http://almashareq.com/en_GB/articles/cnmi_am/features/2019/08/14/feature-02
Politics |

'Shia Reform Movement' counters Hizbullah

By Nohad Topalian in Beirut

A close up shot shows the hands of Lebanese Shia as they gather a day ahead of the Ashura rituals in the Sayyed al-Shuhadaa complex in a southern suburb of Beirut on October 1st, 2016. [Anwar Amro/AFP]

Shia opponents of Hizbullah in late July launched a "Shia Reform Movement" to counter Hizbullah’s hegemony over Lebanon's Shia community.

The movement represents Shia who feel Hizbullah has become an instrument of the Iranian regime, and who seek to restore the standing of the community which has suffered as a result of the party's policy and actions.

"The deplorable situation we have descended into requires us not to stand idly by while Lebanon, and specifically the Shia community, collapses," said movement co-founder Sheikh Mohammed al-Hajj al-Ameli.

"From this standpoint, we launched our movement to demand reforms in the Shia community," he told Al-Mashareq.

"We seek to fulfill our moral duties in rejecting the current state of degeneration," he said, explaining that though the movement does not strive to be a political party, it aims to gain broad popular support.

''We do not want polarization, but we aspire to draw attention to people’s problems, concerns and aspirations," he said. "This will strengthen the bonds of interaction and trust among us, as a modest and nascent group."

Opposition to Hizbullah’s hegemony

Shia opposition figure Hussein Ezzedine attributed the launch of the movement to "the discontent of a large segment of Shia figures and youth over what has become of the Shia community as a result of Hizbullah’s hegemony".

The party has fueled tension in Lebanon and the region, he told Al-Mashareq, and has stymied Lebanon's efforts to become a modern democratic state.

"The movement aims to correct the course of Shia institutions, especially as we know quite well that the Shia decision is controlled by Iran and the strength of Hizbullah's weapons," he said.

It also aims to bring together Shia with a viewpoint that differs from that of Hizbullah, he said, and to show Lebanon another side of the Shia community.

Launching the movement "became a national duty and an urgent need in order to put the community’s affairs in order, especially as Shias who are not affiliated with the party outnumber those who are", Ezzedine said.

The success of the movement is contingent on the amount of media coverage it receives, he said, adding that this will show people across Lebanon the Shia community is not afraid to call for reform.

Breaking the fear barrier "is the only means to induce repressed Shia to shed their fear and say 'NO' out loud", he said, even though the livelihoods of most of them are dependent on, and subject to, Hizbullah’s tyranny.

Although the movement is still small, "it is standing up to a party that has been [established] in the country for 40 years, and part of the Lebanese authority for [the last] 15 years", he said.

Restlessness within Shia community

"The pressures exerted by [Hizbullah] and its exclusion of prominent educated and knowledgeable figures from the political decision-making process have driven us as free Shia to rebel," political analyst Rabih Tlais told Al-Mashareq.

The new movement is directed "against Hizbullah's hegemony over the political decision and Shia authority as a whole, because it has benefited no one but the Iranian regime", said Tlais, who is a member of the movement.

Hizbullah has done "nothing but contribute to the death, non-education and perversion of our youth and the widespread proliferation of drugs, which have entered every house", he said.

"There is widespread restlessness over the situation, especially in Hizbullah’s incubating environment, which is now possible to dismantle," he said.

Even before the launch of the movement, he said, Lebanese Shia "had begun to realise that the party is nothing but gloves worn by the Iranian regime to carry out despicable acts and tasks".

This awareness is beginning to spread, Tlais said.

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36 COMMENT(S)

COMMENT POLICY
Captcha
| 2019-09-24

Yes, Hezbollah is supported by Iran. However, it’s also a part of Lebanon and has its own justifications given realities in Lebanon. The Shiite opposition is also supported by foreign entities, but this is also justified given the Shiite realities in Lebanon and those who don’t agree with Hezbollah’s policies and reject its control over the Shiite religious discourse. Unless the internal components listen to each others, they will remain as fuel for conflicts between regional and global powers.

REPLY
| 2019-09-05

These are like butter that will melt. Nobody has every heard about those names.

REPLY
| 2019-09-05

If you're opposing the wages of the wounded and the blood of martyrs, you're agents.

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| 2019-09-04

Shias in Lebanon have two leaders only: al-Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah and Nabih Berri. However, from time to time, we would see ignorant people who aren’t satisfied with their own conditions, and they would go to the opposition. O, dude, who knows you? What have you done to this country so that you may join the opposition? Unfortunately, we have to reply to you because al-Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah and Nabih Berry have no time for you. What are your demands as Shia? I regret I have to talk in this way, but I have to. There is an approach and affiliation, and you can’t change either. This means that I want to be either a Shia or a Shia.

