Daily News Egypt

Stir of Saudi fatwa dissolves with Qana news - Daily News Egypt

Advertising Area




Advertising Area

Stir of Saudi fatwa dissolves with Qana news

Rage and frustration mark local reaction to Qana massacre CAIRO: When the Saudi fatwa was issued last week denouncing support of Hezbollah on the grounds of the Shiite-Sunni differences, the general attitude was rejection. Nonetheless, the fatwa found supporters here and there. But a unified stance, at least among the Arab masses, was imminent; unfortunately, …


Rage and frustration mark local reaction to Qana massacre

CAIRO: When the Saudi fatwa was issued last week denouncing support of Hezbollah on the grounds of the Shiite-Sunni differences, the general attitude was rejection. Nonetheless, the fatwa found supporters here and there. But a unified stance, at least among the Arab masses, was imminent; unfortunately, this unity was overturned by the tragic Qana massacre.

As people turned on their TV sets on Sunday morning, they were appalled to hear the news: about 60 Lebanese, mostly children, were killed as Israeli forces shelled their building. Footage showing the rigid corpses of young children pulled from under the rubble stirred a multitude of reactions ranging from rage to depression and frustration.

Any sane person would have the same stance regarding Qana, says Wael Abbas, a local blogger authoring www.misrdigital.com. He explains that the fatwa didn t have much effect, but there are differences in opinion nonetheless. Some political streams, he continues, don t support Hezbollah, saying the organization works for Syrian and Iranian interests. But this stance is all politics not religious.

Saudi Sheikh Abdullah bin Gabrine s fatwa banned support for Hezbollah even in prayer. Bin Gabrine said the Shiites have always conspired against and showed their animosity to the Sunnis.

The fatwa resonated with other Saudi Islamic scholars who follow the same strict Wahhabi teachings. Saudi preacher Naser El-Omar said that Hezbollah doesn t fight in the name of Sunni Muslims but rather as a tool in Iranian hands.

The fatwa was heavily criticized in Egypt and elsewhere. Last week, the Muslim Brotherhood issued a statement saying such fatwas aim at strife among Muslims. Mahdi Akef, supreme Brotherhood guide, said such dividing differences have long been avoided as a result of general agreements among the sane.

He added that such fatwas are issued to legitimize the inability of certain governments to act.

Early this week, Al-Azhar Sheikh Mohamed Sayed Tantawi voiced a similar opinion, insisting on the legitimacy of resistance movements.

The fatwa, however, found non-scholarly supporters. In a live talk show on Al-Jazeera on Sunday night, a number of callers showed their support, saying that Iran is the true enemy and the cause of any strife. Others, who showed traces of admiration for Hezbollah s fight with Israel, said that people shouldn t forget Shiite animosity to Sunnis. The same opinions were voiced in pan-Arab mass-generated e-mails. But such stances remained limited in comparison to the public rejection of the fatwa.

Mohamed Hassan, a British Egyptian residing in Cairo, was alarmed by the fatwa. Let s put aside the Muslim and not-Muslim [argument]; aren t we all humans? he adds.

Mostafa Ammar, a furniture exporter, says the fatwa is probably state-sponsored. He explains that there is no religious basis for such a fatwa because the major Sunni institutions, including Al-Azhar, have rejected it.

Hassan was also critical of the public. I m very disappointed in the people, he says, The government [consists] of 50 people, what about the other 70 million?

On Sunday night, two demonstrations protesting the Qana massacre failed to attract a considerable number of participants. Abbas says that the low turn out is probably because the two demonstrations were spontaneous without any preparations.

Hassan talked about people spending their weekends at the North Coast and Sharm El-Sheikh while they stand helpless to what s happening in Lebanon.

Ammar, who felt rage coupled with frustration when he heard the Qana news, says people could at least boycott American products and stop applying for American visas. People can donate to Lebanon through trusted channels, he adds. As for the government, it can threaten to leave the United Nation, he continues, and declare a state of emergency within its military forces to alarm the Israelis at the very least.

While Abbas stresses that the Egyptian public supports its Lebanese counterpart, Hassan says words need actions to be meaningful.

Topics: Investment

Advertising Area

https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2006/08/01/stir-of-saudi-fatwa-dissolves-with-qana-news/
Breaking News

No current breaking news