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Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War
Lebanon's Sunnis and the Civil War
Published by Watser?
Tablet Political parties

Political parties

Besides zu’ama, a large number of political parties were active in Lebanon. Some of them were no more than a za’im’s clients. Ideological parties like the Ba’ath and the Communist Party mostly appealed to young, unmarried men who usually left the parties once they started a family.21 Urbanisation also played a part: people new in town don’t have anything to offer the local zu’ama because they still voted in their village of birth.22 At the same time the zu’ama in those villages had nothing to offer them because they had no influence in the new habitats of the migrants. As the Sunnis (as well as the Greek Orthodox and the Greek Catholics) traditionally lived in the cities, this factor was not as strong for them. Many Maronites moved to Beirut in the 1950s and in the 1960s and ‘70s, Shi’ites moved there in large numbers.23 This would be made worse during the course of the civil war by the Israeli raids in southern Lebanon where many Shi’ites lived.

These newcomers were more inclined to join national political parties who were represented in their old as well as their new residences. For the Maronites this was the Kataeb, for the Shi’ites (at first) the communists and radical leftist groups. The Shi’ite radicalisation was reinforced because the areas where they settled were inhabited by Palestinians or had Palestinian camps (more on this in the next chapter).

Most parties combined ideology with personal and sectarian ties. There are a couple of clues to this:
  • Party leaders were sometimes members of important families. Farouq al-Moqaddam, for instance, the leader of the 24 October Movement, was a descendant of a family of landowners from Tripoli.24
  • Party leaders were often succeeded by their sons or brothers. Bachir Gemayel succeeded his father Pierre as leader of the Kataeb. Walid Jumblatt succeeded his father Kamal. In Sidon the Nasserist Marouf Saad was elected in 1957. He was of humble descent and ideologically (Nasserist) inspired yet he was succeeded by his son Mustapha in 1975. In 1985 he became blind form a bomb attack and his brother Osama took over the executive of his party/militia (though Mustapha was still the leader in a formal sense).25
  • The parties often had a following that was limited to a single sect - like the Kataeb for the Maronites, the PSP for the Druze and the SSNP for the Greek Orthodox – or a single town – like Saad’s and al-Moqaddam’s parties. The fact that the party leaders in question were only known or popular locally must have contributed to that.


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Thanks, from:
curses (08-02-2008), Sophia (01-22-2011), Stormlight (08-01-2008)
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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