Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Speech of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah marking the occasion of the birthday of the Holy Prophet

I take refuge in Allah from the stoned devil. In the Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Most Merciful. Peace be on the Seal of prophets, our Master and Prophet, Abi Al Qassem Mohammad and on his chaste and pure Household and on his chosen companions and on all messengers and prophets.

Scholars, deputies, brothers and sisters! Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings. I welcome you the warmest welcome on this blessed ceremony and this glorious and fragranced anniversary. I felicitate you all and all Muslims in this world on the birth of the Great Prophet of Allah, Mohammad Bin Abdullah (Peace be upon him and his Household) – the Master of all creatures and messengers and the Seal of prophets. I also felicitate you on these days which were announced since the revolution of Imam Khomeini (May Allah glorify his secret) as the Week of Islamic Unity – for proximity between Muslims and for moving together towards Allah Al Mighty under the banner of the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him and his Household). I also felicitate you on the anniversary of the birthday of the Prophet's grand great grandson Imam Jaafar Bin Mohammad Assadek (Peace be upon them).

First and as in every occasion, I would like to make an outline for my speech. I would talk first on the occasion. I also have a word on the general scene, a brief word on the Israeli elections and a word on the Lebanese status quo.

If we want to evaluate any personality or to have a positive or a negative ruling on it or if we want to specify the degree of its positivism or negativism and give it a mark, there are adopted norms on top of which are the following two:
The first norm is the personal or individual characteristics which this personality possesses on the level of its mind, spirit, soul, and eternality. We call these characteristics personal capabilities and skills whether they were good or bad. According to them, we rule on the personality positively or negatively.

The second norm is the deeds of this personality and its out product, tradition, influences, achievements and what it made and left for people whether they were achievements or catastrophes and calamities.

As for the first norm, we find that our Great Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him and his Household) has mental, moral, spiritual, and psychological perfections which reached the peak in everything.

The praise we find in the Book of Allah Al Mighty for this Great Prophet and what was mentioned also by the prophets who preceded him and all those who were contemporary with the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him and his Household) - whether those who believed in him such as his companions and his Household or those who were his enemies and antagonists - used to acknowledge these perfections to the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him and his Household).

Allah Al Mighty describes this Great Prophet as having great manners. Allah Al Mighty talks about his mercy, his leniency, his great manners, his humbleness, his emotions, his humanism, and his perfections.

Everyone acknowledges his faithfulness, loyalty, and respect of promises, treaties and agreements. Thus we find that his enemies and antagonists did not find one fault in this personality. They did not find one imperfection or flaw to penetrate through. Some might consider that there might be a remark for example because he was illiterate. This is a point of strength and not a point of weakness. This is his miracle. This is the evidence on his connection with Allah Al Mighty. This is evidence on his divine knowledge. Thus this is the personality of the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him and his Household).

Keeping the issue of abuses aside as I will go back to it later, even today this great personality is being acknowledged by Muslim and Christian men of intellect, philosophers, senior figures, and elites on the international level who approach historic figures fairly and justly and in a scientific and objective way. I do not believe that there is another personality which has gained this level of consensus, praise, esteem, reverence, and glorification.
As for the second norm, we mention what this Great Prophet (Peace be upon him and his Household) has left, made, and achieved besides the intellectual, cultural, spiritual, moral, social, political and civilizational changes which this Great Prophet (Peace be upon him and his Household) has made through his movement and mission as well as the nation which he founded and which he launched in history and is still persistent until our day on human and faithful grounds. Brothers and sisters! One of the most important aspects which we must remind of today is that the Prophet of Allah and the Prophet of Islam (Peace be upon him and his Household) has restored humanity at that time and since that time to the primary humanistic pillar. Even more, he promoted this humanistic aspect. The society of the Arab Peninsula and even the whole world at that time, whether that section of the world which was controlled by the Roman Empire or the Persian Empire was ruled with discrimination on the level of sex – male and female. The state of women was not as such in the Arab Peninsula only. It was as such in the entire world. Discrimination was also on the level of race – white, black, yellow or red. Discrimination was on the level of Arabs and non-Arabs, on the level of tribes (Qoraish and non-Qoraish), and on the level of kinship (this kinship or that kinship).

This great humanistic Prophet came to tell all people: You are all sons of Adam, and Adam was created from clay. He came to tell them that people are equal just as the teeth of the comb are. He came to convey to them the words of Allah Al Mighty: {O mankind! We created you from a single pair of a male and a female}. He addressed the community which used to belittle women and bury girls alive saying: {O mankind! We created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made ye into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other. Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you}.

