Lebanon’s Shaykh Fadlallah passes away

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un. To God we belong and to Him we return.

In the last few years I was often pleasantly surprised at how often Arab Sunnis would tell me of their admiration for Shaykh Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah despite his Shi’i background. They regarded him as an exceptionally brave Imam and guide who established a number of educational institutes and orphanages and was also a strong advocate of Sunni/Shi’i cooperation. He also understood the importance of ridding the Middle East of its various corrupt US client regimes and establishing governments that were genuinely representative of their people.

It is important to recall that in 1985 Shaykh Fadlallah was the target of a CIA-organised/Saudi-funded assassination attempt which killed over 80 people in Beirut. Remember that the next time you hear some rep from the US government talk about human rights. If the US was sincere in its talk of human rights it should apologise to the people of Lebanon for that terrorist attack.

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17 Responses to Lebanon’s Shaykh Fadlallah passes away

  1. The Count of Monte Cristo in a Bubble Car says:

    Inayat, let me cut to the chase on this one: Fadlallah was the kind of monster whose passing the world has little reason to mourn. Apart from being a terrorist mentor to Hezbollah, he was also a Holocaust denier, a vicious anti-Semite and a thoroughly baleful figure. I know that the Islamist-friendly and cowardly BBC gave him a gushing obituary with the pathetic James Muir making it sound as if Fadlallah was some sort of liberal saintly Mandela figure when in fact he was against any peaceful settlement in the Middle East. It is also a sad reflection on the Islamic world in general when a figure like this is seen as “moderate” or “liberal”.

  2. Count: I can understand why the Israelis and their supporters would be happy about the death of Shaykh Fadlallah but as you will no doubt have seen from the footage from Lebanon, he was very much loved and admired by huge numbers of people in Lebanon. Why do you think that was?

  3. The Count of Monte Cristo in a Bubble Car says:

    Inayat, Adolf Hitler was once loved and admired by huge numbers of people (including the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammad Amin al-Husayni) but that doesn’t mean Hitler was a good person, does it? And now that I’ve come to mention it, Shaykh Fadlallah reminds me somewhat of al-Husayni.

  4. The Israelis and their supporters regularly compare their opponents to Hitler in an attempt to cover up their own record of brutality and racism towards the Palestinians.

  5. Abu Faris says:

    Address the points, Inayat. Grand Ayatollah Fadlallah (I note that you cannot bring yourself to actually use his proper title – despite your nod at non-sectarianism) was a Holocaust denier and spiritual leader to Hizbullah.

    Admit it.

  6. Abu Faris: I meant no disrespect towards Fadlallah – I am happy to refer to him as a Grand Ayatullah. As for the alleged holocaust denial, I have no knowledge of that. I think denying the Nazi holocaust is, in President Obama’s words, ‘baseless, ignorant and hateful.’ You seem to think that him allegedly being a ‘spiritual leader’ of Hizbullah is something to be ashamed of. Hizbullah are an indigenous and immensely popular Lebanese Shi’i movement and they are widely credited with building a very impressive network of essential social services in Lebanese villages and also forcing the withdrawal of the Israelis from Southern Lebanon. That is a badge of honour in my book.

  7. Abu Faris says:

    Have a look at this very revealing obituary, courtesy of Hizbollah’s very own al-Manar TV, Inayat:

    http://www.almanar.com.lb/newssite/NewsDetails.aspx?id=144911&language=en

    I draw your attention to quotes from the Grand Ayatollah himself that are embedded there within.

  8. Are you referring to the part where he talks about Israeli-Nazi collaboration? Because that isn’t really a controversy…I mean it’s really well documented, like Israeli-apartheid SA collaboration. And it’s not really clear what he means by “inflated the victims of the holocaust”, it could be a nod towards some kind of holocaust-skepticism (which would certainly be disappointing and disgusting) but it could also be a nod to the manipulation of jewish suffering for the justification of nationalistic militarism and ethnic cleansing, which is a fair assessment, I think.

