This post by DaveM is cross-posted from Harry’s Place with kind permission.
Once you step outside Hezbollah’s core constituency …
… you can pretty much split its non-Islamist supporters into two broad camps.
The first group either have absolutely no idea what Hezbollah really stands for or desperately want them to be something else which can be shoehorned into their own ideological framework.
Hezbollah are more than happy to help them out with this and will say all the right things to them in English.
Therefore it’s pretty safe to assume that here the overwhelming majority of this group do not speak or understand Arabic at all.
The other thing that separates this group from the first is that they’re fluent in Arabic because it’s their first language. Which means that it’s virtually impossible for them to pretend Hezbollah is anything other than what it is, i.e. clerical fascists.
(There is of course a third group, which will at certain times allies itself to Hezbollah for strategic reasons. But Walid Junblatt is a whole other story which for reasons of time and space I’d rather not get into right now).
One of these guys is Lebanese MP Nabil Nkoula from Michel Aoun’s (Christian) Change and Reform Bloc who gave an astonishing speech recently at a Hezbollah commemoration on the anniversary of the assassination of their military leader Imad Mugniyah.
Dolly Ghanem LBC studios: “Hezbollah commemorated the anniversary of their leader Imad Mugniyah at the “wisdom” school in Jdeideh, Metn where MP Nabil Nkoula viewed the occasion as similar to the month of Lent for Christians and also considered Jesus a martyr [who fell] against Israel.”
Bissam Abu Ziad LBC Journalist: “Hezbollah reiterated at the ‘wisdom’ school in Jdeideh, Metn that the resistance [i.e. Hezbollah] brought down the logic of war for a undefined period time [meaning the threat from the Israelis is still there]. And also reiterated that any attack or aggression on Lebanon will result in a massive defeat being inflicted on Israel.
At Jdeideh Hezbollah commemorated the anniversary of the deaths of Sheikh Ragheb Harb, Sayyad Abbas Musawi and Haj Imad Mugniyah.
[Christian] MP Nabiil Maqoula spoke saying that the [only] way which preserves our honour is resistance against the enemy.”
MP Nabil Nkoula [Change & Reform Bloc] “This occasion, I consider it to be similar in significance to the month of Lent for Christians which has begun. Therefore this month, in regard to Christians, is also a month of resistance. For the Messiah he resisted the wicked, he resisted the Jews.
So with regard to us, as Christians, we consider that the very first martyr who fell against the Jews was Jesus Christ”.
The rest of the report follows with Aoun’s representative Kareem Habiib saying that the coming victory will change the face and history of the region. And then it’s just the usual Hezbollah stuff.
Unlike as in totalitarian states like Syria, where a speech of this nature would have passed without public criticism, some Lebanese such as theFoundation for Human and Humanitarian Rights have spoken out against it.
The school where the event took place claim that they were led to believe the event was for “Christian-Muslim dialogue” only later finding out that it was actually a Hezbollah event.
How many times has this also happened in the UK where front groups for extremists such as Hamas, Hezbollah and the Iranian regime have held meetings claiming to be ‘interfaith meetings’ and ‘discussion groups’?
Michael Young, opinion editor of the Daily Star takes up the story under the title “Nausea and the Jdeideh incident” (worth reading in full)
“I realize that Hezbollah tends to provoke strange reactions in people, but somehow found myself ill prepared for the statement of the Aounist parliamentarian Nabil Nicolas last Monday at a commemoration held at the St. Joseph school in Jdeideh for three assassinated Hezbollah officials – Imad Mugniyah, Ragheb Harb and Abbas al-Moussawi.
In his speech Nicolas opined, after mentioning Hezbollah’s dead, that Christians considered the “first martyr against the Jews to be Jesus Christ.”
He then compared what had motivated Hezbollah’s martyrs with the Christian impulse to sacrifice, “especially as the Maronites have begun Lent, which is considered the month of resistance by Christians.” His colleague, Camille Habib, Michel Aoun’s spokesman, sounded a similar note, declaring that he hoped that St. Maroun would ensure that “we can get to Jerusalem and beyond, and beyond Haifa,” echoing a statement by Hezbollah’s secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah, during the 2006 war.
Nicolas’ theology was off, as was Habib’s geography, but the real question is whether the Aounists, when they speak in this way, expect us to take them seriously. Indeed, do they expect Hezbollah to take them seriously? In wanting to sound even more like Hezbollah than Hezbollah itself, the Aounists come across as members of a frightened minority, keen to curry favor with the more powerful than they by adopting their rhetoric.”
…So to watch as the Aounists now bend their religious symbolism out of shape to make it more compatible with Hezbollah’s political symbolism is truly nauseating……
…[yet] In its leaders’ oratory Hezbollah never concedes anything on its worldview, even to its allies.
When Nicolas compared Imad Mugniyah to Jesus Christ, the party faithful in the audience must have felt contempt for the Aounist parliamentarian. After all, even Hezbollah does not consider Mugniyah a prophet. What fools we’re friends with, they must have gleefully thought.”
Useful idiots, turns out that it’s not just a Western phenomena by all accounts.
For an example of a British Christian theologian making offensive Hezbollah-Jesus comparisons, see this article.