The Christian Delusion of Hezbollah

It is the time of electoral calculations. Parties plan out their moves depending on the yield of votes those moves could get them in 2013’s parliamentary elections or according to the extent that those moves can help their allies.

With this point of view, many (click here) saw Hezbollah’s “peaceful” demonstration against the anti-Islam movie as a calculated strategical move to show Lebanese Christians that their alternative is better: i.e. the Islam they have to offer is superior to that of those who burn down fast food restaurants and, in a more global sense, attack embassies.

During the protest, several TV stations interviewed Hezbollah members who answered Hassan Nasrallah’s call. They all had one common thing to say: “This is our leader. We will not let anyone make fun of him and when it happens, we will answer.”
The leader they were referring to was obviously Mohammad. The leader that sentence also applies to is Hassan Nasrallah – the declaration can go both ways depending on who’s in a tough spot, so to speak.

And it is here that Hezbollah’s main Christian problem lies. Regardless of all the “peace” they advocate and promote, the mentality that they are ready to do anything for either their prophet or their leader puts off the majority of Christians in droves and equates them with the bad clumsy Sunnis who see in KFC a sign of the devil. I mean, have you seen those chickens?

The Christian side is divided into two main players. One tries to explain the rising Sunni extremism while attacking the hidden extremism of the Shiites. The other player totally forgets about the extremism that’s harbored with a signed document and flaunts what those other Muslims. The Christian supporters of each player will eat the rhetoric up. They will get into endless quarrels about those other bad Muslims. No one will convince the other.
So who’s at play? The “independent” Christian vote, little as that may be, who sees in both Hezbollah and the Sunnis that Hezbollah is trying to come off as different from as evils that need to be eradicated. It is the “independent” Christian vote that’s feeling increasingly threatened as a minority and is seeking reassurance.
His reassurance will not come at the hands of Hassan Nasrallah, regardless of what some politicians want you to believe. It comes at the hand of Christian leaders who have their most basic ideologies at war: we are not in danger vs we need a minority alliance to be safe.

The pursuit of Christian votes by Hezbollah for his sake and the sake of his main Christian ally is futile. Why? Because it plays on two fronts. One, the Lebanese voter – for anything non civil war related (because you know they all remember everything there is to remember about that event) – has a memory that spans a few seconds. By the time next June rolls by, no one, apart from the highly politicized individuals, would remember what the Sunnis did to KFC or the sublime demonstration of Hezbollah. The second front is for those who remember and they are not irrelevant few.

There are those who remember how a few years ago when Basmet Watan had a Hassan Nasrallah dummy on their show, all hell broke loose as riots started and subsequently the show was stopped for a month. There are those who remember how the May 2008 events went along. There are those who remember how Samer Hanna got killed and how powers shifted in 2011. And regardless of where those people stand politically from those events, they will always play into them being so cautious from Hezbollah that the fake smiles they give the party of god are just that: fake. Yes, even those who theoretically support said party.

The fact of the matter is the Christians in Lebanon are wary of its Muslims. They are wary of both of their short fuses when it comes to the matters that touch each sect. The staunchest FPM supporter despises Hezbollah as much as they dislike Hariri. The staunchest LF supporter will tell you in secret how he doesn’t like Hariri as well. The common thing among both teams? They go with the flow and hope that one day the side they put their money on turns out to be the better side. But deep down they both know that in the game of thrones in Lebanon, the Christian vote is a Christian matter and what other sects do will hold little to no significance.

So why did Hezbollah hold a protest against the anti-Islam movie so late in the anti-Islam auction game? It’s quite easy actually. Have you heard anything Syria related when the movie protests were taking place? And herein lies your answer.

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34 thoughts on “The Christian Delusion of Hezbollah

  1. you said in a previous article that Hizbollah will not rally against the anti Islam movie because the pope is visiting and they wouldn’t dare . and now you are hinting at the date in which the protest was made ? hypocrite much ?

    Reply
    • They could have not done a rally to begin with after the Pope left and Hassan Nasrallah could have condemned the movie, which he did about 20 times.
      But the fact of the matter is a Hezbollah protest would make top news, which it did all over the world, and it would play better into keeping the anti-Islam movie anger going than a simple speech.

      So no, not hypocrisy, just a little analysis would have gotten you there.

      Reply
  2. why illusion or delusion or whatever ? Pro Hizbollah Christian party summed up in 2009 directly 47% of the Christian votes . sounds pretty materialistic to me .

    Reply
    • He didn’t get the votes that he got because of Hezbollah. People who were voting for him weren’t doing so because he’s pro-Hezbollah and those who will vote for him in 2013 won’t do so because Hezbollah decided to become a saint on the Lebanese street.

      Reply
      • if you don’t fear Christians falling into this “trap” wouldn’t be better if we just let hezbollah act Angelic rather Satanic ? wouldn’t this country be better if parties at least acted good . and no really hizbollah doesn’t want a fan base inside the Christian community . 27 years they didn’t have one and they don’t need it now

        Reply
  3. You shouldn’t talk for all Christians…You make a handful of assumptions that quite frankly aren’t true for many people. Some people like Hezbollah’s anti-west stance – Christians, Sunnis and Shiites alike. Speaking as a Christian, Hassan Nasrallah is truer to his word than any of our politicians, and any other politician that I know of. Don’t be so quick as to generalize and speak for an entire divided nation.

    Reply
    • Thumbs up Jimmy Entirely true .. Even the Most Popular Christian leaders in Lebanon don’t have the right to speak for Christians let alone a blogger

      Reply
    • Your assumptions are the ones that aren’t true for most Christians. I can assure you that most Christians do not share the anti-west stance that you’re proclaiming and that most of them despise Hezbollah, regardless of what they proclaim to the world.
      You may not share that opinion but you are definitely in the minority of people who don’t.

