Lebanon is still suffering since its independence from the French colonization in 1943, whereas its creation was based on confessional distribution and preferences among different Lebanese social classes. Most privileges were given to Christian Maronites, followed by prominent Sunni families while marginalizing large communities such as Shiaa and Druze.
Throughout the years, western countries such as Britain, France and the USA were publicly known to support Christians in ruling Lebanon, while other Arab countries such as Egypt, Iraq and Iran were backing Muslim communities.
This created a feeling of injustice and oppression among deprived factions of the Lebanese population. Many saw the Arab rise of Jamal Abdel Nasser as the perfect opportunity to change the pro-Christian domination in Lebanon and push for a Muslim-Arab governance of Lebanon.
This unfair equation built on religious differentiation rather than solid state laws and political competency was a main factor in the various instabilities that shook Lebanon until its civil war in 1975.
What follows is history. A history that didn’t teach Lebanese people anything with a 15 years civil war that ended without any winner or loser. Worse, the status-quo imposed since 1990 was also set on religious basis, 50% Christian and 50% Muslims.
This worsened things instead of appeasing conflicts, Lebanese are still living in fear and doubt of each other, only relying on their religion and its leaders to protect them.
Nowadays, few Lebanese believe in the idea of a state that could defend them and provide their basic needs. For instance, one always look for help from his religious or community leader rather than the state, which lost in the eyes of people any efficiency and transparency.
This nourished the sentiment of individualism over collectivism in the mind and habits of every Lebanese citizen. Thus, creating a belief that justice, safety and services are obtained through personal connections and favoritism rather than through a state institutions.
Lebanon needs a radical change in its identity, a revamp of the establishment, and an update of laws where most date from the 1950’s. Lebanon should have a solid constitution and laws that are respected and adapted by different factions of the Lebanese political body.
Why would a Christian fear a Muslim president if he’s respecting the constitution?
Why would a Muslim fear a Christian prime minister if he’s applying the law?
This strategy of fear was well-exploited throughout the years by political and religious figures, letting every Lebanese fear of other religions, and dream of a better tomorrow while making sure he lives in denial of his pathetic present life.
The question is, where do we go from now?