    Looking into the history of the portrayal of the holocaust on the world stage, it is simply irresponsible and ignorant to ignore Israel’s role in pushing it into a very particular sphere of the (Western) public consciousness, playing down any angle which does not support the Zionist project. There is a whole lot of literature on this, and it’s really not a difficult thing to begin to see through Israeli national myths like the “Sabra” figure, which carries with it all sorts of hyper-masculinist and militaristic connotations. Not to mention that, again, if you look into Israel’s own history, it was not always a great environment for actual survivors of the shoah. The newly-founded state was very adept at silencing the topic and portraying jews who stayed in Europe as “weak” and somehow complicit with their own destruction. See http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a786933382, I think that’s the right article.

    An honest reaction to the horror of the Nazi genocide is not the displacement of an entire other population of people. There is a lot out there on the impossibility of witnessing and speaking of the shoah in the overly crude and manipulative way pushed by Israel (it’s a nation-state, with a government, and bureaucracy, and people whose job it is to work on this image. how is this not indicative in and of itself that something is wrong, people? israel is not a person. ISRAEL IS A NATION-STATE, and self-interested like any other).

    I want to be careful of not speaking outside of my boundaries as a non-jewish ally to anti-zionist jews, but the most honest reaction I’ve ever come across is this: “never again–for anyone.” FOR THE SAKE of the memory of those lost in the shoah, we cannot let the caprices of a spasmodic imperialist entity monopolise the meaning of tragedy.

  9. Just wanted to follow up, read the full quote here (after the last sentence he says “They say there were six million Jews – not six million, not three million, or anything like that… But the world accepted this [figure], and it does not allow anyone to discuss this.”)

    Pretty gross, and despicable, but I still stand by my original comment with the ammendment that he is clearly treading on some unfortunately too-easily-conspiratorial-and-racist waters here.

  10. Abu Faris: Your attempts to distract from Fadlallah’s achievements seem futile. No-one is arguing that Fadlallah was infallible. Winston Churchill was known to have held some rather racist views about black people, yet that is not what he is chiefly remembered for. Similarly, despite your attempts to smear Shaykh Fadlallah, I think most Muslims will remember him as a brave Imam who taught them to help the needy in society and to stand up firmly against aggressors. The heroic struggle of the Lebanese Islamic resistance fighters to Israel’s murderous bombing campaign and invasion in 2006 owes a lot to the teachings of Shaykh Fadlallah.

  11. Koppers says:

    It amuses when people like Alex Cachinero-Gorman go on about Palestinians being ethnically cleansed (or words to that effect) whilst completely ignoring the fact that most Israeli Jews are descendants of Jews ethnically cleansed from Arab countries.

  12. The Economist also has a decent piece this week about Shaykh Fadlallah’s legacy in Lebanon:

    http://www.economist.com/node/16542798?story_id=16542798

  13. June says:

    It is important to recall that in 1985 Shaykh Fadlallah was the target of a CIA-organised/Saudi-funded assassination attempt which killed over 80 people in Beirut. Remember that the next time you hear some rep from the US government talk about human rights. If the US was sincere in its talk of human rights it should apologise to the people of Lebanon for that terrorist attack.

    Thbat was 25 years ago, and as you pointed out the attempt was FINANCED by Saudi Arabia, Islam’s sacred hreadquarters.

    In the years since, you’ve done your haj, and you did so with a calm peace of mind in a religious-apartheid kingdom that financed the attempt on the good scholar’s life, and yet you haven’t asked them to apologise. Then again, why ask the Saudis to apologise for the lapse in their human rights, when they consistently refuse to even embrace the concept of basic human rights.

    Evidently, you’re a skilled practitioner of the very same hypocrisy you so loudly accuse the kuffur ( U.S.A) of harbouring.

    Genius.

  14. June: The United States is a democracy which is meant to act according to the rule of law. It sorely betrayed its ideals when it allowed the CIA to carry out the 1985 terrorist attack in Beirut which killed over 80 people and I really believe it should apologise for its actions. I see no benefit in asking the Saudi regime to do likewise. It is a vile dictatorship and there is really no point seeking any reform there – a complete overthrow of its corrupt system is necessary.

  15. June says:

    I see no benefit in asking the Saudi regime to do likewise. It is a vile dictatorship and there is really no point seeking any reform there – a complete overthrow of its corrupt system is necessary.

    Saudi Arabia embodies the ultimate expression of islamist theocratic fascism. Like the rest of the Islamic world, it is an imoral quagmire, and utterly beyond any and all chance of reform.

  16. Pingback: Robert Fisk on the risks involved in upsetting ‘you know who’ | Inayat's Corner

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