Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sectarianism

Thanks to the Perpetual Refugee, I discovered this very interesting social marketing initiative, the Stop Sectarianism Campaign.

Here is a little background copied from their website:

Since 1920, Lebanese society has been structured according to religious confessions or sects. Within a country of 10,000 km², we have over 17 official religious sects. Sectarianism is intertwined in our daily life, and has been so for years, officially and in society. Most official positions are based on religious denominations. Sectarianism was one of the main factors leading to the civil war, but even today, everybody still thinks along religious lines and divides people into sectarian groups.

The topic was always a taboo subject, until the “Spring Revolution” of 2005. With this movement, the creation of civil society groups brought together people from every religion, and made it clear to many that civil society-led initiatives could effectively make a difference. The campaign focuses on the ridiculous/harmful side of sectarianism/confessionalism and its excesses in our every day life.
If you want to read more about sectarianism, Laurie King wrote a good overview of Lebanon's political history on electronic intifada.
Sadly, sectarianism is still an issue today.

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