Thus males and females have the same humanistic value. Arabs and non-Arabs have the same humanistic values. The white, the black, the yellow, and the red have the same humanistic value. The lord and the slave – as in that time there were slaves – have the same humanistic value.

How did that society tolerate this speech with their inferiority vision for slaves? Still this religion and this Prophet came with this humanistic speech which opposed all what was prevalent in traditions, cultures, customs and popular sentiments prevailing at that stage.

Yes, he came to tell them that from the humanistic perspective, you have the same value. Still you contend for superiority not with regards of your sex, race, tribe, or kinship. You are superior with your good deeds and virtues and through evading bad manners, sins, shameful deeds and wrongdoings.

The best among you is the best to his family. Those who are most loved by Allah are those who benefit mankind most. He put this standard.

Even more, the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him) stressed on the humanistic dimension even in treating others - for example, dealing with orphans, the poor, the needy, the poverty-stricken, those who have no breadwinner, the afraid, the aggrieved, and refugees. The Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him and his Household) stressed on helping all of these groups. He stressed not only on helping them materialistically and providing them with a safe shelter. The poor, the needy, orphans and the distressed are not a group of people whom man may benefit from on the worldly level. For example, man may help the poor and the needy to gain their votes in elections in this world or to be rewarded in the Hereafter with a place in Heaven. This Prophet was not content by this. He also said you must nurture human emotions towards these people and these groups – love, fraternity, respect and esteem. Thus the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him and his Household) used to sit with the poor, eat with them, talk with them, treat them humbly, and live their life to stress this aspect in the relation with them. Someone might be rich and has enormous amounts of money. He might give the poor and the needy as much money as you want. Still if a poor man comes to shake hands with him, he would become startled. He might believe it is not appropriate to sit and eat with the poor. So there is a big difference between the two.

Moreover, the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him and his Household) sought to move man from his selfishness and from thinking within the limits of his personal interests or within the limits of his tribe or clan to become a humanistic human being and an international human being who cares for the worries of people, feels sorry for the pains of people, shares people their happy moments, thinks of saving people, and extends a helping hand for people, and this is a great humanistic assertion.

Unfortunately, these days there is a deliberate, dubious campaign to offend this Great Prophet and to challenge his humanity and the humanity of his religion and mission. This is indeed one of the most important challenges of the Islamic nation and all of the Islamic scholars today.

Hereof, I will usher to the general scene by and by. We are facing an offense such as some movies or caricatures or books or articles that do not resort to mental and scientific argument. We do not object if someone makes an argument based on evidences and proofs regarding our conviction, intellect, religion and Prophet. There is no problem in that. In fact, our Qoran calls for this kind of dialogue, argument, wisdom and good advice. However, as for offense, abuse, and humiliation, this is not accepted by anyone for anyone's sanctities.

Indeed we must express our wrath, resentment and conviction. However, what I want to say today also on the anniversary of this Great Prophet (Peace be upon him and his Household) is that it is our responsibility also to work positively and tell the whole world about this Prophet and his biography, characteristics, perfections, religion, mission, and speeches. There are things that are unjustly and oppressively attributed to the Prophet of Allah. There are things which are fabricated on the religion of the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him and his Household). Such things must be made clear.

If anyone has misconceptions, these misconceptions must be clarified. Moreover, the whole world must come to know about this great, extraordinary, historic personality.

Anyway here we recall the rule that says "It may be that you dislike a thing while it is good for you". Perhaps we in general – the Islamic movements, the Islamic scholars, the followers of the Islamic factions apart from our different currents – for decades and perhaps for centuries have been trying to talk about the leaders of every sect whether scholars or jurists. That was on the basis that we all agree on the Prophet of Allah. There is a consensus on the Prophet of Allah. Thus let's exert our efforts to let others know about those we disagree on.

However, today and before this challenge and apart from whether that is right or wrong, all Muslims - the followers of all the Islamic factions - must give the priority to present to the world their Prophet whom they all unanimously agree on his prophecy, respect and esteem as he forms their great gatherer. To fulfill this obligation, intellectual, scientific, cultural, media, research and advertising efforts must be exerted. No negligence or shortcoming is allowed because the other bloc is carrying on this battle. The offenses against the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him and his Household) are not a transient issue or a personal effort. They are rather backed by sides which thoroughly scrutinize what they need from this campaign which is as we said in previous occasions causing sedition between Muslims and Christians and among Muslims as well as dragging Muslims to reactions which might be inappropriate or not taken into consideration….. There are many targets for that, and this must be confronted.

