A procession of demonstrators heading towards the Place des Canons, March 14, 2005. Photo credit: François el Bacha, all rights reserved.
A procession of demonstrators heading towards the Place des Canons, March 14, 2005. Photo credit: François el Bacha, all rights reserved.

This question is not only of a well-known Lebanese film but a recurring question in the region.

On December 26, 1991, the FIS won the legislative elections in Algeria. On January 25, 2006, Hamas won the elections in Palestine. In both cases, democratic elections resulted in a civil war and were refused by the West despite the fact that observers on the spot considered that they had taken place in accordance with democratic procedures, because of the risks that the results that these elections brought down locally, regionally and even internationally.

These 2 elections and others also seem to demonstrate that democracy, in an Arab country, leads to victories for fundamentalist Islamic parties. We have seen people comment on the presidential elections which took place in a country neighboring Lebanon and which resulted in the re-election of a leader put on the bench of the international community.

Indeed, his regime is not democratic, it is the heir of a regime from which we have all undeniably suffered in Lebanon. This is a given.

However, some scratch things very superficially by failing to go further in the reflection with a simple, non-binary, non-epidermal question, despite a heavy dispute:
What are the alternatives facing us?

Another Islamic regime or another dictator who sooner or later will also wish to control Lebanon. Or should we not prefer a weakened regime which could precisely not pose a major problem in Lebanon, until it can rebuild itself if we had had the intelligence …

The civil war that has unfolded over the past decade seems to rightly prove this recurring problem since the withdrawal of Syrian troops on April 26, 2005.

The fact that the only structured opposition against this regime is that of a radical Islamic opposition, something which, if it may please certain Gulf countries which financed these movements in Algeria as early as 1994 as the Algerian intelligence services accuse him until today in Syria or Libya for example, something which is reminiscent of the words, recently of the Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs today, Charbel Wehbé which was not very diplomatic on the form and therefore wrongly on the manner but rightly according to many on the substance.

This is indeed not in the interest of a large part of its neighbors, religious minorities, Christians or even Yazidi, etc … ethnic minorities like the Kurds, etc … and in the first place it does not is not in the interest of Lebanon, which has been confronted with risks of destabilization like those we have known and which have other consequences and counter-reactions, like those which we have been able to witness.

Those who advocate a change in favor of a fundamentalist Islamic regime are not dhimmis as they accuse others … but an even worse species that advocates the annihilation of minorities, the very annihilation of what makes Lebanon is an exception, that is to say its diversity, because of a binary reasoning, “or with us or against us” to the detriment of the concept inherent in Democracy, that is to say precisely the very idea a diversity of opinions and a debate to arrive at the end of a compromise.

From where especially the emergence also of Islamic movements more radical the ones than the others and the risks of overflow on the whole of the region as one could fear it even for Lebanon at a certain moment but rejected for a simple reason. .

The culture of democracy cannot be improvised overnight. It is an education. It takes a generation or even more than a generation.

It is also in the interest of the international community and in particular of Israel more particularly to avoid having a new Afghanistan by its side. The latter in the end will always end up preferring a current Syrian regime to something else in the end, and having a kind of latent conflict as we have known for some time, order in disorder.

Moreover, no country in the world is ready to occupy another country to establish a democratic system. We will see the American failure in Iraq, we have seen the American failure in Afghanistan. Not to mention the failure of the Lebanese model which is a different subject. And while waiting for this learning to finally take place, we must still be content with the least worse …

“We take an oath, Christians and Muslims, to remain united eternally, in defense of our majestic Lebanon.”

Gébran Tuéni, February 14, 2005

For Lebanon and beyond for the region, it is necessary to arrive at the compromise of a coexistence where no one would take one step on another, a compromise than that formulated by Lebanon, country message according to John Paul II, by the real message unaltered from the oath of March 14, 2005 by Gébran Tuéni, by the Lebanese who can live side by side in peace. Too bad that some who claim to be among them are in reality only prophets to the contrary.

And a question that could be addressed to my readers, what would then be the other way which would be non-dogmatic, non-dangerous, possible and sufficiently coherent?

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