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Lebanon-secular state.

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."
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Publication:The Daily Middle East Reporter (Beirut, Lebanon)
Geographic Code:7LEBA
Date:Mar 1, 2011
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