Among the major challenges now in the general scene at the level of our region is the increase of magnitude of conflicts, struggles, clashes and divisions in many of the countries in the Arab and Islamic worlds. This exists whether on the level of sects – that is between Muslims and Christians as is taking place in some countries in the Islamic world such as Nigeria – or on the level of factions – meaning Shiites and Sunnites. However, I like to look at things more pragmatically. To avoid giving things more than their magnitude because the nature of struggles that exist now transcends the topic of sects and factions, we say it might be that the citizens of some Arab countries are all Muslims. So there are no Christians. They might also be of one sect. Thus there are no Shiites. Moreover, they may all be from one Sunnite jurisprudential sect. Still there are disturbances and unrest. That's because in all the Arab and Islamic countries there are national and Islamic currents as well as Sufis and Salafis. There are east and west. There are also north and south. There are tribes and clans…. There are social statuses and various and diversified trends. Consequently, it is not true to limit the chaos, disturbances and challenges that exist now in the region to being a sectarian or a factional trouble. It is not true to limit what is taking place to this as it is far more than that.

Commenting on this status quo which we will try to approach, we say that we in Lebanon are part of this region. We in Lebanon have our troubles too. We are part of the Arab and Islamic world, and our country is influenced by what is taking place in the Arab and Islamic world whether we like it or not. It is also influenced by what is taking in the region too. It might also be that Lebanon is the country which is most influenced by what takes place in its environment. Well, while approaching these developments in the region, I want to say the following points:

First, if there are conflicts, tensions, and struggles in the region, do not get terrified, and let no one frighten us. This has always existed. There have always been conflicts, struggles and conflicts all through history. This has always existed in the history of Muslims and non-Muslims too. This has always existed among Christians too. This has always existed among the followers of religions and among the followers of races. This has always existed in the history of the world since Allah created Adam until this very day. What is taking place is what the angels have talked about {Wilt thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood?} this is the history of mankind as long as human beings are human beings and have desires and are greedy and impatient. This takes place naturally.

Well, the most serious and important catastrophe is that we do not know how to deal with these crises i.e. that we in view of these catastrophes lose consciousness, fail to arrange priorities, lose our nerves and our ability to take decisions, and fail to take initiatives. Well that is dangerous. However if we all acted with consciousness, assumed responsibility, and were not terrified and shocked and decided to address these crises, struggles and conflicts in a wise, responsible way, we can overlook many negative points which may fall in all cases. This is first.

Second, even in approaching the countries where there are multi-religions or various factions, the struggle is not always in core and in essence sectarian or factional.

We will talk in numbers too regarding this issue. I will not say all struggles, wars, and conflicts. I am not talking about intellectual, ideological, religious and jurisprudential conflicts. No, I am talking about struggles, conflicts, wars and divisions in which people launch attacks against each others and kill each others. Most of these wars and struggles that took place have political backgrounds and political goals that are related to authority, control and holding grip of the capabilities of the nation. They have nothing to do with religion, Shiites, Sunnites, Islam, and Christianity. So I am saying most of the wars. I am not saying all of the wars.

I have no time to make a survey. I will give two or three examples only. For example, one of the greatest wars in the history of Muslims is that between the Umayyads and the Abbasids. This war led to the killing of tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands in these changes. Well what have the Sunnites, the Shiites, the religion of Islam and the Prophet of Islam to do with the battle between the Abbasids and the Ummayads? It was a battle on authority. It was a battle on who was to rule and lead the nation.

After that, a lengthy war took place between Al Amine and Al Maamoun and the Abbasids. This war lasted for years, and tens of hundreds were killed in it. What have Shiites and Sunnites to do with this war? I am saying this so that some won't hold us responsible for things we have nothing to do with. Sunnites and Shiites have nothing to do with that. Some quarreled over power, and they made the War of Dahes and Al Ghabraa. They destroyed the nation because of power. Well, in the time of the Abbasids, their government lasted for hundreds of years. There were wars between princes and ministers. They kill each others. They wage wars and invade cities. What have Sunnites and Shiites to do with the war of princes and ministers? That lasted for hundreds of years. They might have exploited religion, sects and factions, but that was not the truth about the battle that took place.

Well, we will talk now about a nearer history. Some 500 years ago, there was a war between the Ottomans and the Mamluks. What have these wars to do with Sunnites and Shiites? What have religion to do with that? What have Islam to do with that? On the contrary, when the Ottomans grounded the Mamluks, it was that the Mamluks first recorded a great national victory. As a consequence, the Ottomans, grounded them. So the point here is that we do not say the struggle is factional. No, that is not the case. Perhaps some struggles were on factional basis. They were the fewer wars. However, the overwhelming majority of wars were not as that.

