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    On Secularism

    “I am a Maronite when I’m not doing politics”

    This Nassib Lahoud quote is certainly one of my favourites from a politician. It sums up an ideal in one sentence, a day when Lebanese would deal with each other not as muslims or christians, druze or maronite, but as citizens of a secular state.

    If only more people would stand up and say: “I’m a  _______ when I’m not doing politics” replacing the blank with his or her religion (if any).

    While some politicians like the aforementioned  are trying to bring us a step closer to this ideal, others poison us with their sectarian outlook not just on Lebanon but on the world.

    It’s funny how Aoun suddenly becomes worried about Iraq when christians become targeted. Hundreds of Iraqis are dying each month as a result of sectarian persecution, be they sunni, shia or christian! Has Aoun become the new pope as well as the new patriarch?

    This self-proclaimed saviour of christians in distress has finally found a group of christians who really are in distress, unlike in Lebanon where the myth of impending doom has to be created from scratch to fuel his sectarian propaganda.

    So whatever Aoun may be when he is not doing politics, what is for certain is that he is one of Lebanon’s most sectarian minds when he is doing politics, and that disgusts me. 


    This piece is a guest post from long time friend of this blog ‘3ameed’ who we thank for this valuable contribution. If you have an article, picture, or any other media relating to Lebanon (not necessarily political) that you would like us to publish, please submit it in the contact us form on this page and we’ll be right back to you.

    3 responses to “On Secularism”

    1. Sa2ed says:

      I’m not sure I’m a big fan of this quote. It should be “I am a ________ only when I am in my house”. Your friends don’t need to know you’re a _______, neither your co-workers, and neither anyone else for that matter. If it is something between you and your God, just keep it that way. Enno ma we2fet 3al politics…

    2. Nadim K. says:

      Although I agree with most of what you have said, it is mainly when politics and religion are mixed that we get an explosive cocktail. There is nothing wrong with expressing one’s beliefs as long as those beliefs don’t harm the rights of others. And banning public displays of religion is a bit too extreme in my opinion.

      It is important to realise though, that when a politician says that he is a ______ when he’s not doing politics, it means that he is a ______ only in his private life, ie: only at home.

    3. N.J. says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more Nadim!

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