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News Categories » SECRETARY-GENERAL » Speech-Reports » Reports-2006

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Sayyed Nasrallah calls on European parliaments to issue laws banning insults
Source: Daily Star, 10-02-2006

Heading a march by hundreds of thousands of Shiite Muslims in Lebanon on Thursday, Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said U.S. President George W. Bush and his secretary of state should "shut up" after they accused Syria and Iran of fueling protests over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.

Addressing some half a million Shiites who turned up despite bad weather to commemorate Ashoura, Nasrallah urged Muslims around the world to keep up the protests as long as no apology has been received for the offence.

"Defending the prophet should continue all over the world. Let Condoleezza Rice and Bush and all the tyrants shut up. We are an Islamic nation that cannot be silent when they insult our prophet or our sacred beliefs."

"Today, we are defending the dignity of our prophet with a word, a demonstration but let Bush and the arrogant world know that if we have to, we will defend our prophet with our blood, not our voices," Nasrallah said, drawing heavy applause from the crowds.
The head of Lebanon`s resistance party also said there would be no compromise until a Danish apology is served, and media laws prohibiting the insult of Muslim religious sanctities are passed around Europe.

"We want European parliaments to draft laws that ban newspapers from insulting the Prophet. If they don`t do this, it means they intend to go on insulting our beliefs," he said.

The demonstration, which takes place annually to commemorate the death of Imam Hussein, the prophet`s grandson and a Shiite religious figure, had in fact become an emotional but peaceful protest against cartoons depicting the Prophet.
Unlike a protest on Sunday that turned violent after rioters burned down the Danish Consulate building and destroyed public and private property, there were no signs of violence in the march in Beirut`s southern suburb, a Hizbullah stronghold - despite the high turnout of people, estimated by Hizbullah at more than 700,000.

Some of the slogans carried in the massive crowds read "Nation of Mohammad don`t accept!" in reference to the caricatures, and "What will there be after the insults?"
However, Nasrallah condemned Sunday`s riots, and said everyone who took part in them "must be punished."

Nasrallah also saluted residents of the Christian Achrafieh neighborhood, where the riots took place, "for restraining and not retaliating."
But he said that Sunday`s riots should not be blamed on "outsiders."
"Not every time something like this happens do we blame someone from the outside," he said, referring to the March 14 forces` accusations against Syria. "Sunday`s riots were demonstrations that went wrong, and those who did this wrong should be punished. No more, no less. Let the government take responsibility."

Nasrallah also addressed the internal political situation in the country, saying that the national dialogue, "called for by Speaker Nabih Berri should be initiated."
"Whether they want it to take place inside Parliament, inside the Cabinet or over a round table gathering all Lebanese political factions, we are ready," he said.
He also criticized March 14 Forces, and accused them of "placing the country on top of a volcano."

"They are the ones in power, and still, they are the instigating panic in the country," he said. "They should be more accurate in their accusations and assumptions," Nasrallah added, in reference to a statement issued by the March 14 Forces last Monday in which they claimed Jordanian and Syrian extremists were infiltrating Lebanese borders to train in north Lebanon with the help of some pro-Syrian Lebanese figures.
Investigations into the claims could not establish the presence of such radical groups, acting Interior Minister Ahmad Fatfat later declared.

The head of Hizbullah, which just signed a pact with MP Michel Aoun`s Free Patriotic Movement - forming the country`s undeclared majority - also mocked the March 14 Forces, who form Parliament`s majority, labeling it as "imaginary."
"Lebanon is a country that cannot, and should not, be governed in the sense of majority and minority ... especially if its (parliamentary) majority is an imaginary and proportional one," Nasrallah said.

The Hizbullah leader also reasserted the party`s commitment to defend Lebanon against "Israeli" aggressions, and to free the remaining Lebanese detainees in "Israeli" prisons.
"We are working on making this year the year to free our brothers in "Israeli" detention. Samir Kantar and his friends, which will in turn pave way to free our Syrian and Jordanian brothers detained in "Israeli" prisons," Nasrallah said.

Nasrallah also called on Libya to release Imam Moussa Sadr, a Lebanese Shiite figure who disappeared in Libya during the Lebanese civil war.

"Libya has only one choice, to release Imam Sadr and his companions," he said. "The recent verdict by an Italian court saying that Imam Sadr had actually entered Italian territories is a political declaration. Why did they deny his entrance 26 years ago and then change their declaration now?" Nasrallah exclaimed. "We know Italy was paid by Libya to issue this political declaration," he said.

Sadr, the founder of the Amal Movement, disappeared during a trip to Libya 26 years ago. Libya claims the Imam left its territories, heading for Italy. At the time, Italy rebuffed the claim.

04-01-2008 | 12:57

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