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Sfeir remarks on Hizbullah draw Shiite furor.

Byline: Daily Star Staff

Summary: Shiite religious figures hit back on Friday to accusations made by Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir that Hizbullah was serving Iran's interests over Lebanon's, saying their weapons helped liberate the south from Israeli occupation.AaSheikh Afif Naboulsi, the head of the south Lebanon Ulama Association, stressed on Friday that Hizbullah's weapons liberated Lebanese rather.

BEIRUT: Shiite religious figures hit back on Friday to accusations made by Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir that Hizbullah was serving Iran's interests over Lebanon's, saying their weapons helped liberate the south from Israeli occupation.AaSheikh Afif Naboulsi, the head of the south Lebanon Ulama Association, stressed on Friday that Hizbullah's weapons liberated Lebanese rather than Iranian territories that were under Israeli occupation.Aa

"Are the lands liberated by Hizbullah, Lebanese or Iranian territories?" Naboulsi asked. "[Does] the patriarch consider that most of the land being liberated by the party is Iranian territory and does not belong to the Lebanese people or state?Aa

"Weapons and democracy can't coexist, nor can the majority and the minority meet in one government," Sfeir said in remarks to be published by the weekly al-Massira magazine on Saturday.Aa

The patriarch said some domestic parties were relying on foreign powers to make parliamentary and ministerial gains, adding that Hizbullah served the interests of Iran's more than those of Lebanon.Aa

Similarly, Sheikh Ahmad Qabalan said on Friday, in response to Sfeir but without naming him, that Hizbullah fighters deserve medals of honor for serving Lebanon.Aa

"Those who talk about a majority that rules and a minority that opposes and make accusations against Hizbullah should be aware that those who shed blood for Lebanon's honor and the dignity of the Lebanese deserve medals of belonging and loyalty," Qabalan said.Aa

Also, Baalbek-Hermel MP Marwan Fares said Sfeir had adopted Washington's outlook and taken sides with the March 14 coalition. -- The Daily Star

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Oct 31, 2009
Words:331
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