Well, some years ago, one of the most dangerous wars that took place in our region and set the foundations of a totally new political and security stage as it brought along the American fleets to the region was the war of Saddam Hussein on Kuwait. Well, was that a religious war? Was it a war between Sunnites and Shiites? What have we to do with it? What have Sunnites and Shiites to do with this war? It was a war to control oil and land. It was a war of power. Well, yes as I said at times it is possible that someone exploits this issue. For example, if the war was between the Ottomans and Mamluks it was a war on power; however if it was between Ottomans and Safawis or between Safawis and Ottomans it becomes a war between Sunnites and Shiites. Well brothers! No, it was not a war between Sunnites and Shiites. It was rather a war on power. I do not want to take a stance from the Ottomans or the Safawis. We are not making a historic research now. We are only taking an example.

Well if the Ayyoubites and the Mamluks fought, that would be a war on power. However if the Ayyoubites and the Fatimites fought, the struggle would be factional. However in its depth, this is not a factional struggle. In its depth, it is a struggle on power.

So many of the wars that took place and many of the struggles and conflicts that are taking place now – I do not want to talk about history and not to stop at talking about history – are political in depth and have nothing to do with sects and religions. They have nothing to do with Islam, Christianity, Shiites, and Sunnites. Well, we will take also the war which Saddam Hussein launched on the Islamic Republic of Iran and which lasted for more than eight years. Well, thanks he did not give the conflict a factional dimension. He couldn't give the conflict a factional dimension for a natural, practical reason which is that a great number of the Iraqi Army generals and soldiers who were fighting in Iran were Shiites. So how was he to say that his was a factional battle? Thus he said that his battle was between the Arabs and the Farsi people. However, unfortunately, some of the current Arab regimes do not ask about Sunnites and the Sunni people. They do not care about the people of Palestine. When we come to statistics, we find that most of the people of the Arab world are Sunnites. Still we find tens of millions of hungry people, tens of millions of illiterate people, tens of millions of unemployed, tens of millions of…. There are regimes which have piles of hundreds of billions of dollars; still they do not do anything for the people of Sunnites. However, when they get engaged in a conflict with Iran, the conflict becomes a Sunnite-Shiite conflict!!! Well, no my brother! The conflict is not Sunnite-Shiite. Even in the Iraqi-Iranian war, Iran did not deal with the battle as a Sunnite-Iranian battle. That was the war of Saddam Hussein and some of the regimes stood by his side and spent hundreds of billions of dollars in that war and bloody battle. Well, pursuant to this reading, let's say what is required from us.

What is required from us first is to view any conflict or struggle in Lebanon or in any country other than Lebanon – whether in Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen, Tunisia, or Libya – and among Muslims, Christians, Sunnites, Shiites or various Islamic, national or Islamic currents from a political perspective and not from a factional perspective. That necessitates evading factional and sectarian speech as well as factional and sectarian mobilization.

That's because some people may get the genii out of the lamp but they can't return it back in. There are many evidences on that. You may make a snake of your factional and sectarian speech. However, after that you won't be able to control it; then it kills you. Thus we must be very careful. Thus today, any factional or sectarian speech mounts to an evil word which may destroy everything and devastate everything.

Second, we must bound the problem to its limits. So we limit the trouble within the country it is in between two definite sides. We limit it there. Thus we do not generalize and evoke all causes with each other and link files to each other because as such it will be difficult to solve any.

Third O brothers, sisters, our Arab and Islamic world, Christians, Muslims, Shiites and Sunnites, nationalists and Islamists! Unfortunately, some groups are leading grounding clashes with each others; still they are children of the same revolution. This exists in more than one Arab country.

Well, where to does that lead? The only solution is that people have tolerance on each other. Patience, openheartedness and dialogue are better than rushing for conflicts. Even in the places where there are conflicts, we must go back to dialogue. We must search for a settlement. We must search for an address and a solution. This is what we call for anew today in all squares from Syria to Bahrain, Yemen, Tunisia, Libya, Iraq (on light of the ongoing developments) and Lebanon so that no one conflicts with anyone else.

After all, all people have things to say. All people have logic. All people may have a right or rights. Thus we must listen to each other, and we must try to address our cases in this logical way even if it takes a longer time. That is much better than going to conflicts in which we destroy our countries, societies and peoples while the west and Israel look at us and rejoice at our misfortune and consequently abandon even these whom they dragged to be engaged in a battle here or a battle there. There are many evidences on this.

