Further to what has unfurled today, Oct 25, in Lebanon, with Nassrallah’s speech, and the ongoing anti-protest propaganda, it has become even more relevant to hear out the powerful message that Lebanese Shiite Cleric Sheikh Yasser Awde addressed to his community and the nation just a few days ago. The video of his sermon, which went viral on social media, has provoked many reactions, due to his refreshingly surprising message.
Sheikh Yasser Awde initiated his speech by saying boldly, “You saw the belly dancer that is affiliated to one of the political parties. You saw the moral turmoil in ‘the street of bars’ in Riad El Solh (referring to the term being used by the anti-protest propaganda to slander the dignity of the protesters). You saw the disadvantages of the insults and curses to all leaders. But you did not see the image of unity among the Lebanese people? Why that ignorant strictness in the mindset of some? Why frightening the people?”
He continued earnestly, charing on the politicians, “They tried to play, for 30 years, on the sectarian chord to divide between the religious sectors in Lebanon, and when the Lebanese people united and crossed over all these leaders, and shook their beds, and killed the dreams of each one of them, you didn’t see this advantage?”
“You didn’t see that unity between the Lebanese people? You didn’t see the prayer in Al-Amin Mosque? (referring to both Sunni and Shiites praying together for the first time in one mosque). You didn’t see the unified call to prayer that was raised? You didn’t see the elderlies saying “God, see the oppressor,” and demanding their rights for a senior pension?”
Speaking about the youth protesters Sheikh Awde went on praising, “All greetings to the university youth who preceded the sheikhs, the clerics, and the politicians, and preceded our fathers and mothers to consciousness, and came out of the herds of the sectarian leaders to say: No to the sects.”
“Didn’t you see this beautiful scene in Lebanon that for the first time no one came out for the sake of a leader, but to cheer for the first time for his Lebanese nationality?” He pointed out.
“Yes, there have been mistakes but the two million people who went down [to the protests] aren’t wrong, and so far no one responded to them,” he said and raised his tone, adding: “I swear to God if there was a seed of dignity in any of them he would have gone home. The country is collapsing and we are dying of cancer. So what is good in this country God damn them!”
“Let the country gets ruined, may it not come back, for we are dying from your corruption,” he yelled at the government. “They accuse Hussein’s followers of demonizing demonstrations, and we say [in response] that Imam al-Sadr fought corruption, and Mr. Abbas Moussawi had said that fighting corruption is the same as fighting the Zionist, and Al-Hussein does not give legitimacy to any corrupt.”
At the end of the video, Sheikh Awde addressed the protesters calling them “Free Revolutionaries” and demanding that all reject those tarnishing the image of the protest.
He went on revealing that he has proudly joined the protesters down on the streets twice, and pointed out, “Unfortunately, there are some politicized sheikhs who have distorted the image and they do not give you any value at all. You are free in civil society, even if you were atheists, freedom must be praised.”