Syria and Lebanon : Shia and Christian Unity under Hezbollah

Jibril Khoury and Lee Jay Walker ***

Gulf and Western powers easily sacrificed the Christians of Iraq and clearly the same powers care little about the Alawites, Christians and the Shia minority in Syria which face Takfiri persecution and daily massacres. It is therefore incumbent on General Michel Aoun and the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) to maintain a firm relationship with Hezbollah. The FPM is mainly supported by Christians while Hezbollah is a powerful force within the Shia community. If the FPM and Hezbollah are hoodwinked by outside forces which seek to cause divisions, then both communities will suffer in the long-term given the shifting sands being backed by Gulf powers throughout the Levant.

The Coptic Christians in Egypt were sidelined because America only cares about Camp David and protecting Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey at all costs throughout the Middle East. When the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt began to focus on taking over the political apparatus and espoused sectarian thinking towards the minority Christian and Shia communities, then like usual Washington wasn’t concerned. Not surprisingly, while the Obama administration is worried about the fate of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, little is said about the brutal murders of Christians by supporters of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Indeed, while powerful Gulf nations are free to spread militant Salafi Islam throughout Africa, Europe, the Middle East, North America and Southeast Asia; it is abundantly clear that not one single non-Muslim place of worship is allowed in Saudi Arabia and apostates face death. This reality highlights the demise of Christianity within major Western nations and that secular governments care little when it comes to religious freedom. Therefore, the Christians of Lebanon should realize that they will be abandoned abroad at the drop of a hat because just like their co-religionists in Syria they are expendable. After all, when al-Qaeda affiliates and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are involved in destroying Christian churches, kidnapping Christian bishops, cleansing Christians and other minorities like the Alawites and Shia; then this means little in America, France and the United Kingdom because Gulf nations are allowed to fund Takfiris and al-Qaeda affiliates openly. Of course, elites in Ankara, London, Paris and Washington are also involved in many terrorist and sectarian ratlines.

Aoun commented about the kidnap of two Christian bishops by FSA Islamists in Syria by stating that “These acts do not represent in any way a struggle for freedom, but rather terrorist acts committed by hate-filled, malicious terrorists who feed on the blood of innocents and the lives of civilians … while attempts to justify this terrorism under the pretext of seeking to oust the regime have become ridiculous and pathetic.”

The Christian Patriarch Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros al-Rahi of the Maronite Church in Lebanon and All the East ”…called for halting violence in Syria and starting a national dialogue to reach a peaceful solution to the crisis.,,”

“During an honoring celebration held by the Syrian and Lebanese community in Brasilia, al-Rahi appealed (to) the international community and the countries which support the war in Syria to stop supporting and financing murder operations and to halt arming terrorism and destabilizing a secure country and to sit (at a) dialogue table.”

Gulf and Western powers also want to weaken the Christians of Lebanon by sowing internal dissent and undermining the FPM because Aoun refuses to be bought. Similarly, the European Union is being forced to put more pressure on Hezbollah because of the whims of America, Israel and Saudi Arabia. This is based on utilizing anti-Hezbollah rhetoric throughout many media channels and by powerful think tanks espousing propaganda for their political backers. Therefore, the terrorist attack in Bulgaria appears to have been “a hatchet job” in order to lay the foundation of undermining Hezbollah.

Media agencies are powerful tools in the wrong hands therefore labeling Hezbollah to be sectarian and militant needs to be questioned. Hezbollah fighters in Syria are helping border communities against Takfiri fanatics and a plethora of Sunni sectarian forces which also have no qualms in killing Sunni Muslim clerics. In the last 12 months in Syria several Sunni Muslim clerics have been killed for either supporting the Syrian government or for seeking accommodation with other minority groups. Therefore, when Hezbollah helped to retake a border district between Lebanon and Syria the Christians once more began to rebuild their church which was defiled by Gulf and Western backed terrorists. However, the real reality on the ground is ignored because it doesn’t suit the agenda of powerful Gulf and Western nations.

In Syria it is Takfiri Islamists and a plethora of sectarian terrorist groups which are involved in beheading minorities, brutally killing captured Syrian soldiers, committing atrocities against civilians based on religious and political affiliation and setting off car bombs throughout this nation. Hezbollah, on the other hand, is fighting alongside the Syrian armed forces in parts of Syria irrespective if the soldiers are Alawite, Christian, Shia or Sunni. This isn’t surprising because Hezbollah supports the Palestinian cause and it is abundantly clear that the majority of Palestinians are Sunni Muslim. Therefore, the mass propaganda angle against Hezbollah is easily dismantled because this movement is resisting the hegemonic dreams of major Western powers, Gulf nations and the state of Israel.

In 2006 Hezbollah under Hassan Nasrallah signed a very important memorandum with Aoun whereby powerful Shia and Christian forces would work together based on mutual interests. Of course, certain disagreements exist just like in all nations because this is the nature of politics and you also have a different confessional basis. Despite this, the memorandum highlighted that the old days were over whereby militants within both communities would move on in order to lay the foundation for a new Lebanon whereby fear is taken out of the equation.

