A reckless stance by lebanon’s christians


Kafkaesque is the only adjective I can think off when hearing what the major Christians parties -with the blessing of the Maronite Patriarch- are proposing to “reform” the Lebanese Parliamentary Election Law.

Facts: Christians in Lebanon represent numerically less than 30 percent of the population yet they are guaranteed a quota of 50 percent of the parliamentary seats in addition to the position of President of the Republic that is restricted to Maronite Christians. The country official holiday is Sunday and celebrates all Christian religious holidays. Family Law for Christians is ruled by the Church who has the authority on the civil side of the Law to censure books and movies. At this point in time, religious leaders and major political parties representing Muslims whether Shia or Sunni or Druze are not contesting Christian privileges.

Can any sane persons explain why Christians are today demanding that the Christian deputies be elected restrictively by Christians? How can this request be conductive to the building of the Nation State and the Lebanese identity? How can they envision that their Muslim co-citizens that represent more than 65 percent of the population agree graciously to elect only 50 percent of the members of parliament? How can they believe that such a prejudiced action will not lead to a reaction within the Muslim community requesting a fair sectarian proportional representation in parliament? Their action equals shooting oneself in the foot!

There is a real need for a wakeup call within the Christian intelligentsia. The ghetto mentality will materialize a nightmare where other denominations start viewing the Christians as a minority and demand that their role is reduced from a leadership one to the status of minorities whose rights are protected in democracies.

Christians in the early twentieth century played a leadership role in the Arab cultural awakening and the struggle for independence. The prize was a democratic secular Lebanon where they rule. Lebanon, dubbed then the “Switzerland of the Middle East” was a bubble of open economy and free expression in a sea of military dictatorships and religious Caliphates. Today, within the context of the Arab Spring, incompetent Christian leadership is retracting into their holes, confirming their minority status. They are irrationally hoping to realize some alliance of minorities within the region. This will lead to the death of Lebanon as we know it today.

Sadly their actions will lead to unabated sectarian divisions and will affect mostly the Lebanese that believe in a nation state as described by the preamble of the constitution:

(…) c. Lebanon is a parliamentary democratic republic based on respect for public liberties, especially the freedom of opinion and belief, and respect for social justice and equality of rights and duties among all citizens without discrimination.


h. The abolition of political confessionalism is a basic national goal and shall be achieved according to a gradual plan.

i. Lebanese territory is one for all Lebanese. Every Lebanese has the right to live in any part of it and to enjoy the sovereignty of law wherever he resides. There is nosegregation of the people on the basis of any type of belonging, and no fragmentation, partition, or colonization

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Mishka M
Mishka M
11 years ago

A reckless stance by lebanon’s christians
An alternative electoral law proposal can be found at
(in English and in French)


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