So the main point is that the country remains. Here I recall His Eminence Sayyed Mussa Assader (May Allah restore him to us safe and sound). In the 70s, he held a great festival in Baalbeck and another one in Tyr in which he talked about the rights of the deprived. However, when the civil war erupted in Lebanon, he halted everything. He said that the state was drifting away and the country was being destroyed. We want a country to live in and a country which we can demand our rights from. No one destroys a country or destroys a state for the sake of rights and reforms. Well, there must remain a country. There must remain a state so that he demands rights from it and so that he carries on reforms in. That can't be achieved except through dialogue, discussions and a settlement. Even if there is confrontation, let it be a peaceful confrontation, and let every form of conflict and fighting be evaded.

Today the obligation of elites, scholars, leaders, politicians, writers, men of intellect, establishers, and the media in our Arab and Islamic world is very great. That's because people listen to them, follow them, and obey them. Consequently, their worldly and otherworldly obligation is greater than in any time in the past.
Well, I have a brief word on Israeli elections.

In brief, the Israeli elections lead to the following conclusions. Well if in this world many people are not concerned and do not follow what is taking place on the level of the Israeli entity, we consider ourselves concerned no matter what Lebanon's preoccupations are and no matter what the preoccupations of the region are. That's because the origin of the problem is there. The story started there. It started with creating this entity and founding this entity. Much of what took place and what is taking place in the region is caused by this entity and for the sake of the stability and continuity of this entity.

I do not want to make an analysis. I will only say the conclusion. A retreat among the leading and establishing parties in this entity – such as the Labor Party and the Likud Party is clearly recorded. A strong leading party is lacked. This is what Netanyahu was calling for when saying Israel needs a strong party that leads it. The elections did not bring forth a strong party that leads Israel or this entity.

Essential and central leaderships are also lacking. Do you still recall what I once said? Well, in fact it was not I who said so. Someone once told me - when Sharon was bullying, intimidating and frightening the whole Arab world and the entire region - not to be afraid of Sharon adding that he can't do anything and that Sharon is the last of Israel's kings. Then I said in one of my speeches that Sharon was the last of Israel's kings. It is evident that he is the last of Israel's kings. Well, who would come after Sharon?

Yes, they agreed on Netanyahu as there was no alternative. For them, he is the best among the present figures. However, the crisis of trust is evident as far as Netanyahu is concerned.

So the absence of great central leaderships, the steadfastness of the fanatic religious parties following their advance, and the increase of the number of parties and parliamentary blocs indeed complicates the process of taking a political decision. In general all what took place in the elections clearly expresses a crisis in the leadership of the entity, a crisis of parties, a crisis of trust and consequently a crisis of an entity.

However the thing which we must not have been deceived with in the past and we must not be deceived with now and in the future is the story of the Right and the Left and the Middle and the middle of the middle and the right of the right and whatsoever.

As for Al Qods, Palestine, the rights of the Palestinian people, the Palestinian Cause, the Palestinian refugees, the Arab causes and rights from Golan to Lebanon to Sinai to Egypt, Israeli greed, and Israeli threats to the governments and the peoples of the region whether by the Right or the Left or the Middle or the middle of the middle or the left of the left (they are all the same), our experiences have taught us that most of the Israeli wars were launched in the era of the Israeli Left cabinets. Well here let no one misunderstand our analysis of the Left and the Right. They are all alike. If the Right, the Left, the Middle, or a national unity cabinet comes into power, as far as this aspect in the confrontation, things do not differ. Well, it goes without saying that when there are many parties, it will be difficult to take a political decision and there would be difficulty in performance as I said. However as far as the project, the vision, the antagonism, greed and threats are concerned, nothing changes. Thus it is not allowed that we bet on anything on this level.

The guarantee of Gaza is the strength of the resistance in Gaza. The guarantee of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian rights is national reconciliation, the integrity of the Palestinian people, and their adherence to the choice of the resistance.

The guarantee of Lebanon – regardless of the ruler in Israel and no matter whether it is Netanyahu, Sharon, Shimon Peres, Barak or Labeed or whoever – is in the formula which we have always talked about. It is the Army-People-Resistance equation. Our national power with its various elements is what protects Lebanon. The enemy does not differ whether the Middle, the Right or the Left are ruling. The enemy looks at Lebanon. If you have power and capacities and can create deterrence power, you can defend your country. As such you can excavate oil and gas and protect your country and your borders…. Any other thing is useless. The experience of tens of years with the Israeli enemy says so.

The same applies on the level of the region. Thus I say: The best response to the Israeli elections regardless of conclusions and analyses is a call for a greater adherence to the resistance. We must all cooperate so that the Palestinian people be strong in Gaza, in the Bank, in Palestine and outside Palestine.

