Qabbani Snubs al-Mustaqbal by Urging Support for Army Leadership
Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani said Friday that the army is the only state institution that guarantees the unity of the nation, calling for Lebanese support to the military leadership.
During the inauguration of a mosque in the southern town of Shebaa, Qabbani said: “There is still an opportunity to preserve our unity and coexistence and cooperate to build the future of generations.”
“The army is the only institution that guarantees the unity of our nation Lebanon and if the military falls apart then there would no longer be any Lebanon,” the Mufti said in his rare visit to the South.
The trip has angered al-Mustaqbal movement whose lawmakers boycotted Eid al-Fitr prayers that Qabbani led at al-Amin mosque in downtown Beirut on Tuesday.
The boycott came to admonish him for meeting with a delegation from Hizbullah and the Syrian ambassador on the day the international tribunal issued the indictment in ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s assassination case.
“We should support the military leadership … to allow the army to salvage the country from permanent dangers,” Qabbani said.
Last month, al-Mustaqbal movement MP Khaled Daher accused the army intelligence of being a group of armed thugs linked to the Syrian regime and operating under Hizbullah’s orders. He also criticized Army chief Gen. Jean Qahwaji.
Qabbani’s support for the army on Friday was a clear indication that his relations with former Premier Saad Hariri’s al-Mustaqbal have deteriorated.
Justice is the right of every Lebanese and stability is the duty of the state, the Mufti said in his speech. “No party is capable or can make claims of imposing its will on the other.”
“We want justice for ex-Premier Rafik Hariri and we want justice for all the martyrs and Lebanon,” he said.
“Justice is wanted and stability is wanted and it is our duty to achieve justice and stability and not lose both,” Qabbani added.