Following more than two hours of questions and dodging answers, you could say that Saad Hariri’s first interview in a long time came down to one single moment that everyone was waiting for.
It wasn’t his proposal for the electoral law. The ship has sailed on that. It wasn’t about when he would come back to the country. We all know it will be soon as elections are starting to knock on our doors. Many tuned in to see how the man would look like after all this time. Many were surprised to find his speech flowing smoothly. Many, such as myself, were not impressed with the quality of the discourse.
But we can all agree that Saad Hariri shined when the moment called for it.
I am not usually a fan of Mr. Hariri’s antics. But I must give the man credit where credit is due. Because the moment was, by Lebanese standards, historic.
Saad Hariri did the following:
- He defied his sect’s religious reference and that ridiculous fatwa barring any politician from supporting civil marriage under the threat of apostasy.
- He went against the majority of his base by supporting a marriage that they are against.
- He became the first major Sunni leader to come out in support of civil marriage, breaking a taboo among the Muslim ruling class of Lebanon by advocating for something that goes beyond Islam.
That wasn’t enough for some Lebanese. The moment Saad Hariri supported civil marriage, they accused him of doing so for electoral purposes. Color me confused but how is defying your entire voting base on a crucial issue such as this beneficial electorally? This is courage that I haven’t seen in a Lebanese politician in a long, long time.
But I digress.
I, as a Lebanese first and foremost, am proud of the stance that Saad Hariri took regarding the issue of civil marriage. I, as a Lebanese Christian, am happy that this non-Christian leader sees beyond the scope of his sect that some of my “Christian” leaders are failing to do while whoring around my supposed rights in the process.
When asked the question of whether I wanted Saad Hariri to be back as prime minister, I answered no. Today, he forced me to reconsider. Why wouldn’t I with his newly found mentality?
Saad Hariri just did what his father was too afraid to do. What Najib Mikati was too afraid to do a few days ago. And he’s proudly welcomed today in the Lebanese circle of kuffar.
Wait if he actually does it, when he can do it. (If he ever gets another chance for that.)
Why didn’t he do this before, when he was in govnerment and at the peak of his power?
I think this is a rather calculated statement, aimed at a Western audience. He wants to show them clearly that he is their man to get Lebanon in a certain direction – while at the same, he might be signaling behind the scenes that he has friends in Saudi, too, if he doesn’t get the kind of support he wants to have when he returns. (Some time post-Assad, I would expect)
Well, the issue was nowhere near raised when he was prime minister. Besides, his government was dysfunctional with the opposition that was part of it basically not allowing him to do anything conceivable.
I don’t think Hariri really cares about attracting a Western audience a few months before the elections. That Western audience isn’t the one voting for him and he actually went against what the majority of Lebanon’s Sunnis, his main voting block, believe.
If you think Lebanon’s future is decided at the ballot box, you are very naive. Especially these days, that’s a really outlandish assumption.
If it wasn’t for a Western audience, it was probably the power game with the Mufti, as Elie mentioned. And if it wasn’t that, trying to persuade the tiny progressive niche of Lebanon to vote for him is still more likely than Hariri having strong convictions AND actually speaking out about them out honestly.
A “dysfunctional government” is really a great excuse for just about anything. What about his father then? He definitely had a very real chance to make civil marriage a reality. He just would’ve needed to sign the law, actually – and he didn’t. Saad always likes to feed off the glory of his father and here even that isn’t helping.
If Hariri gets back in power, the only reason why he might be motivated to do anything for civil marriage is if it might support his business interests. That’s how he has acted in the past, anyways. Just like most Lebanese politicans.
If there were an unlike button on wordpress, I would have gladly pressed it for this post, it’s content and its author.
Why are you so pressed?
Saad Hariri supported the civil marriage because he is in conflict with the mufti since 2 years. so please let us see clearly the situation, Saad is not the brave man as you are claiming Mr.Elie!
Christian, what does him being against the Mufti politically have anything to do with this?