We must all cooperate so that the resistance in Lebanon remains strong and increases its strength. We must all cooperate to defuse mines found in our Arab region. This is the response to the Israeli elections.

Concerning the Lebanese situation, the issue which is meeting great interest and is dominating the Lebanese scene to a great degree is parliamentary elections and the elections law.

I will talk a little on this issue because at the level of our party, we still abstain from making journalistic interviews. Consequently, we are not that much partaking in contests and discussions. We still so far insist on this inclination because unfortunately a great section of the political and media scene does not lead scientific and objective discussions or even a respectful discussion. They are rather abuses and curses. Thus man keeps himself apart from contests which are so base. This conduct is really good.

The issue of elections law is always a sensitive issue for the Lebanese. However, I believe that at this timing it is even more sensitive. Perhaps all the Lebanese political forces and all the Lebanese sects – as this is the status quo – might be viewing the elections law at this stage with more sensitivity than in any time in the past as a result of the conditions, the fears, the apprehensions as well as the sharp divisions through which the country has passed. What is taking place in the region also helped in that.

For example, if we talked about Christians and Muslims, today the apprehensions of the Christians are indeed greater not only for Lebanese reasons but also because of what is taking place in the region.

We don't say that some Christians are exaggerating. When Christians see what is befalling the Christians in Iraq and the Christians in Syria and what is taking place in other places such as Nigeria among other countries they have the right to feel afraid apart from who is held responsible for what is taking place. I am not holding anyone responsible, and I am not trying anyone. I am rather depicting facts.

So the developments in the region complicated the Lebanese discussion and the Lebanese vision to the elections law.

The vision to this law isn't on the basis that it is a normal elections law and that it will lead to a normal parliament. There is a fateful look. For some the ongoing argument is seen as if we are going back to divide Lebanon anew however through an elections law. That means we would be going back to what we have been running away from. Once I talked about an establishing national conference. At that time many people made big fuzz about that. However, now I assert to you that many in Lebanon are discussing today the elections law with an establishing mentality. Well, this is their right; here I am telling you this is their natural right.

Thus and due to the sensitive and critical stage and the regional and international situation, we Lebanese must have more patience on each other. We must have more discussions. We must also try to relieve all apprehensions even if some people have more apprehensions and fears.

In this framework, the most important thing is that we put accusations aside as that does not make any step forward or backward. On the contrary, the accusations might at time be offensive.

For example, I heard some political leaderships and deputies – some of them are Christians and others belong to various political currents – as saying when talking about the Orthodox Meeting proposal as being originally the project of Hezbollah. I will not say all what they said. They said it was the project of Bashar Assad or the project of President Elie Frizli. After all, President Elie Frizli is a part in the Orthodox Meeting. Well discussing sensitive and fateful laws through which a country is being build and the fate of a country is being set for four years are not to be approached with such grudge. Do they mean that the Orthodox Meeting draft is Hezbollah's project and that Hezbollah has dictated it on his Christian allies and imposed it on General Aoun, MP Franjiyeh, and Tashnaq Party i.e. the Christian allies? Do they mean that Hezbollah imposed this project on them and convinced them of it? The Christian situation went in bets – Bkirki, the Lebanese Forces, and all.

This is humiliating to all Christians in Lebanon. It contains a humiliation to Bkirki and to all the Christian leaderships and to all the Christian forces whether we agree with them or not. This was not said in an interview or in an article. No that was worked at and is still being written in statements and declarations. I call that scattering dust. I mean that there is not any sense of responsibility in approaching this issue. This is above all lying and fabrication. This is not true, and this is exaggeration too.

Now if it seems to you that Hezbollah is that much able to dictate on his Christian allies and to run the Christians – all of the Christians including Bkirki and even March 14 Bloc – according to the project that Hezbollah wants, well then hand us the country and settle down. What is this exaggeration?

However, what is more important than this exaggeration is humiliating the Christians with this tongue.

No, the issue is not as such. On the contrary, when the draft of the orthodox project was presented to us during discussions, we took a decision. I am not sure if the brethrens' answer was refusal or reservation. So our stance was at least that of reservation. However, then our allies talked with us and explained the anticipations, data, conditions…. Thus we accepted. This is the truth, and this is what took place.

Thus, this approach to this file with this level of sensitivity is untrue.

Second, we will discuss intentions. Well, let's first put intentions aside. Now there are intentions which are normal. For example, someone might search for an election law which preserves his size if he already attains his size. Another might search for an election law that gives him his actual size if he does not enjoy his actual size. These are righteous. Whoever seeks an elections law to preserve or to achieve his actual size according to his own conviction is righteous. I will say even more. If someone was discussing an election law to take a size greater than his actual size, this is his right too. After all, this is political work and a political operation. However, I am not discussing the law according to intentions. Now tell me what is the law?

