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Brave Shi'ites criticize Nasrallah - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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It is not easy for the Shi’ite scholar Sayyed Ali Al-Amin to stand alongside the few who are against the prominent Shi’ite figure Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. Nasrallah leads 70,000 fighters, owns an arsenal of weapons greater than that of any militia in the world, and receives USD 1 billion from Iran in addition to funds from the religious organizations supporting him.

Despite this, Ali Al-Amin reiterated his criticism of Hezbollah’s actions and involvement in the Syrian conflict. He frankly and eloquently spoke his mind regarding Nasrallah entangling Lebanon’s Shi’ites in the protection of the Assad regime. Sheikh Subhi Al-Tufayli, another Lebanese Shi’ite leader, did the same. He addressed Nasrallah, claiming that Shi’ite fighters “are not defending Sayyidah Zaynab [granddaughter of the Prophet Muhammad, whose shrine is located in Syria] but President Bashar Al-Assad, as Iran directs them into any war it wants.”

Two Shi’ite leaders, Mohammad Al-Amin and Hani Fahs, preceded Amin and Tufayli in this response to Nasrallah. Last year, they signed a statement condemning Assad’s crimes and criticizing support for the regime on behalf of any party, particularly Hezbollah. They also expressed their support for the Syrian people. The response to this moral stance was a campaign launched by Assad and Hezbollah media outlets accusing them of practicing “Wahhabi Shi’ism.”

Had religious leaders Mohamed Hussein Fadlallah and Sheikh Mohamed Shamseddine been alive, they would have taken similar stands against Hezbollah, given their reputation for being moderate and brave. They were also known for encouraging co-existence with all religions and sects and for dismissing all historical myths used to ignite hatred and clashes among different sects.

For this reason, their actions are greatly appreciated. Anyone who speaks the truth despite the opinion of the majority and the intimidation of arms is brave, with firm principles, and should be appreciated.

Nasrallah does not hesitate to send his support to Shi’ites to Syria. Thousands of them currently fight in the suburbs of Damascus, namely in Tartus and Qusayr. This is all in favor of the Iranian regime, which claims that the downfall of the Assad regime will lead to its own downfall.

When Sayyed Ali Al-Amin addressed millions of Arabs—both Sunnis and Shi’ites—he frankly announced his condemnation of Nasrallah’s actions and Assad’s crimes, bridging the huge gap that widens consistently between the Sunni and Shi’ite sects. However, the wars currently taking place have nothing to do with Shi’ites or Sunnis; they are simply a result of political exploitation. Saddam Hussein was not a Sunni as much as he was an opportunistic dictator. The same goes for Assad, who is not an Alawite so much as he is a criminal who happens to be president. Hassan Nasrallah is not a Shi’ite leader as much as he is a leader of a militia and an employee of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s office.

The sectarian war is stimulated and mobilized in order to send those deceived by it to die in Syria for the personal goals of the leaders. Late Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden killed Sunnis in the same way that Assad did. Nasrallah caused the death of thousands of Shi’ites during absurd confrontations with Israel and civil wars, not out of his love for Palestine or to defend the prophet Hussein, but simply out of his desire for leadership and personal glory.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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