On Saturday, November 9th, the Grand Mufti of the Lebanese Sunni denomination, Sheikh Abdullatif Deryan, stepped up to voice out his support for the revolution and urge the political authorities to heed the demands of the Lebanese people protesting nationwide.
Sheikh Deryan is the highest religious authority of the Sunni community in Lebanon, representing the majority of the Lebanese population in the country (29.25%). His announcement ensued on the birthday of Prophet Mohammed, which the protesters celebrated by sending lanterns of light into the sky over Beirut.
In his words, “It is time to respond to people’s demands and to their free national will… It is time for the people to regain their confidence in the State and its administrative institutions … It is time to respect the principles of democracy.”
Ever since former Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned, abiding by the pressuring demands of the Lebanese massive protests, and dismantling as such his government, no further action has been taken by the state.
As per the Constitution, a new government must have been formed by now, but the political authorities keep stalling; the nation remains in wait, the protests keep increasing, and the people’s demands for a technocratic government are more adamant every day.
Twenty-four days into the Revolution that has shaken the grounds and bonded the Lebanese nation in its majority and the political authorities are still not honoring our democratic principles.
Sheikh Deryan has now called on the political officials to form a rescue government without delay, “I call on those responsible to form a government of competent specialists and immediately begin the implementation of the reform paper prepared by [caretaker] Prime Minister Hariri, to address the country’s problems.”
Sheikh Deryan went even further with his statement addressed to the political authorities. He did not shy away from pointing out to their current stances denoting their focus on their personal interests instead of the country’s interest. He called on them to “rise above their personal interests and narrow calculations for the sake of the country and its people.”
The question remains: Are they listening? Because it hasn’t seemed so.
The problem for their stand of “the fittest,” if this is the case here, is that the Lebanese people have never been as stubbornly determined to see their demands met and hence save their country that has been agonizing pre-revolution.
The status in which it has been for decades is no longer acceptable to them nor do they intend to turn back; not the over 1.5M Lebanese who flood the streets of Lebanon.