Lebanese Sunni Muslim Politicians’ Narratives on the Political and Religious Leadership of the Lebanese Sunnis: Reconstructing Inclusive Political Leadership in Lebanon
In this article, Sunni Muslims politicians’ narratives on the political and religious leadership of the Lebanese Sunnis are examined in an effort to reconstruct inclusive political leadership in Lebanon. The Lebanese Sunnis are primary actors in the Lebanese politics. The significant role played by Sunnis is recognised in the National Pact 1943, which paved the way for Lebanon’s independence from France together with the Taif Agreement, which ended Lebanon’s civil war. The signing of the agreements culminated into the establishment of the confessional political system in Lebanon and enabled the Sunnis to constitute an integral part of that system. However, Lebanon is still saddled with internal political problems worsened by the struggle for influence over Lebanon from external actors. The overlapping between domestic and foreign factors is critical in constructing Sunni narratives on their leadership. Sunni framing constructions suggest that the Sunni leadership is galvanising the Sunni community to serve its own interests. The disempowerment of Sunnis is mainly attributed to the failure of their political and religious leadership. This article, therefore, argues for the reconstruction of inclusive leadership in Lebanon. This will enable the Lebanese actors to delegitimise identity politics and promote national cohesion and stability. It also recommends the establishment of independent electoral commissions, prohibition of foreign funding of political groupings, and dismantling of the confessional political system in Lebanon.
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