Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hezbollah-Salafist MOU frozen

Daily Star - Politics - Salafist groups 'freeze' agreement with hizbullah
The ink hardly dried on the MOU before the Sunni signatory started to back away from it. The document has now been frozen for careful study, and it may not be quickly thawed.

What might have been a significant coup by Hezbollah has become an embarrassment. Shaikh Dai' al-Islam al-Shahhal, said the agreement was one-sided and gave Hezbollah too much.

The MOU was greeted by a very sarcastic editorial--"To Hezbollah--Praise the Lord"--al-Mustaqbal ridiculed Hezbollah, which previously said there was not a problem with the Sunni agreement, for now embracing a document intended to mitigate Sunni-Shi'i animosity. The editorial also reiterated the Future Movement's bill of particulars against Hezbollah, the incurson into West Beirut on May, the closing down of downtown for a year and a half, the close of parliament, etc.

In my earlier post I noted that the MOU seemed to come as a surprise to Saad al-Din al-Hariri. That has now been confirmed. Hariri has distributed a lot of money in the Sunni community, including to Salafi groups, and one has to assume that he has been reeling in his clients. He would want to deny Hezbollah coup de theater that it sought, as well as to thwart a divide and conquer strategy by the Shi'i party.

Other Sunni reaction:
Jama'a al-Islamiyya.

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