05 Dec 2012 10:00
The new kids on the block
The emergence of the Sunni extremists groups in Lebanon
Photo-reportage by Randa Mirza
In October 2011, I started covering the Syrian revolution and the repercussions for Lebanon; the “Arab spring” had finally reached Syria. Throughout the year, I found myself increasingly reporting on Lebanese Sunni extremists groups, which used to play a very marginal role in the political life of Lebanon prior to the Syrian uprising.
The emergence of the Sunni extremists in Lebanon was first catalyzed by the “Arab Spring” that led to the fall of dictators and authoritarian regimes; traditionally oppressive against Muslim extremists, and lately from the conflict in Syria.
The Syrian conflict is reinforced by the wide spectrum of Lebanese Sunni groups, and principally by the most extreme ones, in their struggle for political gains in Lebanon.
The Lebanese Sunni extremists do not share the same position towards the Syrian uprising. However, a majority endorses the Syrian people’s fight for freedom against the secular, non-Sunni dictator. Hezbollah is perceived as a foe since the Shia party has pledged allegiance to the Syrian Alawite regime increasing the split between the Sunni and Shia communities in Lebanon.