Lebanese opposition puts on show of Muslim unity

Lebanese opposition puts on show of Muslim unity

BEIRUT (Reuters) – A Lebanese Sunni preacher led thousands of anti-government Shi’ite protesters in prayers on Friday, in a show of Muslim unity designed to dispel fears of sectarian strife.

The Hezbollah-led opposition has besieged government headquartersfor the past week to try to topple the Western-backed cabinet of PrimeMinister Fouad Siniora.

Shi’ite Hezbollah is the most powerful force in the opposition while Siniora and his main backer,parliamentary majority leader Saad al-Hariri, are both Sunnis.

The city center protest has heightened tensions between the two communities, but Preacher Fathi Yakan, who leads a small pro-opposition Sunni group, urged unity.

“This mass protest is not for Shi’ites or for Sunnis or any other sect. It is for all of Lebanon,” he said, accusing the government of being an agent of the United States.

“Fellow Lebanese, Sunnis and Shi’ites, Druze and Christians, beware and then beware of sliding toward the hell of strife,” he said, his words echoing around downtown Beirut which still bears the scars of the1975-90 civil war.

Shi’ite parties withdrew their ministers from the cabinet last month and have called for the creation of a government of national unity following this summer’s 34-day war with Israel.

“Your sit-in, God willing, will foil the American project in Lebanon,” Yakan said.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s