Two writers in AN NAHAR newspaper called Tuesday for replacing
Lebanon's sectarian power-sharing system with a secular system as
the only way to solve the country's chronic political and economic
problems. Both Zayan and Ghassan Hajjar praised Sunday's
demonstration in Beirut by some 4,000 left-wing activists demanding an
end to the country's system, which allotted key government posts
along sectarian lines. AN NAHAR said that the demonstration was similar
to the massive public protests that are currently sweeping some Arab
countries demanding a regime change. Under the headline
"Lebanon's Salvation Lies with Secularism," Zayan said
that while he was following up the demonstration against the sectarian
system, he imagined "a democratic Lebanon with secular Lebanese
belonging to the Constitution, law, order and freedom rather than to
confessions and sects."
"Why don't the Lebanese agree on saving their poor
Lebanon by taking it from the quagmire of sectarianism to the clinic of
secularism where the oxygen of liberation will enter its lungs, heart
and mind?" Zayan asked in his front-page column on Tuesday.
"It is clear that there is no solution for Lebanon's
intractable sectarian complications except by entering the realm of
secularism," he said.
He said that the sectarian system has caused several sectarian wars
in the past years. "Until this moment, we are still revolving in
the same sectarian cycle with the same means, cannons and rockets,"
Zayan added. Zayan stressed that if the Lebanese wanted their country
liberated from the sectarian and confessional pitfalls, "the
inevitable remedy is political secularism and separating religion from
the state as a mandatory step."