NNA – Grand Mufti of the Republic, Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian, inaugurated today the fourth general conference of the Arab Clans Union held in the town of Hosh El Harima in the western Bekaa region, at the home of the Union’s Chief, Sheikh Jassem al-Askar, in the presence of the Khaldah, North, Bekaa and Lebanon clans.
In his word, Derian stressed the depth of the relationship between Dar Al-Fatwa and the Arab clans, saying: “We are patriots, Lebanese, Arabs, Muslims…These are the main addresses of Arab clans and their men.”
He added: "You are a basic fabric of this multinational nation, which I consider a jewel with its multiple affiliations that are keen on its unity, devotion, brotherhood, and coexistence among all its sons."
The Mufti stressed in his word that the Arab tribes are part of this pan-Arab ocean, adding, “Let no one think that he can consider us as third-class citizens…You are Lebanese who believe in coexistence and the diversity of this country and its role in its great Arab haven.”
“We live in a time when our country, Lebanon, is on the verge of collapse. Crises follow the nation and the citizens, and no one, no official, or institution has responded to these crises and these problems. How long will the disregard for the future of the nation and its advancement persist? I have reiterated over and over again, in politics you may differ as much as you like, but when it comes to the supreme interests you must unite, for there is no interest that takes precedence over the interest of the homeland, the love of the homeland, the people, their needs and their livelihood,” Derian underscored.
“Lebanon is the country in which we have chosen to live in brotherhood, coexistence and devotion for the nation. We have rights that we preserve, but many in this country do not preserve the rights of the homeland and the Lebanese. We are Arabs in depth and have a large Islamic grouping. We are not a sect. We are a large nation and part of a large nation. Muslims and Christians have participated in the establishment of this country since its foundation; we are part of the equation. For the survival of the country, no one can ignore us or marginalize us, for we are the basis of this country along with the rest of the loyalists. Let no one think that he can undermine the Sunni Muslims, they are patriotic Lebanese who preserve their coexistence before their remaining brothers in Lebanon. This is our Arab identity and Islam is our approach,” the Mufti emphasized.
In reference to the parliamentary elections, Derian said: “Our firm position is that it is imperative that the elections take place on time, and this is a general demand of all the Lebanese…and in the ballot boxes we will resort to our conscience and our patriotism.”
It is to note that Mufti Derian had earlier began his Sunday Bekaa tour by visiting the residence of the late Mufti of Zahle and Bekaa, Sheikh Khalil al-Mays, where he was warmly welcomed by his family, some religious scholars, the mayor of Miskeh and several townsmen.
In his word during the visit, Derian said: "We are accustomed to starting any visit to the Bekaa from this noble home…Our visit today is to recall the achievements he left behind, entrusting them into our hands, and we will preserve this trust and work to develop it."
In response to a question about appointing or electing a mufti for the Bekaa, he replied: "God willing, the procedures are going in full swing, and when appropriate conditions allow, we will hold elections with God's help,” expressing his readiness to welcome anyone chosen by the electoral body without discrimination.