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Hezbollah’s Prisoner of Conscience

As the trial of Sheikh Hassan Mchaymech continues, his support grows.

12:14 PM, May 18, 2012 • By LEE SMITH
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Yes, political authority is imperative in life, but it should be based on legitimacy. Muslims—Sunnis and Shias—should not base their powers on a legitimacy extracted from the Quran and Hadith. Indeed, these sources have remained quiet; they have not revealed anything explicit or specific that elucidates the concept of authority. For every topic about which Allah remains silent and does not reveal His judgment, it is clear that the matter should be referred to reason. The wise have sought to interpret such matters according to their best interests. Moreover, the vast majority of human beings on Earth—believers or non-believers, Muslims or non-Muslims—have reached a similar understanding unanimously, according to law and reason, that no human being has the right to practice political authority in any society unless they have gained the consent and approval of the society through free elections. This political competition for authority should be honest and free, completely removed from all means of coercion, force and restraint. The legitimacy of such authority ends with the term specied by the electoral law. Authority is bound to society and vice-versa through a contract based on the terms and conditions expressed in the constitution.


This is the era of the State. Thus, it is unreasonable for a society believing in the concept of the modern State to accept the monopolization of their defense by a single group outside the State’s approval. In other words, it is inappropriate to call a State a State if the choice of war and peace is not in its own hands.

Hezbollah, with its Syrian patrons scrambling for their lives and the Islamic Republic of Iran perhaps at last cornered by the international community, is facing problems on every front. It seems that the most dangerous might be within its own Shia constituency, which as Hassan Mchaymech puts it, has been ill served by this totalitarian organization. 

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