For and against: Should Hezbollah be in Syria?

Hezbollah fighters

The Muslim world has been polarized by the destructive conflict in Syria which has left up to 100,000 dead, created millions of refugees and torn communities apart.

The sectarian nature of the war and the involvement of many foreign actors has had ripple effects across the Muslim world and indeed among diaspora communities, including in Britain. Sectarianism has been the major by-product.

The military momentum seems to be moving in favour of Bashar al Assad and his allies, which include Lebanese group Hezbollah, which was once feted throughout the ummah for its steadfast resistance against Israel.

But Hezbollah’s involvement in the recent battle of Qusair has completely divided opinions. Some Muslims have hailed it as a great victory against western-sponsored imperialism and “takfirism,” others say that Hezbollah has now lost its legitimacy in much of the Muslim world.

5 Pillarz does not take any editorial line on events in Syria. The people who work on this website have differing opinions, as do the contributors who write for us.

But we don’t want to ignore an issue that everyone has on their minds. So here we try to explain the major arguments for and against Hezbollah’s position for our readers’ edification.

ARGUMENTS AGAINST HEZBOLLAH

Hezbollah has become an oppressor

Hezbollah has transformed from a defender against Israeli aggression to an oppressor of sunni Syrians. It has made an alliance with the criminal Bashar al Assad and his thugs to perpetrate aggression against the Syrian people.

Hezbollah has betrayed its Islamic principles

How can a group that claims to follow the teachings of Islam ally itself with a brutal dictator and fight against those who are trying to free themselves from injustice?

Hezbollah is sectarian

Hezbollah is killing sunni Syrians; the majority of the Muslim world is sunni and they can see this. Hezbollah will never be forgiven for this.

Hezbollah has no business in Syria

Hezbollah is supposed to be a Lebanese resistance movement, it has no business in Syria propping up a Syrian dictator.

Hezbollah is using Palestine as a cover for its crimes

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah justifies his oppression of the Syrian people by saying that the Syrian rebellion threatens the fight against Israel by the “resistance axis.” Most people can see through this as a cover for sending soldiers to fight in an Arab country.

Hezbollah has endangered Lebanon

By infuriating Lebanon’s sunnis Hezbollah has ensured their undying enmity and therefore the Syrian conflict will inevitably encompass Lebanon.

ARGUMENTS FOR HEZBOLLAH

How does Hezbollah view the Syrian crisis?

Hezbollah thinks there is a bigger oppressor, the West and Israel. The bigger injustice is to let the West have its way like they have done in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

Hezbollah believes that the world is ganging up on the Syrian government due to its unlimited support for resistance factions in Palestine and Lebanon and its alliance with Iran.

Hezbollah tried to mediate peace

In the early stages of the crisis Hezbollah was mediating between the opposition and the government, but while the government was responsive, the opposition rejected peace.

Hezbollah had no choice but to fight for Qusair

Qusair is strategic because it is the weapons pipeline from Lebanon to the western-backed Syrian rebels and foreign jihadis, the link by which the rebels have caused massive chaos in the Lebanese city of Tripoli. Hezbollah sees that by “cleaning” Qusair, it is protecting Lebanon.

Hezbollah saw that the takfiris were on the verge of controlling the Shia villages near the Lebanese borders which they are trying to use as buffer zones, so it took pre-emptive action.

The Syrian rebels have been provoking Hezbollah

The opposition has been provoking Hezbollah from the start, sending threats and spreading false rumours about Hezbollah’s involvement to spark more sectarian tensions. They keep threatening that “Lebanon is next.”

The Free Syrian Army has been attacking armed convoys that were heading to Lebanon, threatening Hezbollah’s weapons supply.

Hezbollah is not sectarian

Hezbollah is not attacking sunnis, it is attacking political enemies who happen to be sunnis.

If they were sectarian they would have gone to liberate the two large Shia villages under siege by the FSA called Nebol and Zahra.

What is the real extent of Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria?

A few Hezbollah soldiers are protecting the shrine of Sayyeda Zainab, as it was under continuous attacks from takfiris. Hezbollah fears that if a shrine is destroyed it cannot control the Shia who would probably go to seek revenge and cause more bloodshed.

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