Berri Calls for International Agreement Banning Attack on Religious Symbolsإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Speaker Nabih Berri reiterated his support on Thursday to the electoral draft law approved by the cabinet, calling for popular protests in the United States and across the world to push towards an agreement that bans any attack on religious symbols.
“Lebanon's salvation is based on the electoral reform that includes the right representations and eases the sectarian tension,” Berri said in remarks published in As Safir newspaper.
The government approved in August a new electoral law based on proportional representation and 13 districts.
On Wednesday, the joint parliamentary committees suspended its session over a lack of quorum when opposition MPs withdrew from the meeting during discussions on the matter.
Concerning the anti-Islam film which sparked furious protests outside U.S. embassies in at least 20 countries, Berri criticized the U.S. Administration for not dealing with the matter in a “different way.”
The U.S. “should have taken swift measures to contain the rage to preserve its interests in the first degree,” the speaker noted.
He called for an organized and meaningful action, inside and outside the U.S., to push towards an international resolution that prevents attacking religions.
The crude low-budget production mocks Islam and portrays the Prophet Mohammed as immoral and violent, while touching on themes of homosexuality and pedophilia.
Asked about the protests that Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah called for across Lebanon following the spread of the anti-Islam film on Internet, Berri described the rally in Beirut's southern suburbs on Monday as “civilized.”
“It should be an example as no security incidents were reported although protesters passed by several American restaurants,” Berri said.
He expressed disappointment at the Arab officials' failure to take any action regarding the “insulting” film, hailing Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour's initiative.
The FM announced on Sunday his will to call for an urgent meeting of Arab foreign ministers to denounce the film.
“He only discussed the possibility of such a meeting and didn't take a decision,” Berri said, denying that President Michel Suleiman lashed out at the FM for his initiative during a cabinet session at the Baabda Palace on Monday.
“Suleiman only demanded some clarifications, voicing his support to his initiative,” he added.