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Sheikh kabalan criticizes summit as devoid of Islamic values--Imposing opinions prior to consensus.

--Sheikh Kabalan Criticizes Summit as Devoid of Islamic Values

--Imposing Opinions Prior to Consensus

Vice-president of the Higher Shiite Islamic Council Sheikh Abdel-Amir Kabalan explained his objections to the Muslim-Christian spiritual summit held on Thursday in Bkirki, calling it devoid of Islamic values and saying it is unacceptable to impose a consensus prior to understanding and dialogue, the influential Beirut daily AN NAHAR reported on Saturday. "It is not permissible to impose a consensus prior to understanding and dialogue. Also, surprisingly, these meetings were devoid of values upheld by Islam, its prophet, and the Koran." Kabalan was criticizing what he viewed as an attempt, in the issuance of the communique, to ignore Hizbullah's role in the resistance against Israel without prior approval from all parties attending the summit. Following Thursday's meeting he issued a statement rejecting articles 6 and 7 of the summit's final communique. In reference to Article 6 of the Bkirki communique, Kabalan demanded the phrase which called for the "state's right to liberate territories occupied by Israel" replace "Lebanon" with "state." (See MER 13/5/2011)

Kabalan on Friday instead urged "unity, cooperation, and love" to lead the Arab and Muslim nation "away from hatred and strife." He said that "violence does not serve the national issues" and that "Lebanon is a country of love and peace and is in need of recognition of this to protect its land, serve its people, secure its border, liberate its territories, and preserve its sovereignty and independence."

A much anticipated meeting was held in Bkirki on Thursday, hosted by the newly appointed Patriarch Beshara al Rai, in attempts to foster ties among the various religious communities and defuse political and sectarian tensions in the country as Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati attempts to form a cabinet following the government's collapse in January. Kabalan's objection to the communique dashed hopes that the meeting would succeed in bridging ties between Lebanon's communities and instead ended on a divisive note.
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Publication:The Weekly Middle East Reporter (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:May 14, 2011
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