REPLY
| 2019-09-04

Tell me what bad things Hezbollah has ever done! Hadn’t if been for Hezbollah, you would have been slaughtered like dogs, and your women would have been enslaved. Hadn’t it been for Hezbollah and the resistance since al-Sayyid Moussa, there would have been no mention of Shias and we would have been living on the margin. Frankly, you’re just shoes for the enemy and a trumpet in its war against truth and the axis of resistance. My advice to you is not to commemorate Ashura before you’re like the people of Kufa; you’re the best example of that.

REPLY
| 2019-09-03

How many are you now, darling? 10?

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| 2019-08-27

Hezbollah’s policy in Lebanon is a policy of lies, theft and chaos. All children of officials have four jobs while they stay at home. All children of MPs spend their nights at Ain al-Marisa. There is much talk about their corruption, and this reaches the highest levels within the party, and these claims are documented, but nothing happens. On the contrary, they promote them to the highest ranks, and I have proof to support it. The question is: are these the qualities of the Shias of Ali al-Karar? As to Hezbollah’s foreign policy about war in Syria and Israel, the shoe of the young mujahideen is worth more than the highest leader, be he a chief or a sheikh or whatever. Our pride and honour are in the soldiers of truth. I’m talking about soldiers, not officials; we’ve elected the military boots, not the MPs because the boots are more honest than them.

REPLY
| 2019-09-04

You just see what you want to see. You don’t see the sacrifices, blood, martyrs and young men who have left the world so that you may live. By God, you’re like the people of Kufa; you’ve caught al-Hussein for the world. And when you did well in the world, you turned back on your heels.

REPLY
| 2019-08-25

They’re rats of this time. They’re on the pay of foreign embassies and will never be able to sow fitna among Shias even if they raise their voice with defamatory, ungrounded accusations under the pretext of reform and democracy.

REPLY
| 2019-08-24

Those are the Jews of this nation hiding under turbans. They get their funding from the English embassy, which is the symbol of espionage and conspiracies in the world.

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| 2019-08-23

Come and meet me! Listen to this advice, you who stand at the back and move those tools, the most important thing is the heart, if it loves, it will strongly love. Whoever talks in the name of Shias must first reform themselves so hearts can realise them, and there is no need to run after them. (If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have brought their hearts together; but Allah brought them together.)

REPLY
| 2019-09-04

Cry and you'll be relieved!

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| 2019-08-22

The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.

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| 2019-08-22

It’s clear that black hidden hands are trying to create confusion within the sect, and against Hezbollah in particular. This is because of the successes and victories that Hezbollah have made in recent years. We may see more media spotlight on this phenomenon, but all those concerned shouldn’t be deceived by such a conspiracy.

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| 2019-08-21

I hope to see those opposition figures on the ground. I think they’re ghosts, as we only hear about them in certain media outlets whose affiliations are known. I also hope that those geniuses will explain to us their plans and goals, because media talk won’t deceive even children in Lebanon, as the Lebanese people are politically cultured. Let them check with their Gulf financiers and their masters at the Zionist-American black rooms.

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| 2019-08-21

I support reforms within Hezbollah, but I’m against any confrontation with it. I’m totally with Hezbollah as a resistance force, but as a political party, Hezbollah has been a big failure, especially with its alliances with political dwarves who are now dominating and controlling Lebanon with Hezbollah coverage, foremost among whom are Jebran Bassil and Aoun.

REPLY
| 2019-08-20

This is a Zionist-American article that only represents the New Zionists.

REPLY
| 2019-08-19

Where are you getting your funding from? From your own pockets?!! Or from which embassy, the Israeli or American?!

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| 2019-08-18

The highest turnout among Shias in Lebanon and the biggest number of votes were for Hezbollah candidates. Numbers, not the money of western embassies, talk. Israel itself didn't succeed. May God forgive and guide them!