His stance isn’t against the mufti first and foremost, it is with civil marriage as an option because he’s not a representative of Lebanon’s Sunnis. Except that doesn’t sit well with your preconceived notion that Hariri and his party are all a bunch of people who wanna turn Lebanon into Saudi Arabia.
Moreover, going both against his base and the mufti at the same time is nothing short of courageous.
You think that you have made a big accomplishment when u revealed my real name, I told you before that I generally use Elie when blogging, so please respect this!!!!!!
All your previous claims that you are neutral vanished in this post where you are defending your leader and ignoring that his conflict with the Mufti pushed him to take such a position. what was he doing when he was in power from 2005 to 2011, why didn’t he legalize the civil marriage.
I didn’t claim I’m neutral. On the contrary, I remember telling you I’m a biased blog and if you wanted your news you should go to a news service. This article, to be precise, includes the following sentence: “I am not usually a fan of Mr. Hariri’s antics.” And somehow, even with that, according to you I am his supporter and he is my leader.
Going against the mufti in politics is something and going against the mufti in something like this is a totally other thing. The fact that the majority of Lebanese, including many who breathe your same orange air, are commending Hariri on this stance which means the only one here that is beyond biased is you.
Oh let’s see: From 2005 to 2011, Hariri has to deal with your friends who 1) waged a war on Israel, 2) occupied Downtown for 2 years, 3) did the May 7th events, 4) held the government in limbo for years and 5) toppled him.
The issue of civil marriage was also not brought up seriously until now so your argument is entirely invalid. If it had been brought up way back when and he came out against it, things would have be discussed differently today.
I’m glad you revealed your real futurist face. as for the orange air, this is pure air that you are not accustomed to.
regarding the non-sense story that we keep on listening every time we try to accuse hariri and his allies of any corruption or mistakes.
As if May 7 is a conflict of one side (FM had plenty of weapons!!!), don’t you remember “Yawm el ghadab” when Mikati was elected PM??? or you selective memory doesn’t allow you to do so?
LOL I can’t stop laughing! Me? Futurist Face? How delusional, blinded, biased are you?
One moment I’m ouwet w Kataeb, then I’m Haririst. You need to make up your mind “Elie,” this is becoming too “weather-vaney” to handle. But you know well about weather vanes, I’m sure.
It’s not a non-sense story when it’s true. Also I’ll leave that “pure air” entirely to you. Ne7na l hawa l shmele hon andaf biktir 😉
Also your last sentence is entirely unfounded. You were asking me WHY Hariri did not approve civil marriage when he was in office. I was simply telling you why. 😀
Thank you for proving that you are an ignorant ouwet, kataeb and FUTURIST man (I don’t like to attack the personal but since you did it, allow me to do so).
Regarding the shmele fresh air I think you were talking about the air coming from the Marada of Zgharta 🙂
Akid I know about the weather vanes and how you are fighting them everyday on your blog :)))))
You know, I think we can all agree that I am anything but ignorant because the amount of potholes you run into every single time you come here is just too damn high.
The shmele fresh air I’m referring to is simply the air coming down from our mountains. We are proud of every single part of our region including Tripoli 😀 Don’t bring your pistachio politics into this as well if you please.
Also I’m glad you know yourself well. Was it Socrates who said know thyself?
I don’t think u like Tripoli more than me (just for your information my wife is from Tripoli) so u made a completely wrong statement…hard luck.
You know what I like the most when posting here, is that I make you feel nervous, and when you are nervous you come up with those philosophical ideas hahahahaha
Allah ykhallikon la ba3d 😀 But I hardly think having your wife from Tripoli makes your statement valid or mine invalid. I didn’t even say you didn’t like Tripoli. Paranoia much?
With the nervous statement, you brought us back full circle to the delusional point. Awesome.
Also not my problem you’re not apparently familiar with what we were taught in 11th grade in sociology 😀
Don’t worry I understood your 11th grade level of thinking, believe me!!
As for Tripoli, fhemet 3leik what u meant while mentioning Tripoli.
