The Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad
Hussein Fadlullah, said:
The meaning of
citizenship is belonging to the country and the duties and
responsibilities that come with it towards the homeland. But
it is not merely a commitment towards the land; it rather
involves all the dimensions that the concept implies.
Yet the value
of the homeland or the land is measured by how much it
secures for the citizen a space to live in both physically
and spiritually… How much freedom it gives to the citizen to
introduce his thoughts to others and make a healthy future
for himself and his country. Citizenship is the basis of
man's relations with the political system and the state,
regardless of all other considerations whether religious,
racial or political… Each citizen is equal to the others in
all the rights and duties he is entitled to. Therefore, the
sectarian regime kills the concept of citizenship turning
the homeland into heterogeneous sectarian states, and the
people into divided and hateful fanatic individuals.
The concept of
citizenship has failed to be adopted in our country, despite
all what we talk about in our political discourse. This
prospect was the result of considering the mentality of
division as sacred: We did not try to find the common
factors that join it. Instead, each group went back to its
sectarian trenches, seeking protection for itself only. We
could have all found mutual guarantees if we sought to cling
to the common factors that are based on the concept of
citizenship that bonds us together.
we sought to rid the country of political confessionalism
which has been well guarded by foreign and regional powers,
we would have eliminated all elements of division that these
powers are making every effort to cement.
We have spent
decades cursing the arrogant West, or certain individual
countries accusing them of being responsible of dividing us
into countries and sates. Yet even these states are now
threatened as we have lost any felling of belonging to them,
and bean to feel that we only belong to sects. Such a tribal
attitude prevents us of being equal before the laws and
consequently provides a safe haven for all forms of
corruption and plunder.
believe that we need a real cultural revolution that changes
the prevailing mentality and portrays the image of a modern
state that is based on the principle of giving and taking,
and not this confessionalist mentality that has even invaded
the political parties and movements which gains supporters
on confessional grounds, thus preventing any kind of
criticism for their practices.
If we want to
build the country, we ought to build an institutional state
that is based on the principle of citizenship in which each
individual is equal to all others before the law. This can
only reached through the emergence of new youth leaders who
have not been educated on sectarian attitudes, and who are
sincerely looking for ways to build the future… Leaders who
do not live the mentality of hatred towards the other,
whoever he might be.
individual protection by resorting to the sects will only
deepen the existing divisions, which we are in a dire need
to put on end to.
accept the existing social and political pluralism that
paves the way for a mutual understanding through
constructive dialogue that aims at a general consensus on
how to build the citizen, this nation and the state.