Posted by: G-AZZI | June 28, 2011

Lebanon is in Danger!

It is not the first time religious authorities try to jeopardize the work of the civil society.

It is not the first time that religious institutions try to hijack the Lebanese society by doing their utmost to influence the legal and the political systems.

The freedom of the association in Lebanon is futile since at any point any religious authority can put an end to any campaign in the name of religion.

Our country is in danger due both to religious leaders as well as political leaders. The latter acting as “protectors” of the different sects will certainly not dare to oppose the relevant religious institutions’ decrees and decisions.

I have often been branded as intolerant to religion. To be honest, I do not care if people believe in unicorns, UFOs or flying green fairies. Personal belief is a private matter that nobody has the right to dictate upon any individual. However, when religion, represented by its corrupted religious authorities, tries to control my life by imposing its absurd rules on me, then I have the right to question these beliefs, and even actively oppose them.

If you believe in human rights and equality, you need to overcome your fear of openly attacking religious authorities. They – just like any and every other citizen – should be held responsible for their decisions, actions, and the ideologies they disperse.

Believing in God does not mean that you should blindly follow what religious figures who represent him on earth say. They are human. They are not infallible. Perhaps it is about high time to question whether or not they really represent the values you believe in.

The relative “freedom” we have in Lebanon is fragile. It can be lost at any given time if we do not put an end to the illegal supremacy of religious institutions that often find it more than acceptable to censor or deny or twist content or events to serve their own purposes.

A draft law presented to parliament asking for the protection of Lebanese women from domestic violence has caused uproar and extreme irrational opposition from religious groups. If something as basic as protection against abuse and violence is that problematic to the religious figures, it makes one wonder… Where does the infringement upon the MOST BASIC personal freedoms stop?

Supporting this campaign could be our first step in demanding our rights as citizens and in our fight to putting an end to the absolute power that religious leaders exercise on our legislators.

For years we have been enduring their censorship, their hatred, and their intolerance; it is time to say that Lebanon is a civil country. It is time to make it clear that although we do not oppose religion and are not asking for its eradication, it just has no place in the creation and setting of our laws. Laws should be secular. Laws should be based on human rights and civil rights, and should be apply to each and every citizen equally, based on their status as human beings, and not on their status as Greek Orthodox, Sunni, Catholic, Shiite, Druze, or any of the 13 other recognized sects within our 10,452 km2.

To support the law and be informed of the next steps, join the Facebook page for the campaign to protect Lebanese women.

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