Lebanese Al-Akhbar Newspaper Misrepresents Al Walid Bin Talal’s Views on Shiite –Sunni Relations
|Prince Al Walid Bin Talal|
However, they don’t have the right to misrepresent his views and in doing so add to Sunni-Shia tensions that are already at sky high levels.
The prince is a highly successful businessman. He did not become this successful and rich by dwelling on sectarian issues. He merely provided a descriptive picture of the unfortunate reality in the Muslim world. Anyone who peruses Gallup survey numbers and PEW numbers knows that what the prince said is what survey data have provided ample evidence of. We know, for example, that Hizbullah is very unpopular in Sunni Majority countries. In Lebanon while the overwhelming majority of Shia support Hizbullah, an even bigger majority of Sunnis oppose Hizbullah. The prince did not create this reality and did not contribute to it in any shape or form. Sunnis blame the policies of Hizbullah and Iran for this reality.
Newspaper commentaries in many parts of the Arab and Muslim world also reflect these sentiments. These sentiments are explained by Sunni observers and others as largely due to the role that Iran and its allies are playing in Iraq and in Syria. These sentiments are not grounded in theological doctrine and historical and serious still -relevant disagreements. The numbers are not cast in stone. The survey data before the Iraq and Syria conflicts showed that Iran and Hizbullah were quite popular with Sunnis.
By misrepresenting the views of the prince the paper did not just harm the reputation of the prince. They also added fuel to the fire of sectarian tensions.
This is the link to the report: