Lebanon: Building codes and the Rule of Law

An item in today’s Lebanese al Akhbar caught my attention. http://www.al-akhbar.com/ar/node/70439.

The Lebanese security forces are having trouble enforcing building codes- basically they are increasingly unable too. The writer, Reema Hoteit, states that this difficulty is especially acute in the Southern suburbs of Beirut, an area dominated by the Shia Islamist group Hizbullah.

Human beings everywhere need government. A building code means safety. On many occasions, the police enforcing building codes are faced by angry mobs that include children and women.
In the future if these structures fall on the occupants the outcry will be why the government is not doing its job. PM Fouad Saniora would be blamed!

It’s appalling that the safety of human beings is not being paid enough attention too. The Beirut suburbs are dominated by the Hizbullah. Hizbullah claims to be the defender and protector of the Lebanese Shia. However, their lack of interest in this safety issue is deeply troubling. You would expect them to value life and have their motorized activists who appear out of nowhere when there are street riots, to be on the street explaining the importance of safety to their natural supporters.

It did not happen.

Maybe people need a fatwa to tell them to respect building codes!

The lack of political support, across the political spectrum, for police enforcement of building codes tells us a lot. Lebanon is still a developing country and the rule of law is not an established value that is accepted by the populace.

Without the rule of law, there is no democracy.

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