The legitimacy we believe in
Sayyed Fadlullah: We, in Lebanon, hear
sometimes statements about giving legitimacy to a certain party, if it
accepts certain commitments. We refuse this logic and believe that man's
legitimacy in his country is not built on slogans and speeches. It is
rather based on his loyalty to the country that is materialized in
defending and protecting it against all threats and against the maneuvers
of regional and international players.
Asked in his weekly seminar the following question:
How do you view legitimacy from the Islamic perspective?
The Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah, said:
There are many meanings of the concept of legitimacy,
depending on the different domains of politics, society or religion.
There is first the religious legitimacy, which is
based on the adherence to the values, principles and teachings of
religion. In many cases certain religious groups appropriate the concept
of legitimacy and monopolize it accusing the other groups of disbelief
and creating persecution.
We believe that there are a number of constants which
no legitimacy could be established if they are not observed, yet there is
a large room for judgment and multiple viewpoints in which no one can
claim to be solely legitimate.
There is another kind of legitimacy known as
"international legitimacy" which is based one way or another on the
religious legitimacy, since the principles it is based on have been
derived from the heavenly messages which made justice its goal, as well
as the freedom of belief. It also refused to coerce anybody to believe in
religion, and considered seeking knowledge, as one of the duties man
Islam acknowledges all the treaties and agreements
that are based on the right and justice and that aim to serve man
regardless of its source.
The Prophet(p.) acknowledged Hilf Al-foudoul
that was agreed on in Jahilliya, the time of ignorance before
Islam was revealed, for it protected the rights of the weak , and said:
"If I were called for a similar pact I would have accepted.” We too
accept all international treaties, pacts and charters that are based on
the same values, and call on Muslims through their institutes, and based
on their rich intellectual heritage especially in the fields of
jurisprudence and law, to take an active role in all international
institutions and conferences that deal with human rights to present to
the world a bright image of Islam that respects freedoms and opens up on
the other. They should emphasize that Islam does not accept any
aggression against others whatever their religious or racial identities
might be. They should also stand against the arbitrariness in applying
the principles of international legitimacy that the arrogant world is
turning into a sword that appropriates the right of self – determination
and resisting occupation… etc.
We believe that the main element in the issue of
legitimacy, any legitimacy, lies in building man and protecting him from
all threats and aggressions, on the basis that laws were made to serve
man, and not for hurting him, leading to this duality we witness in
international politics and UN resolutions.
Based on this principle, we believe that the presence
of nuclear weapons is something religiously unlawful in the first place.
It threatens mankind by destruction. Then again, if it is the right of
the super powers to protect themselves against the possession of any
small group of the bomb, it is more so that the small countries should
protect themselves. That is why we call for a world free from nuclear and
mass destruction weapons.
We ask the superpowers which some of their top
officials are threatening to use nuclear weapons: Who gave you the right
to possess these weapons and what legitimacy allows you to threaten to
use them, and what logic gives you the right to prevent the others even
to think of having such a weapon while your military arsenals are packed
with thousands? And if we were to assume that you have the right to
object based on your suspicions that a certain country is thinking of
making nuclear weapons as in the Iranian case, why do you then ignore the
other countries that possess these weapons, like Israel that consists a
threat to the Arab and Muslim world and to the international peace as
evident by the survey of the EU commission.
What is happening nowadays is that the countries that
claim to abide by international law and legitimacy, are the first to
violate this law when it does not suit their interests. And that is why
they give themselves the right to wage wars and topple regimes, as well
the right of interpreting the law in accordance to their interests, or
forcing other states to realize arrogant plans or desires… We have seen
how America categorizes those who have opposed her politically as rogue
states or dumped them in the axis of evil.
But if want to study what is going on in the world we
will see that the US is the real rouge state. And that there is no axis
of evil if it is not the American-Israeli one.
We, based on our juristic religious capacity, call on
the Muslims and Arab peoples, the nations of the world and all free
vanguards as well as the unbiased political and research institutions, to
make all efforts to save the international law from the continuous
arrogant aggressions and violations of the arrogant powers who believe
that their interests are above anything else.
We, in Lebanon, hear sometimes statements about giving
legitimacy to a certain party, if it accepts certain commitments. We
refuse this logic and believe that man's legitimacy in his country is not
built on slogans and speeches. It is rather based on his loyalty to the
country that is materialized in defending and protecting it against all
threats and the maneuvers of regional and international players.
We advise against indulging in the game of taking away
legitimacy from groups or individuals on the basis of momentary political
gains, and call for ending the game of exchanging accusations that has
produced a political and cultural color blindness. We believe that the
only alternative is a serious dialogue whose aim is protecting the
country from foreign interference and personal ambitions that played a
major role in putting the country on the verge of collapse.