Hezbollah and the FPM both gain mutually when it comes to maintaining the military of Hezbollah based on the notion of resistance, while Christians in the FPM gain politically within the power mechanisms of Lebanon because of the powerful support that Hezbollah gives. Issues related to different lifestyles, cultures and religious affiliation highlights the pragmatism of both Hezbollah and the FPM. Ironically, it is the ambitions of Aoun which may threaten the mutual alliance because he seeks to broaden his political church. Therefore, Hezbollah is adopting a patient stance in order to keep the alliance together while Aoun knows that he can’t afford to lose the special relationship because it will weaken his powerbase.

If Christians and the Shia focus on the reality of modern day Syria then clearly they will realize that in the eyes of Takfiris and the plethora of terrorist forces in this country, that both religious communities are deemed to be “infidels.” This reality is proven on the ground because many Christian churches and Shia mosques have been destroyed. At the same time, both faith communities face enormous persecution at the hands of al-Qaeda affiliates, Takfiris and the followers of Salafi Islam in Syria. If Gulf and Western backed terrorist and sectarian groups emerged victorious under the prevailing conditions in Syria then a bloodbath against the Alawites, Christians and Shia would ensue. Likewise, the Druze community would feel the full force of Salafi bigotry in Syria if the Syrian armed forces were defeated.

Indeed, a brutal civilizational struggle is underway in Lebanon and Syria whereby Gulf petrodollars seek to crush indigenous Sunni Islam because of their views on supporting mutual accommodation with all religious groups. This civilizational war can be felt in Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Pakistan, Tunisia, Somalia, Syria, and in other nations. Likewise, gradually the dark and sinister Salafi movement and Gulf petrodollars are spreading their evil tentacles to Indonesia, Malaysia and throughout Central Asia and the Caucasus region. Indeed, these sinister forces can be felt within European nations and in North America. Therefore, many Sufi shrines have been destroyed in Libya, Mali and Somalia while Sunni Muslim clerics have been killed in Syria.

Syria now is on the frontline in a civilizational war whereby moderate forces and religious diversity are being threatened by Gulf Islamist petrodollars which seek to crush moderation and religious pluralism. This brutal force is being backed and supported by America, France and the United Kingdom because of various factors despite laying the foundation for terrorist attacks at home. The recent brutal murder of Lee Rigby is evidence of this evil force which is being given a free hand to spread hatred and division. Also, it is clear that September 11, Benghazi and Madrid happened because of Gulf and Western powers supporting al-Qaeda and Islamist terrorism in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Libya. After all, blowback will always emerge and now in Egypt the same Muslim Brotherhood that America bankrolled and met frequently within powerful political institutions in Washington; is now the same Muslim Brotherhood which wants to castigate America. Despite this, the same dangerous game keeps on being played despite the reality of the outcome – after all, look at modern day Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Pakistan (self-induced).

The Levant is now being pulverized by sinister forces which are supporting sectarianism and terrorism. In recent months it is clear that elements within the FSA and various al-Qaeda affiliated groups are now intent on spreading terrorism in Lebanon. This follows on from the increasing reality of sectarian hatred which is being espoused by the same dark forces in Syria and which can be found throughout the Gulf region. Syria is now on the frontline and the enemies of this nation also desire to crush Hezbollah and to weaken the Christian position throughout the Levant. Therefore, it is incumbent that Syria survives and that the central state overcomes diabolical forces which support sedition; to enforce a brutal Sharia Islamic state based on Gulf Salafi Islam; to crush all religious minorities; and to enforce women into the shadows.

At the same time Hezbollah and the FPM must remain united because clearly many outside nations want to defeat these internal political forces by utilizing various dark means. It is clear that America, France, Israel, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Kingdom desire to control the region. These nations therefore will use any underhanded tactic at their disposal in order to weaken Iran, the Russian Federation and to crush all independent forces within the Middle East which refuse to bow down to Gulf and Western hegemony. This reality means that the only way to destroy Syria and movements like Hezbollah in Lebanon – even if the Christians of the Levant are crushed – is to spread sectarianism, sedition and terrorism while spreading hatred throughout the media and destroying the economic lifeline of Syria.

Clearly, this reality is being played out in Syria whereby the most brutal Takfiri terrorists in the world are bypassing international passport controls based on the deeds of powerful Gulf and Western nations. Military arms keep on flowing into the Levant because even a weakened Syria beset by terrorist problems like Iraq will be deemed a victory. Of course, the enemies of Syria smell blood and seek the demise of the government at all costs irrespective if this destroys the religious mosaic of this nation. Likewise, the anti-Hezbollah rhetoric is now witnessing a new challenge to its powerbase by spreading enormous propaganda, creeping terrorism in the Hezbollah heartland and by curtailing the funding of this movement. This reality means that it is essential for Hezbollah and the FPM to remain firm during such delicate times in order to prevent outside forces from dictating the future of Lebanon.

moderntokyotimes.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdZgkGI5h0A Julia Botros : Honors Hezbollah in Stunning 2013 Concert Performance

www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Relations-between-Christians-Hezbo