Itani: The Beirut Bombings Reflect the Minority Trap of the Levant

Rafik Hariri Center Resident Fellow Faysal Itani writes for The Huffington Post on the Beirut bombings and the tragedy of the Lebanese Shiites:

It was a matter of time before residents of Dahiyeh, the Hezbollah-controlled suburb of Beirut, Lebanon were bombed again. Thursday, after nearly two years of quiet, suicide bombings claimed by the Islamic State reportedly killed 43 people and wounded hundreds of others.

The mass murder of innocents is obscene of course, but there is a larger tragedy at play: that of the Lebanese Shiites, trapped by a sectarian militia that they can neither abandon nor live with. Indeed, their plight is eerily similar to that of the Syrian Alawites fighting to protect their sectarian leader, Syrian President Bashar Assad, in a war he started without their permission. These perverse relationships between embattled minorities and their leaders in a hostile Sunni environment explain a great deal about the intractability of the Syrian conflict.

Read the full article here.

Related Experts: Faysal Itani

Image: People light candles during a vigil on Nov. 13 at the site of the two explosions that occurred a day earlier in the southern suburbs of the Lebanese capital Beirut. (Reuters/Hasan Shaaban)