REPLY
| 2019-08-18

In the name of God, Lord of the World
Hezbollah isn't dominating, but is leading Shias and preparing them for meeting al-Imam al-Hejjah. You talk about return to Lebanese democracy, which, according to you, democracy before 1975, when we were only allowed to work with livestock, as municipal workers, shoe shiners on Beirut sidewalks or street sellers. Today, however, we're the most important figure, not just in Lebanon, but on the level of the region and the world. At that time, we would receive punches and insults and couldn't raise our heads. Today, however, under Hezbollah flag, the entire world fears us, and they really should. Those who claim to be representing a broad segment within the Shia sect can only call on their supporters to demonstrate or gather at places of their choice without hesitation, or can wait for the next election. Let's see your numbers. We remind you that within a few weeks, there will be secondary elections in Tyre district, and you can take part in it if you're confident that you have a large base of supporters, as you claim. Or let's return to May 2018, all Lebanon's parties and the authority-aligned parties couldn't secure a win in those lists. Here is the question: why didn't any entity complain about the result, and why didn't we hear any objection or challenge?
Democracy permits electoral and political coalitions, and the coalition was for the unity and strength of the sect.
Hezbollah, supported by its allies, especially the state of the Guardianship of the Jurist, stands as a spearhead against global arrogance, especially America, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Today the world is vertically divided: either you be with the Hussein camp, represented by Hezbollah and its allies, or be with the hostile camp. And we wouldn't want for you to throw yourself into the furnace of fire in which you will be only fuel that ends when it ends.

REPLY
| 2019-08-18

Look for those are who are pulling the strings of their 'great' leader Luqman Salim.

REPLY
| 2019-08-18

Al-Mashareq and other platforms are a tool of commotion. It has a dollar account that rises in value based on its type from the embassies of commotion. The military boots, Iranian hegemony and the party's decision shall continue to crush you. We belong to Iran and the party. We're Iranians, and you can do whatever you want. We will continue to crush you and decide whatever we want!

REPLY
| 2019-08-18

Hello. Where do they get their funding from in the first place? Hasn't the other Shia party sent young Shias to be killed in Palestinian camps and in the battles of brothers? I'm not defending Hezbollah, but it's wrong to look at the issue from a single angle. What are your other goals that haven't been announced yet? There are many issues that need answers. Goodbye.

REPLY
| 2019-08-18

Who are those people? I challenge those who claim to be sheikhs to mobilise even their own children around them. The incubator of resistance is too strong and great to be penetrated by a bunch of scum who are looking for a position that they won't be able to reach.

REPLY
| 2019-08-17

Hezbollah is a crown on our heads.

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| 2019-08-17

We want reforms that start from within us and move all the way to the entire Lebanese society in terms of combating corruption, creating balanced development and job opportunities and giving all Lebanese people their rights. However, we won't fight Hezbollah, but we'll fight against every corrupt person, and not all Hezbollah is corrupt. We admit there is corruption, and all world countries suffer from corruption. However, we won't fight against Hezbollah.

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| 2019-08-17

The simplest thing is that the Party [i.e. Hezbollah] has been getting weapons in without the state permission, and has been engaging in wars without the state permission, and when it finds a solution for the electricity problem, will it want to have a permission from the state?!!!!

REPLY
| 2019-08-17

This is how the Shias of embassies are! The embassy of Britain and the embassy of Bani Salul talk about Hezbollah, but Hezbollah will remain a thorn in their eyes, and the flag of the Republic of Iran will continue to be high in spite of their will.

REPLY
| 2019-08-16

When the title of this movement is to confront Hezbollah, it's logical that their move would be in the interest of Israel and America whether they meant it or not. Moreover, the launch of this movement in itself belies their claim about the hegemony of Hezbollah, as if Hezbollah had dominated the sect and state, they wouldn't have been able to form this movement. They're to be condemned from their own words.

REPLY
| 2019-08-16

Hezbollah is the honour of Shias and a crown on our heads. We don't need anyone to lecture us on purity and cleanness. Days have proven this. You as a movement are either supported financially or promised with something to act in this way. You're doomed to failure. Hezbollah is for all who want to have their own capacity, be them Shias, Sunnis, Christians or other religions. Period.

REPLY
| 2019-08-16

They're the Shias of embassies and don't represent any honourable Shias.

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| 2019-08-16

As long as they're opposing Hezbollah, they aren't Shias. Period.

REPLY
| 2019-08-16

The Lebanese people are aspiring to a better future and stability. They reject dependency and refuse to fight wars in their country for foreign interests.

REPLY
| 2019-09-04

So good tell me that a Lebanese citizen who isn’t affiliated to America or Saudi Arabia. In Lebanon, you’re like dogs; America imposes sanctions on a bank where someone who supports the resistance deposits their money … you don’t say no. At least, you belong to someone, but you do that in humiliation. And what does Iran get from being hostile to America and Israel except sanctions and economic restrictions? Why is it doing that? Isn’t it because of Palestine?! At the time of Shah, it was good, right?! It’s because it was treading on your heads with its shoes!

REPLY
| 2019-08-16

I want to remind Mr. Tlais that most of Hizbullah youths are holders of high certificates in engineering and technology and many other certificates, contrary to what he claims. As to drugs, let him prove to courts using evidence and law that any of Hizbullah people is involved in drugs.

REPLY
| 2019-08-19

Agents, I swear by God, they're agents and cohorts of embassies.

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