Intentions take us to another place. Amal Movement backed the Orthodox Meeting. General Aoun and Minister Franjiyeh agreed on the Orthodox Meeting because they want to get rid of elections. This is groundless.

We have several choices. We have several projects. Thus we do not discuss intentions and we do not talk in an accusing tongue. To approach the issue in a scientific, objective way, according to us – Hezbollah – the essential principle in any election law which we look forward to is relativity. Why? This is apart from our size or what it provides us with – as someone might say that relativity gives us the majority as a political bloc today; well it might not give us the majority tomorrow. You know that in this country alliances change and people may become antagonistic. Moods might change and are influenced by the situation in the region. Thus relativity may change us to the minority. So it is not what this law gives us. We must rather be fair and adjust the validity of representation to all the political currents in Lebanon which are within sects or that transcend sects. Their only choice to be represented in the parliament is an elections law based on relativity. This is righteous apart from what relativity provides us with. The rest is mere details to us.

Now, we accept Lebanon as one electoral district based on relativity. We do not have any problem in that. If you agree on it, let's trust in Allah and adopt it. We accept Lebanon on the basis of the relativity in districts. We accept Lebanon as broadened districts. We accept the project of the government which it submitted to the Parliament – i.e. relativity in 13 districts. We accept the proposal of the Orthodox Meeting. These are mere details. However, according to us, the attractive point in this stance of ours is the adoption of any of these proposals to relativity.

Why do we adopt relativity? That's because relativity gives everyone the chance to be represented in the Parliament. It gives all the political forces which have the least popular bases the chance to be represented in the Parliament. I will talk about relativity and my information may not be complete; I will be talking according to my follow up. In discussing relativity, in fact so far perhaps the primary problem - if not the only problem; however I will be precautious and say the primary problem - which the other party has in relativity is arms. They thus raise the slogan of "No relativity with arms". However, that is not true. Is there any chance so that we all talk on this topic and discuss it for a while?

First: This resistance exists since before 1992. In that year we ran the elections and partook in it. In 1996, 2000, 2005, and 2009 where were arms used? In which electoral district were arms used to impose electoral options? Isn't this evident? Isn't this clear? If you talk about intentions, we talk facts. These are facts. Since 1992, were arms used in any electoral district to impose electoral options?

Second: The arms you are complaining about as causing pressure in elections aren't today the arms of the resistance. All people have arms. Now if you want to impose an electoral option on one of the villages with power, do you need to use Zilzal Rocket or Fajr 5 or Ayoub Drone? All you need is a Kalashnikov to impose an electoral choice on whomever you want so as to cause terror and to bully. Well Kalashnikov exists wherever you want. All the Lebanese own Kalashnikov. The overwhelming majority of the Lebanese in all the Lebanese regions own them.

Second: If arms are influential in elections, its influence on the law of majority is more than in the law of relativity. That's because in the law of majority it is enough to gain 50% + 1 to gain the elections; whereas through the law of relativity no matter how great the pressure was a definite ratio may exceed the limit and lead a deputy to the Parliament. In my viewpoint, the problem of arms with the law of majority is much greater than the problem of arms with the law of relativity. Consequently, talking about arms is incorrect. I do not want to give it another label. I want to say that it is incorrect.

The problem is not in that at all. I will even say more. I do not take it for granted that arms intervene in elections whether with us or with others. So I am not defending Hezbollah only. Even as far as others are concerned, we never found that one day arms were used to impose political choices despite the existence of arms in Lebanon.

What is more dangerous is the arms of money. Once I may say who directly told me – and he is a primary supporter to our friends in the other bloc: We in 2009 paid 3 billion dollars in the parliamentary elections! This is in small Lebanon! At that time I told him jokingly: Had we known that, we would have told you to give us the 3 billion dollars and to take the elections in exchange.

Which is more dangerous: money or arms? Or is it the media which penetrates into every house around the clock and which includes a part which is unfortunately unjust and misleading. A part of this media fabricates lies and groundless stories and uses them to cause provocations.

Hereof I ask: which is more dangerous money or arms? The media or arms? Which is more influential in elections?

We like to hear scientific, objective discussions just as I said I understand the fears of sizes. I say and I respect this background and I do not have any problem in that. The problem of those who refuse the option of relativity so far is that the option of relativity gives the political forces their normal sizes; it is not unjust with them; it does not give them bigger sizes; it does not give them lesser sizes. It rather gives them their actual sizes.

