Lebanese group calls for secular state

New organisation seks to create a civil state in LebanonThe Saily Star, Lebanon reports that “more than 100 intellectuals, political figures and academics met on Tuesday…to launch an initiative aimed at spearheading political change and abolishing confessionalism [system of government that distributes political and institutional power proportionally among religious communities] in Lebanon. The new program, known as the “Civil Center for National Initiative,” calls for the formation of an “intellectual and practical initiative” to lay a foundation for a “Lebanese civil state which does not incite hatred toward any sect or religion, nor reject any religious sect,” according to an inaugural statement read at the meeting.

…The inaugural statement…stressed respect for the legal system and the adoption of a new set of laws.

New laws must be “humanist and secular, since the only other alternative – religious law – cannot be applied without marginalizing certain segments of society,” the statement said. 

“The current confessional political system in Lebanon is no longer viable,” according to the center’s founding members. They proposed that the system be replaced by a civil state promoting equality among citizens without infringing on individual religious freedoms.

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