Some salafists are different from others pt. 2

‘”He doesn’t really have any religious values they share,” said Sheik Bilal Said Chabaan, one of the few Sunni clerics in Tripoli aligned with Hariri’s opponents. “But they’re getting money and benefits.” One cleric likened the alliance to the marriage of convenience between pro-business Republicans and the Christian right in America. “It’s the same here,” said Khaled Daher, a leader of the Islamic Gathering, a Salafist political group that strongly backs Hariri. “We see Hariri and the Future Movement as the best political movement on the ground for now.” Salafists have long been a factor in Lebanon, but were cowed into silence during Syria’s military occupation of the country, which ended in 2005 in the weeks after the assassination of the elder Hariri.'(…) But Hariri supporters say it’s unfair to judge the Salafists based on their reputation as would-be terrorists or political tools in other countries. “The Salafists we have in Tripoli have voiced their interests in being part of the republic, part of the state, which is unlike the Salafists in other places,” the Future Movement’s Allouch said. “As long as they accept to be part of the state and work peacefully in partnership with others, there’s no problem with forming a coalition.”‘

And of course the salafists of Tripoli have absolutely no links with the salafists of Fatah al-Islam who were fighting the LAF five miles away in Nahr al-Bared last year, and there is consequently absolutely no chance that the bags of dollars Hariri and co lavished on those salafists for shortsighted electoral purposes ended up buying the weapons that killed 100-plus Lebanese soldiers… And all the assassinations and attacks since 2005 were perpetrated by the Syrians, absolutely no salafists involved, whatever they themselves may claim. Life can be simple, if you look through the right glasses…

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