Some consider that their guarantee is in having sizes bigger than their actual sizes. I respect this apprehension. However, we must approach things in a way that observes all apprehensions.

I have a final word on the Orthodox Meeting. Christians today have this apprehension. To step out of the atmosphere of bets as some are betting on whether Hezbollah and Amal Movement will vote, I clearly believe and say: When we tell others that we accept, then when the proposal will be voted on we will vote on what we approved. So far both of us have taken this decision. I will talk about Hezbollah at least.

Now if tomorrow morning a parliamentary session was held – and despite the fact that some of our other allies have reservations; some of the personalities which we respect very much have reservations on the Orthodox Meeting – and the laws were voted on, if the government's law is proposed we will vote for it. If the law of Lebanon as one electoral district is proposed, we will vote for it; if the proposal of the Orthodox Meeting is proposed, we will vote for it. What I am saying is clear. So let no one say the Hezbollah and Amal are making bargains, maneuvering, or working to cause sedition between Christians. No! We are faithful, and we are convinced.

Christians with their overwhelming majority today believe that this law gives the chance for what they call a valid representation and for what they call truthful equal sharing. That's because there is a dispute in the country over interpreting truthful equal sharing.

Well, let us – all of the Muslims with all our Lebanese sects – give the Christians this chance. Let's head to the parliament and to elections without anyone thinking that he will take less than his size. As for he who takes more than his size usually and can't attain that this time, let him have no problem in that. Let him be a bit humble in this stage. In the parliament, let people consider that they take their actual sizes. In the Parliament, the validity of representation, actual sizes, truthful equal sharing, and anticipations and fears are unquestionable. The upcoming parliament may give the historic chance for people to see again how they may make reforms in the regime and develop the regime. Consequently, they won't need to form frameworks beside the parliament so as to meet and make dialogue, arguments and discussions. On the contrary, all the Lebanese would be in a valid representation system in the parliament. They will talk with each other, make laws, approve on the policies of the government and the like. This is a chance. Why not take hold of it?

As for us, we are not closed. We will never close the door of discussion. As some parties among Christians have anticipations, Muslims also have anticipations. We must look and see if we may reach somewhere. Anyway, this is the track we believe in.

I call on the Lebanese to discuss the elections law. On the basis of a just and fair elections law, let's move towards parliamentary elections. Forget about waiting for what will take place in Syria – especially those who were waiting for the fall of Damascus and for a dramatic change in Syria to bully the rest of the Lebanese. Let this issue aside. It is clear that field data, political data, and regional and international data confirm that things reached a place in which the dreams many were building on a definite fact can not be fulfilled.

I do not want to talk about the Syria issue. Our stance from the Syrian issue is very clear. However, I would like to say let's keep this issue aside. We do not want to become strong with Syria on anyone, and let no one get strong with the Syrian situation on anyone else. Let's keep this issue aside. Let's talk for a while. This is our country; these are our people; these are our problems; these are our crises; these are our sects and we also have forces which transcend sects. Still these are our sects; these are our political forces; these are our fears; these are our expectations. How are we to get together?

Thus I hope that no one deals with the elections law as an election laws only. Everyone is acting as if the elections law is for a period of time even if they are not saying so. Everyone must deal with the issue as an issue that is establishing for a long period we are about to reach.

It remains that the elections law must not keep the government negligent of the daily demands, a serious, responsible, productive dialogue with the Syndicate coordination body, the Lebanese University cause, the refugees cause – all of the refugees-, the security situation and even the cause of the prisoners and the arrested. Indeed, I here add my voice to all those who say this is a righteous cause. It is the cause of the arrested Islamists. Your stance from them is baseless here. What matters here is that there are people who were arrested four or five years ago. Now there is a hall. That is over now. Well try them. As for arresting people for extra years, this is unjust. This is oppressive apart from whether your or my stance from these Islamist arrested is positive or negative.

If there is a righteous case, we must all say this is righteous and just. Justice must be achieved. We must not say set the arrested free under whatever conditions. We are saying try them. However it is unfair to keep them in prison for five years without trial. This does not apply only to the Islamist arrested but also to any prisoner in the Lebanese prisons. The Lebanese Court and behind it the Lebanese government through encouragement and incentives - that is if we say they do not intervene in justice - must address this issue.

We must move on in addressing all of these cases as Lebanese and as a Lebanese government. The elections law must not preoccupy us. However, we hope that the elections law is approached with such a spirit. Perhaps we will be able to reach a definite beneficiary result for our country and its present and future time.

Again I say hundred returns. May Allah's blessing be bestowed on you on this kind anniversary and great birthday. Peace be upon you and Allah's mercy and blessings.