Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Lebanese Shi’ites Object to Hezbollah’s Support of Iran’s Recent Hajj Policy | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Millions of Muslims are preparing for the annual pilgrimage to Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Above, pilgrims pray inside the Grand Mosque as thousands circle the Kaaba in Makkah, Dec. 19, 2007. Photo: Reuters/Ali Jarekji

Beirut- Lebanon’s so-called Hezbollah group’s latest enactment of boycotting this year’s Hajj pilgrimage carried on gathering resentment and objection among Shi’ites in Lebanon.

The sect realizes that the decision taken by the party is nothing but a parallel measure backing Iranian stance.

Lebanese MP Amin Wehbi says that a large number of Shi’ites have moved forward with their Hajj pilgrimage for this year, despite the so-called Hezbollah requesting otherwise.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Wehbi said that Hezbollah’s decision is defined as an official politicization of religion, under Iranian request.

He added that the pilgrimage is attended by millions of Muslims from around the world, and that the event being prone to stampedes, no incitation should go about harming the well-being of pilgrims.

The Lebanese politician explained that all Iranian efforts are poured into politicizing the religious event, so it is made available for exploitation and employment into the regime’s totalitarian agenda for the region.

The Lebanon-based Hezbollah group is largely built on local support of Lebanese Shi’ites.

Wehbi adds that Hezbollah, by activating such a sectarian approach- answering to Iranian demands, has overlooked the safety and best interest of all Muslims and Arabs.

The Shi’ite politician said that as Hezbollah takes this very grave move, it will call about deep aftermath within the Lebanese Shi’ite community costing it its support.

Wehbi adds that Shi’ites will never negotiate the obligatory nature of Islam’s fifth pillar, and Hezbollah doing so is rejected by all Lebanese Muslims regardless.

The decision of dropping religious obligation towards Hajj had been announced by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and solely addressed his followers—why would Hezbollah promote for such an approach miles away?said Wehbi.