It seems you think that you are the only educated and cultured person, for the 10000000 times please respect other’s beliefs and education since you don’t know me.
Because “fhemet 3leik” every single time i mention something to put in it the meaning you want to believe exists is very healthy right? Or twisting simple phrases into proof of nervousness while it’s simply something everyone knows?
Or alluding that my level of thinking is stuck in 11th grade?
As far as I’m concerned, seeing as you don’t have anything new to offer to the discussion except personal jabs and extrapolations, this conversation is done.
Futurist face? What are you people smoking? Walaw anyone who doesn’t agree with you deghre sar ma3 l Hariri?
Bhannik 3al moustawa.
Nevermind it really. Harirism, ouwetism, etc… all are insults apparently because a differing political opinion or an objective look on an issue is not accepted.
great idea to end a useless conversation with a narrow-mided person like you not being able to accept the differences among people.
You open-minded person you, starting a conversation completely based on openness, level-headedness and fairness. Kudos!
Whatever the man says there will be a crowd who absolutely dismiss is, and there will be a crowd that will drink it like it’s the elixir of youth. Truth be told, Saad is progressive, so it’s not surprising he takes such a stance. I am sure he had pressure from Mufti Kabbani when he was in office, but that wouldn’t be the main reason he didn’t go with it so called beliefs and put the law proposal to a vote. I think like someone else noted is because the cabinet was so confrontational that whatever he said the other team would oppose, and vice versa
Yeah I agree – the reaction on Twitter is proof enough for that: those who absolutely hated every single word he said, including dismissing the stance on civil marriage, and those who were offended that anyone criticized the overuse of “haweijes.”
However, as you said, he seems to be progressive and the issue of civil marriage wasn’t even discussed in the country to begin with back then. It’s not like you have the leisure to discuss things that are not “in the moment” in a country like Lebanon where issues that are being forced to be discussed (electoral law) usually end up as a confrontation more so than any other thing.
Allah wel sheikh Saad! No wait, I’m Christian. I’m not allowed to say this 😛
In all seriousness, what Saad Hariri did is really great and even if it doesn’t translate into law and I don’t see how this is political because while it may give him a few votes here, it must have cost him a lot to say it. As you said Elie (post author not other Elie), it was really a courageous gamble in a way.
But the Aounists are pissed because they can’t shove that “Hariri wants Lebanon to be an Islamic” country down our throats anymore.
Now we await those corruption charged because they are all saints. Haven’t you heard? Saints Aoun and Bassil offer their blessings every Tuesday.
No you are not allowed or they’ll consider you a sell-out because you are not allowed to support stances. Either you support an individual in everything or the hell with you.
And yeah we agree. I really, really hope he goes through with it though and yeah I think his base won’t be too happy with this, as I said, which makes it a risky gamble electorally.
We are also in agreement about that point and I think I’ve already mentioned it to another comment. He said that no, his party and consequently the people it represents, won’t tolerate Sharia applying to everyone in Lebanon and that scares his detractors more than anything.
To the guy who said this was for Western consumption.. are you on crack? Do you think Hariri will use a local Lebanese talk show (in Arabic) to pass amessages to Western governments.. you know he can just make a few calls and be on the phone with Presidents Obama or Hollande directly (you know the little perks that come with being an ally and ex PM of a sovereign country and a strong future candidate)?? He’s not some nobody Nicolas Sehnaoui or something. And do you honestly think the US Department of State is monitoring Kalem ennes ma3 Marcel Ghanem to gauge the pulse of Hariri’s politics?? Last but not least, you think Western governments judge an Arab politician by his stance on civil marriage? What are you like, 12? The only thing they care about is his position vis-a-vis Israel and Iran. They have no problems with Mursi the ikhwanji and not because he’s such a super duper secular progressive… My God my head hurts reading this crap being spewed here, there should be a tax on wasting bandwidth…
I thought this stance couldn’t be overanalyzed negatively until I saw some of the comments here. What the hell people!