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Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War
Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War
Published by Watser?
Tablet National Pact

Lebanon’s political system and political developments until 1975

National Pact

Lebanon was part of the Ottoman Empire until WWI, when it became a French mandate territory granted by the League of Nations. The French also controlled Syria and decided to enlarge Lebanon at the expense of Syria. To the coastal strip inhabited mostly by Sunni Muslim and Greek Orthodox Christians and mostly Maronite Christian and Druze Muslim Mount Lebanon and the Shouf they added the Bekaa Valley and the southern part inhabited by Shi’ites and Nothern Akkar with its Sunni and Alawi Muslims.

Lebanon is without a doubt the most religiously divided country in the Middle East. There are 11 different religious groups that are represented in parliament (10 until the civil war, the Alawite community was not represented before). The largest communities when it was founded were most likely Maronite Christian, Sunni Muslim, Shi’ite Muslim, Greek Orthodox and Druze respectively.

During WWII when France itself was occupied Lebanon became independent. The basis of the Lebanese state is the National Pact of 1943 which was a number of unwritten deals between the Maronite Christian president Bechara al-Khoury and his Sunni Muslim prime-minister Riad al-Solh that have never been officially published or defined.

The Pact stated (among other things):
  • Lebanon must be independent and neutral: the Muslims would renounce a union with Syria and/or other Arab states, the Christians would renounce separatism and special ties with France or the West.
  • The Muslims would accept the Christian identity of Lebanon, the Christians its Arab identity.
  • The president would always be a Maronite, the prime-minister a Sunni, the parliament leader a Shi’ite, the army commander a Maronite, his chief of staff a Druze and the ratio of seats in parliament would be 5 Muslims to every 6 Christians.2 Positions in the civil service were distributed the same way.

The president was elected from Maronite candidates by parliament.


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By Watser? on 12-27-2010, 12:10 AM
News Re: Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War

Here's a story from the Lebanese press about one former member of Tawhid who was murdered Saturday in the Palestinian camp Ain al Hilweh, near Sidon.
Located on the outskirts of the coastal city of Sidon, Ain al-Hilweh, like most other Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, does not fall under the control of the Lebanese government but under that of local Palestinian armed factions.

The camp saw normal activity Sunday morning, one day after the body of Ghandi Sahmarani, a member in the disbanded Jund al-Sham Islamist group was found.

Security sources said that Sahmarani, who is a Lebanese citizen wanted by Lebanese authorities, was found hand cuffed, leg cuffed and struck by a sharp device on the head. Sahmarani who hasn’t shown up for a long time, used to live in the Taamir neighborhood, which lies to the north of the camp, and which is considered a stronghold for Salafi Islamists. The area falls under the influence of Osbat al-Ansar, an Islamist group.

The fugitive was a member of Al-Tawhid al-Islami movement in the 1980’s, during which he participated in the fierce battles that broke out between the movement and the Syrian Army in Tripoli. He left Tripoli in 1987 and moved to Sidon where he joined a number of fundamentalist movements including Osbat al-Ansar and Jund al-Sham. After the disbandment of Jund al-Sham, Sahmarani joined Fatah al-Islam.

Sahmarani reportedly sheltered a number of Islamists who fled the northern Dinnieh district after taking part in the clashes that erupted between their comrades and the Lebanese Army in the district in 2000.

As a member of Jund al-Sham, the group fought the Lebanese Army several times. Armed clashes broke out between the two around Ain al-Hilweh in 2007, when the army was fighting Fatah al-Islam in the northern Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared.
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By Watser? on 10-28-2014, 01:10 PM
Default Re: Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War

"The army has taken over Bab al-Tebbaneh," said the spokesman, adding that troops had captured 162 fighters since Friday.

The army urged other fighters still at large to turn themselves in.

The soldiers carried out house-to-house searches and made several weapons seizures.

A 72-year-old woman said she had never before been forced out of Bab al-Tebbaneh, "not even during the civil war. But this time, I had to flee my house, along with my five grandchildren. I am in charge of them, because their father is in jail", said Umm Mohammed Jaaburi. "The violence was unprecedented," she said.
Lebanon army back in control of Tripoli
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By Watser? on 10-30-2014, 02:36 PM
Default Re: Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War

No two people would disagree about the outcome of the most recent round of clashes in Tripoli. The army was able to defeat the gunmen. The outcome is unambiguous, at least in terms of appearances. The Lebanese army succeeded in driving the gunmen underground and removed all signs of their former existence. It set up checkpoints and carried out raids in areas that were forbidden to it in the past even if it cost the lives of 12 officers and soldiers, while there were no heavy casualties among the gunmen.
Jihadi groups in north Lebanon admit to defeat in battle against the army | Al Akhbar English
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