MP Khalid Daher suspends His Future bloc membership
The Daily Star/Feb. 11, 2015
BEIRUT: Salafist-inspired MP Khaled Daher has suspended his membership from The Future bloc Wednesday after spurring national outrage over remarks that were deemed offensive to Christians.
Daher told The Daily Star that he “had suspended his membership from the Future Bloc,” denying media reports that claimed that he was booted. Following his remarks to The Daily Star, Daher issued a statement saying that his decision served to curb any “embarrassment” his comments may have caused the Future Bloc.
Daher said that the decision to suspend his membership stemmed from his opposition to the removal of religious banners from Tripoli’s main square after North Lebanon Governor Ramzi Nohra’s ordered the removal all political and religious insignia from the northern city.
Daher, who insisted that he meant no offense to Christians, said that he has been depicted as “someone who commits aggression against others.” “When in fact it is our [Islamist] religious symbols that were assaulted, and the apology was supposed to be [directed] at us.”
Daher’s unanticipated move comes days after allies and foes alike called for his ousting from the March 14 bloc following his controversial remarks.
At a demonstration protesting the removal of Islamist banners from Tripoli’s Al-Nour Square Sunday, Daher told his followers that Christians should be the first to remove their religious emblems from public spaces. “If they want to remove [religious banners] let them start with the Christ the King statue and posters of [Christian] saints,” Daher said from Tripoli’s main square.
In response, Future Movement MP Ahmad Fatfat tried to distance his party from the Daher, saying that the lawmaker “is a member of the March 14 coalition, but not a member of the Future Movement.” “There is always a problem when Daher makes remarks,” Fatfat told a radio station Monday morning.
Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi, a Future Movement member, also slammed Daher’s remarks saying that, “such issues must not be addressed during this critical phase.”
Deputy Kataeb Party leader and Labor Minister Sejaan Azzi and Free Patriotic Movement MP Alain Aoun also called on Daher to resign.
Police last week began removing religious and political signage in Tripoli and across other parts of the country in line with an agreement reached during dialogue sessions between the Future Movement and Hezbollah to defuse sectarian tensions in the country.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, police removed black banners and Islamist slogans from Tripoli’s Al-Nour Square, prompting a wave of protests by the city’s officials, residents and spiritual leaders.
الضاهر اعلن تعليق عضويته في كتلة المستقبل: أحترم كل المذاهب المسيحية والاسلامية
الأربعاء 11 شباط 2015
وطنية – أصدر النائب خالد الضاهر البيان الآتي: “بعد ما جرى في ساحة النور والاعتداء على رمز المسلمين الاول وركنهم راية “لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله”، وامام القرار الذي اتخذه محافظ الشمال رمزي نهرا والقاضي بإزالة الصور والشعارات السياسية والدينية والذي طال ركن المسلمين الاول في تعد صارخ على اهل طرابلس واهل السنة، وبعد موقفي الذي استنكرت فيه التعرض للرموز الدينية لكل الطوائف، ومطالبتي بتطبيق القانون على كل الاراضي اللبنانية، واذا كان ثمة قرار، فليبدأ تطبيقه من بيروت بعدالة وعلى الجميع، اعتبر كلامي اساءة الى المسيحيين، وأصبحنا بنظر البعض نعتدي على الآخرين، في حين انه نحن من اعتدي على رمزه الديني، وكان يفترض بهم الاعتذار الينا. وأمام اللغط الحاصل، ومنعا لإحراج كتلة المستقبل النيابية، أعلن تعليق عضويتي في الكتلة، مع تأكيد احترامي لكل الطوائف والمذاهب الاسلامية والمسيحية ورموزها الدينية، ولم أكن لأسيء الى أي منها في يوم من الايام”.