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    @manifesto less than 5% of the Lebanese population actively participated in the war all the way from 1975 to 1986. the remaining 95% were victims regardless of their religion. but you can rest assured that had someone other than jumblat and co been in power, people who had a sense of responsibility and commitment towards their country, the war would not have started as easily and as quickly as it did. Lebanon was a model to be nurtured and preserved, instead it was utterly destroyed, and with much hatred.
     
    My Moria Moon

    My Moria Moon

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    Lol. I know my question may seem risqué, but it's a question that I've always pondered. Since the establishment of Lebanon, Muslims have always struggled with the idea of a sovereign Lebanon. They saw their Arab identity as more important than their Lebanese identity.
    First they rejected the State of Greater Lebanon, wishing to merge with Syria instead. At different occasions, they welcomed Arab invaders and militia men and took part in regional conflicts at the expense of Lebanon's stability.

    I think Pan-Arabism has always been at the core of Lebanon's problems and perhaps if Lebanese Muslims had embraced a more neutral stance and put their Lebanese identity above all they would have avoided Lebanon many conflicts.
    Yes.. If this then that And there exist many ifs. Did it occur to you that if the Christians did share some of their political privileges from start, the muslims would have been less inclined to be magnetized by their islamic umma call of duty?

    Or if we had properly and decently run public institutions, where services and development projects were evenly spread and fairly shared by all areas and classes of the country, no local za3eems would have risen to whip muslim or druze sentiments about the 2ij7af against them, and the country would have been more resilient against sectarian ebola outbreaks?

    Or if the maronites did not put their signatures on Cairo agreement, no PLO filth would have spread death and destruction over the place, hailed by mostly muslims who saw in them a useful tool with which they wished to challenge, and hopefully break, the Christians political rule over the country?
     
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    Manifesto

    Manifesto

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    Yes.. If this then that And there exist many ifs. Did it occur to you that if the Christians did share some of their political privileges from start, the muslims would have been less inclined to be magnetized by their islamic umma call of duty?

    Or if we had properly and decently run public institutions, where services and development projects were evenly spread and fairly shared by all areas and classes of the country, no local za3eems would have risen to whip muslim or druze sentiments about the 2ij7af against them, and the country would have been more resilient against sectarian ebola outbreaks?

    Or if the maronites did not put their signatures on Cairo agreement, no PLO filth would have spread death and destruction over the place, hailed by mostly muslims who saw in them a useful tool with which they wished to challenge, and hopefully break, the Christians political rule over the country?
    Yes, too many "what if" scenarios. The thought that all of this war could have been easily avoided if some reforms were made, makes me really sad. The Jumblats are such evil people. I wonder why Kamal is so much celebrated in the media when he was just a PLO-loving prick.
     
    Indie

    Indie

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    Historically, Lebanese Christians have always embraced a nationalistic agenda, which focused on Lebanon's sovereignty and distancing from regional conflicts.

    Lebanese Muslims, on the other hand, have often put regional interests above their country's, be it Pan-Arabism or the liberation of Palestine. Lebanon's sovereignty wasn't always on their list priorities, as they favored unity with the Arab world.

    Let's examine these four points:

    1-The 1958 crisis:
    Lebanese Muslims pushed the government to join the newly created United Arab Republic, while the Christians wanted to keep Lebanon aligned with Western powers. The crisis caused a brief civil war.

    2-Lebanese Civil War: Muslims allied with the PLO, turning Lebanon into a launch pad for attacks against Israel.

    3-Lebanese-Israeli conflict: Muslims opposed the May 17 Agreement of 1983, which could have resulted in a peace treaty with Israel.

    4-Lebanese-Syria conflict: While most Lebanese fought Syrian occupation, the Shiites supported it, and were even sad to see Syrian forces leave Lebanon.

    Taking the the aforementioned points into account, do you think Lebanon would have been better off as a purely Christian country?
    Do you think the Christians' neutral policies could have spared Lebanon all these wars?
    It's too simplistic to put all the blame on Muslims. Mistakes were committed on all sides. And Christian Lebanese tend to ally with the West like Muslim Lebanese ally with other Muslims.

    The difference is that Christian Lebanese form alliances to help their nationalist cause, while Muslim Lebanese often want to break national borders and join non-Lebanese Muslims under a common Islamic government (which would marginalize the Christians).
     
    nolimits

    nolimits

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    What a simplistic approach to a very complicated issue. You are forgetting that Muslims just like many Christians never wanted to be part of this fake monster of a country. This country was never viable nor it was meant to be, France created it because it never wanted to leave and when it was forced to cede independence due to pressure from general Spears (the true hero of Lebanese independence, and not those in the lies they told you at school) it gave all powers to maronites hoping that they, being the cry babies they are, will call for French troops to come back at the earliest occasion . When you start with this as a hypothesis, the major events that happened in our history won't look the same to you anymore
     
    WiseCookie

    WiseCookie

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    What a simplistic approach to a very complicated issue. You are forgetting that Muslims just like many Christians never wanted to be part of this fake monster of a country. This country was never viable nor it was meant to be, France created it because it never wanted to leave and when it was forced to cede independence due to pressure from general Spears (the true hero of Lebanese independence, and not those in the lies they told you at school) it gave all powers to maronites hoping that they, being the cry babies they are, will call for French troops to come back at the earliest occasion . When you start with this as a hypothesis, the major events that happened in our history won't look the same to you anymore
    And that's not simplistic?

    Mount Lebanon was fighting for its independence since the 1400s if we really want to dig deep into history. If we're really pointing fingers it the French's fault for not drawing up the borders to include all Christians in the region to create an enclave in the area for a religious minority. It was also the myopic view of the Maronites at the time to push back against incorporating a larger number of Orthodox Christians in favor of the South. Either way what's done is done and we live in the current conditions we have today.

    Lebanon had the chance to become a refuge for Christians in the Middle East, but our typical feudal lords couldn't think past their short-term interests, and the people of course gladly followed because "father knows best". But in all reality, the question itself is far too simple.

    It is the Lebanese founder's fault for priming Lebanon for the conflicts it had. It is their fault for allowing external powers to constantly meddle in Lebanon's problems instead of allowing ourselves to resolve them. It is also their fault for not nurturing a civic nationalism, because if they did nurture such nationalism then they would lose their power and God forbid people vote for the most qualified and not based on sectarian and party loyalty.

    So no, everyone is to blame. It always takes two to tango, and it most certainly takes two sides to fight a war.
     
    nolimits

    nolimits

    Member
    I do not disagree with you. Yes everyone is to blame. I was merely saying that once one tries to see things from a "Muslim" viewpoint, things will no longer look as black or white as they are
     
    Manifesto

    Manifesto

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    @nolimits @WiseCookie Yes, we can argue that Muslims felt politically underrepresented at the time which is why many had pan-Arabist aspirations, but the truth is they have never really abandoned their pan-Arabist or Islamist agenda, even after the Taef agreement has given Muslims a fair share in the government.

    Muslims today, mainly the Shia, continue to swear allegiance to Arab countries and matters. For Shia leaders, the liberation of Palestine is more important than the stability of Lebanon.
     
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