Anticonfessionalism at its best*
Posted by worriedlebanese on 11/03/2009
A month to the day, Ziad Baroud, Lebanon’s Interior Minister, issued a circular giving every Lebanese citizen the right to remove the reference to his/hers religion from the Civil Registry’s records. The circular instructed the registrar to accept all requests made by citizens to delete the reference to their religion in their records. It added that such a right is protected by the Lebanese constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international agreements that Lebanon has ratified.
This decision (and the laudatory reactions to it) enraged me so much it paralysed me. Here was the perfect illustration of a highly ideological step that was the fruit of a soon to be century old legal and conceptual confusion on Middle-Eastern communalism. Nowhere in the press did I find any critical approach to that decision. All comments were congratulatory. Some pundits even spoke of a step towards the end of religious discrimination!? Who exactly is discriminated against? And obviously, no one spoke of the legal difficulties that are likely to arrise from this decision.
*which is bad enough