Hezbollah slammed for unveiling Soleimani monument in Lebanon

A man carries a child holding a picture of the late Iran’s Quds Force top commander Qassem Soleimani during a rally in Beirut, on Sunday. (Reuters)
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Updated 17 February 2020

Hezbollah slammed for unveiling Soleimani monument in Lebanon

  • Former Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi said: “The establishment of the Soleimani Monument in the south has nothing to do with the confrontation with Israel, but rather with the assertion of Iran’s mandate over Lebanon”

BEIRUT: Hezbollah on Saturday unveiled a monument to Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by a US drone strike on Jan. 3.
The monument, on a hill in the southern Lebanese border town of Maroun Al-Ras, has been widely criticized on social media and by Lebanese politicians opposed to Hezbollah. “Are we in Lebanon or Iran? Why insist on changing the identity of Lebanon,” tweeted May Chidiac, former minister for administrative development.
“Every day, Hezbollah asserts that it is a branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards … not (a) Lebanese (party).”
Former Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi said: “The establishment of the Soleimani Monument in the south has nothing to do with the confrontation with Israel, but rather with the assertion of Iran’s mandate over Lebanon.” He added: “The (Iranian) Quds Forces did not fight

HIGHLIGHT

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani arrived in Beirut to meet with senior Lebanese leaders.

for Jerusalem, but rather destroyed Syria and Iraq and transformed Lebanon into a failed state.” Meanwhile, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah on Sunday called for a boycott of American goods and for “resistance” throughout the Arab and Islamic worlds.  His remarks came as Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani arrived in Beirut to meet with senior Lebanese leaders.
Larijani had come from Syria, where he met with President Bashar Assad and reiterated Tehran’s support for Damascus.
Nasrallah appeared on a screen at a gathering that Hezbollah had organized in southern Beirut to mark 40 days since the US drone strike that killed Soleimani and the deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.


Egypt to ban Ramadan gatherings to counter spread of coronavirus

Updated 47 min 20 sec ago

Egypt to ban Ramadan gatherings to counter spread of coronavirus

  • Egypt will ban any gatherings and public iftars

CAIRO: Egypt will ban any public religious gatherings during the holy Muslim fasting month Ramadan starting in around two weeks to counter the spread of the new coronavirus, a government statement said on Tuesday.
Muslims usually break the fast at sunset together with their families, go to the mosque to pray and spend maximum time with relatives.
But with health experts recommending social distancing measures during the global coronavirus crisis, Egypt will ban any gatherings and public iftars, or fast-breaking meals, as well as collective social activities, the ministry of Islamic endowments said in a statement.
Typically mass iftars are held for poor people.
The ban will also apply to the seclusion of Itikaf when Muslims spend the last 10 days of the month in mosques to pray and meditate, the ministry said.
Egypt has reported more than 1,300 confirmed cases of the coronavirus with more than 250 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.
Egypt is home to some 100 million people and also the seat of the Al-Azhar university, Egypt’s highest religious authority and one of the world’s most eminent seats of Sunni Muslim learning.
Ramadan will start around April 23 depending on the sighting of the moon marking the start of the month.
Egypt already last month ordered mosques and churches to shut their doors to worshippers. Prayer calls are broadcast via loudspeakers.