Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdel-Latif Derian said on Thursday that “those working in politics have severely let down the citizens when they indulged in corruption and prevented the formation of a government capable of ending the collapse, starting reconstruction and seeking the international community for help.”
“Those politicians are responsible (for the dire situation),” Mufti Derian said, noting that “corruption has become a more terrible pandemic than COVID-19.”
“The politicians’ bad deeds won’t be forgotten by the Lebanese people to whom their tendencies have been revealed,” Derian said in his Eid al-Fitr sermon at Al-Amin Mosque in Beirut, and accused the politicians of having pursued personal gains for years at the expense of the people’s interests and Lebanon’s reputation.
“Internal and external initiatives aimed at forming a government of technocrats haven’t paid off until present. The reason has become well-known: it consists in a blinding selfishness.”
“The public opinion is also wondering about the course of investigations into the Beirut port explosion and the rights of the people whose houses were destroyed. Every delay is a disgrace for this nation,” he added.
On August 4, 2020, a large explosion, caused by improperly stored ammonium nitrate, occurred at the Port of Beirut, killing at least 200 people, injuring more than 6,000 and rendering 300,000 others homeless. Large sections of the port and its infrastructure were destroyed, including most of Beirut’s grain reserves, and billions of dollars in damages were inflicted across the city.
Turning to the electricity file, Derian said “Lebanese citizens are being threatened today with cutting off what is remaining of the power supply,” and wondered if silence will continue to prevail until Lebanon turns into total darkness.
Lebanon has been unable to meet power demand, forcing many people to rely on private generators. Daily power cuts have been growing steadily longer, lasting much of the day in Beirut.
The country’s economy has imploded under a mountain of debt, leaving the caretaker government struggling to find foreign exchange to meet payments for even basic food requirements and other import needs, including fuel to run its inadequate power stations.