With the aggression on Lebanon turning its second month, many observers and those concerned with the Lebanese affairs ask if the resistance could withstand the Israeli aggression and whither the storm in general. Owing to this and other questions, Ikhwanweb conducted an interview with Sheikh Faisal Molawy the secretary general of the Lebanese Islamic Group (the Muslim Brotherhood offshoot in Lebanon). The interview ran as follows:
Q: Fatwas were recently issued prohibiting the backing the Shiite Hizbullah, what is the position of Islam toward this issue?
A: The Shiite Hizbullah is launching a fierce battle with the Zionist enemy on behalf and in the name of the Nation, so fighting shoulder to shoulder with it is a religious duty on any competent Muslim, and backing it is a duty on all Muslims (Sheikh Faisal Molawi had earlier this month published a fatwa in which he highlighted the duty of all Muslims to back the Hizbullah resistacne)
Q: What is the nature of relation between the Islamic Group and Hizbullah?
A: It is that of a coordination and cooperation especially in the area of our conflict with the Zionist enemy.
Q: Are there members from the Islamic Group within the ranks of the Islamic resistacne?
A: At the border areas there are many villages and towns inhabited by thousands of Sunni people, and the Islamic Group is omnipresent in these areas, so it is ordinary that our youth there fight shoulder by shoulder with the Islamic resistacne to defend their towns and villages.
Q: Some criticize the weak effect of the Islamic Group in Lebanon, what do you think of this opinion?
A: The Lebanese Islamic Group lacks effective media performance, added to this the media blockade imposed on it which is still on, even to some extent. However, we can do better if we tackle the shortcomings in our performance and the media blockade on us comes to end, two obstacles which overshadow the real existence and effect of the group.
Q: How far is the Iranian and Syrian influence on the Lebanese political life?
A: Lebanon has 18 sects, and Iran has ordinary contacts with the Shiite sect, which has its influence on the political arena. Likewise, Syria has contacts with large brackets of the Lebanese citizens who live in Lebanon by virtue of intermarriages, relationships and economic interests, in addition that it is in touch with some national and Islamic parties, which earns it a significant influence on the political arena. This influence hasn’t stopped even after the exit of the Syrian army from Lebanon. Besides, there are connections between the Sunni and a large number of circles in the Arab and Islamic governments and people. However, the political influence is that weak due to the disharmony among these Arab and Islamic governments. When it comes to the Christian brackets in general, many of them have so many connections with the West, mainly Europe and the US. Given the great international influence of these Western states, these communications give way for them to hold sway on the Lebanese political arena. All this makes the Lebanese political arena torn between the local forces powers on one hand and the regional and international ones on the other.
Q: What is the reality of the tragic situation in Lebanon?
A: There are about 1000 martyrs, about 3000 wounded, and about one million displaced people, in addition to the wholly or partially destruction of about 70000 housing units as well as the infrastructure including the airport, power plants and bridges..etc.
Q: How steadfast is the Lebanese domestic front especially amid the conflicting affiliations of the Lebanese political forces
A: As regards the domestic front, it is a steadfast one. While the political disputes could emerge after the end of the war, we affirm that the victory achieved by the resistacne, however, will change the face of the political equation in Lebanon.
Q: To what extent can Hizbullah withstand the confrontation with Israel?
A: It is clear that the Israeli military capabilities help Israel to kill as many civilians and destroy as many civilian structures as it wishes, but it will not break the resistacne. I believe that Hezbollah’s ability to hold fast will instill despair within the Israeli forces, especially that they only hit civilian sites and people, earning them both disappointment, as they haven’t reached Hizbullah resistacne men, and discontent of the international community due to its brutalities against civilians. I also believe that Israel will eventually resort to the negotiation table after its military force as well as the American political pressures has failed to dictate its conditions on the Lebanese people.
Q: What is the social and charity role of the Islamic Group especially at this juncture?
A: The Islamic Group in Lebanon formed a committee for emergency and relief to receive the displaced from other areas including provision of food, medicine and accommodation for them. The committee said that it provides direct aid from the group’s establishments to 14.564 evacuees, and that it, along with other establishments, caters for another 47.400 evacuees. It said that it handed out 6.329 blankets and catered for 243.750 hot meals until the end of July, and distributed 13.375 supply items to the families of the evacuees in addition to detergents estimated at about 3.710 pieces and packets. The group follows up its activities through seven ambulances and two mobile hospitals, besides the constant hospitals sponsored by the group which treated 22.879 emergency cases and 12.915 chronic ones. The group receives donations through Al Baraka Bank- Head Office-bank account No. 4877. The group also participates with other societies and establishments in relief works and all the humanitarian bodies agreed to cooperate and coordinate with the Beirut- based Islamic Missionary Centre. All these humanitarian bodies receive donations at the account affiliated to the Centre which is 5376- Relief- Islamic Missionary Centre- Baraka Bank Head Office- Beirut.
Q: Is there coordination between the Islamic Group and other parties including the Communist Party?
A: Coordination continues between the group and most Lebanese parties. As regards the Lebanese Communist Party, we have no special coordination with it but through the Islamic and National Parties Gathering.