After nearly 29 years on the implementation of the federation of sects which started in 2013 with the Orthodox Gathering electoral Law, strong voices are reappearing again calling for the “correction of the injustice” that some minorities within the same big sects still face.
These minorities include the Maronites living outside Mount Lebanon, Shiites living outside the South and Bekaa, and Sunnis outside Beirut and the North. Their concerns revolve around their feeling of being third grade citizens within their big sects. These feelings led to the formation of extremist organisations like MMMM (Maronites Mad Max Man), MWSJ (the Military Wing of the Shiite of Jbeil) and DMB (Druze Militia of Beirut). Also, Sunnis show relatively more severe disintegration than other sects with another dimension of the clash being between the four main religious doctrines: Maliki, Shafi’i, Hanafi, and Hanbali.
Other minorities like Alawites, Protestants, Ismailis and Assyrians have actually gone extinct mainly through emigration or conversion to other powerful sects in the system. The votes of these type of minorities were always severely unequal in comparison to the votes of the big sects which control the majority of the MPs and state appointments. In the last election in 2041 for example, the only Protestant MP was elected by 7 votes only; it turned up they come from the same family which was tempted to stay as it seemed easy to get a member of them to be a MP.
At the moment, the country is going through an unstable period with the MMMM resuming their violent operations against fellow Maronites “from the centre”. The Shiite president and Maronite Prime Minister have unusually met this week to discuss the situation. They called for dialogue again implying the need for a new “correction” by referring to the last “correction” in the system that took place in 2029 when the presidency was handed over to the Shiite of the South in return to dropping their heavy arms.
The leaders have also called for the different minorities within the sects to change their regional profiles to help alleviate the feel of injustice. An Israeli company has appointed for that purpose with a remit to produce strategic settlement plans mainly gathering all Maronites and Druze in Mount Lebanon, Sunnis in North, Shiites in South and the Catholics in Zahleh. Others will be allocated plots in the rest of Bekaa after the consultation with Syria. Beirut is expected to be declared as a Lebanese Zone under an international mandate with a requirement for a permit to enter, work, settle or expand any existing settlement.
Other similar cracks are showing in the civil society and its organisations. The Druze doctors in Mount Lebanon for example called for the implementation of the law as some local Shiite patients are still mistakenly turning up at their clinics doors. Also, some Orthodox residents in Hermel in Bekaa are complaining they can’t find any Orthodox buyers for their properties as the law stipulates too.
The Catholics are also demanding the construction of a new airport in Zahleh similar to the Maronites in Jounieh, Sunnis in Tripoli and Druze in Chouf. The need for new airports with their dedicated roads became critical when the Shiites took over Beirut Airport in 2027 changing its name to Abu Al-Fadil Al-Abaas International Airport – which is handy if you want to fly direct to Bint Jbeil, Iran, Iraq and Venezuela.
It’s unclear how the crisis will end and what the rest of the 2042 will hold to us, but many observers believe that the rate of the system downfall was accelerated by spreading the disease and allowing each sect to elect its MPs in 2013.