      Reply
  4. Elie,

    I have the impression that you are still perhaps too young and inexperienced with politics.

    I grew up a Christian in Lebanon, and was politically Christian Right as well like most Christians during the civil war. I have grown out of that mentality. I live in the West now and I like Nassrallah not because he is a more moderate Muslim or anything like that. I like him because he led a resistance movement that liberated my country. Because of that, I will continue to like him until I see him trying force me into any ideology I disagree with. Period.
    I am certain that a large number of Lebanese – of the Christian faith or just born into a Christian family but are not devout – will agree with me.

    Reply
    • Hey Roger,

      It’s perhaps you living in the West and not over here that gives you the erroneous idea that my generalization is that of a young and inexperienced person.
      Sure there are Christians who like Nasrallah. But they are few. Very few. And if you’re one of them, then good for you. But for many, 12 years after the liberation, Nasrallah and his party haven’t done a ton of things that we should be thankful for. Even among those who consider them allies. And, even among those who like Hezbollah, very few are ready to go all out for it.

      It has nothing to do with being devout or not. Perhaps you should come back here to see how it is.

      Reply
      • Hi Elie,

        To tell you the truth, I worry about the Christian religious kooks and politicians a lot more than than I would worry about Nasrallah. Honestly, they scare me a lot. Types like your extreme right winger Zionist Samir Geagea and your Christian leader wannabee Michel Aoun and all those under their umbrellas

        Cheers

        Reply
        • I find it odd that a person who once upon a time declared Lebanon to be a place for “Wilayat Al Fakih” with the Christians being intruders is considered as fine by you.
          He may have changed discourse but know that deep down, Nasrallah is still the same. And the pull of his party today to dominate almost anything it can in the country is not something that’s reassuring to say the least.

          Also I think you’ll find less Christians who are fixed up on their religious books than people from other religions in the country.

          Reply
          • “Also I think you’ll find less Christians who are fixed up on their religious books than people from other religions in the country”
            Actually, I don’t think that is correct. You will find a larger number of Lebanese Muslims turned Atheists or simply living a secular life than you would find Christians turned Atheists or living a secular life.

            As for your previous comment, to me, it is a matter of being innocent until proven guilty not the reverse. I think that Nassrallah has far more good (so far) to my country than any other leader has – weather Christian or Muslim. Until he takes the turn that other fallen leaders have taken, I have no objections to him.

            Reply
            • You’re not living here. There are far more atheist Christians.
              And since you’re not living here, let me tell you one thing Nasrallah did that basically involved killing his fellow Lebanese: May 2008.

              Reply
              • Elie, I only left Lebanon in 2009, and I have been back every year for a month. I know the state of affairs there.

                Let me remind you that in 2008 what happened was in self defense. The movement of resistance to Israel was being targeted and it succeeded in thwarting that attack.

                Reply
                  • I’d like to know what you think it was and how it actually started and your thoughts on why would Hezballa want kill Lebanese? (out of spite perhaps?) You’re not just carried with all the propaganda talk that came out during and after 2008, are you?

                    Reply
                    • The government issued some decrees. Hezbollah didn’t like them. All hell broke loose. The justification? The Gov was trying to attack the resistance.
                      And no, I’m not carried with propaganda. I was there when it happened. I was a student who was forced to stop going to class for two entire weeks because of it. So yup.

                    • You said it: “The Gov was trying to attack the resistance.”
                      So the resistance switched into self defense mode. If you ask me, the resistance should have had made a full coup and taken over the country.

                    • That was Hezbollah’s “justification” for his attacks.
                      I didn’t say I agreed with them and if that’s your mentality, then I think you should stay in Canada and love the “resistance” all you want there.

                    • From what I gather, I suppose you prefer to be in bed with the enemy? Do you hate resisting occupation?

                    • When it comes to a serious issue like resistance of occupation, it should be clear, if you are against the resistance then you are without a doubt with the occupation. You cannot be against both. It is just not sound logic.

                    • this is not the common petty lebanese issue like “if you’re not ouwweit then you’re aoun” or “if you’re not hariri then you’re hezballa”

                      This is simple, clear, occupation vs. resistance to occupation. this is above the “if you’re not with us then you’re obviously a traitor mentality.”

                    • Hmm.. typical childish response. I was hoping for a longer stimulating debate but I guess I stretched your limits of argumentation.

                      Have a good one.
                      R.

                    • My need for a stimulating debate went down the hill when the “you either love hezbollah or Israel” mentality kicked in. And then you became similar to so many things I’ve already heard that there was no need for me to entertain this further.

                    • What, changing my words now? – “you either love hezbollah or Israel”- It is “You are either a supporter of resistance or you are a supporter of occupation.” Big difference there. I am talking about principles here. If I am with the resistance, it does not mean that I am with the one party monopoly over resistance – I am with that party today, but only because it is a force of resistance, I welcome and encourage everyone else to join them and certain not to attack them. I can criticize them but I won’t attack them. After all, until they prove otherwise, their agenda is that of resistance, which is like my agenda. I am not for any kind unjust settlement for peace or any sort of normalization with an aggressor.

                    • But you see, Hezbollah brand themselves as the resistance. And this post is about them. Therefore, I’m not changing anything.
                      And yes, they have proven over and over again that their agenda goes beyond “resisting” Israel but you’re the type of people who can actually justify what happened on May 2008.
                      Do you consider it a glorious day too? I’m sure you do – because you think the “resistance” was threatened.

                      And this will turn into a Byzantine quarrel that knows no end. Because you and I, we will never see eye to eye.
                      However, Mr. Roger, the more you talk, the more you prove that me saying you are one of very, very, very few Christians who think this way is true.

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