First Published: 2009-02-12

 
Lebanon moves to tackle religious discrimination
 

Lebanon dispenses citizens from revealing their religious affiliation on civil registry records.

 

Middle East Online

Lebanon's Interior Minister Ziad Baroud

BEIRUT - Lebanon's Interior Minister Ziad Baroud issued a memorandum this week dispensing citizens from revealing their religious affiliation on civil registry records.

The memo issued on Wednesday states that in future anyone can cross out their confessional identity from official records and replace it with a slash sign.

Rights groups had been pushing for such a measure since the end of Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war when many were killed at roadblocks based on the religion noted on their ID cards.

Although new ID cards issued since the end of the civil war do not mention religious affiliation, it remained obligatory to state one's religion on civil registry records.

Baroud said his decision is in line with the Lebanese constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Religion plays a key role in Lebanon, which has no less than 18 different recognised religious groups.

Tradition holds that the head of state must be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim and the speaker of parliament a Shiite Muslim.

The 128 seats in parliament are also allocated to represent the different religious groups.

 

Iraq’s peshmerga ‘break’ Mount Sinjar siege

Yemen’s Huthis seize Sanaa state offices

Tough times for oil-rich GCC

Obama concerned about Egypt mass trials

Tumbling oil prices cut budgets of Mideast arms exporters

EU foreign affairs head to visit Iraq

Turkey court remands Samanyolu TV chief in custody

IS threatens to kill Lebanese soldiers held hostage

Turkish media chiefs charged with terrorism

Iraq may delay payment of Kuwait war reparations

Over $900 million needed to help Syria children

Saudi rules out oil output reduction

Dutch populist lawmaker to be tried for 'fewer Moroccans' vow

Outrage in Algeria over Islamist call for Algerian author's death

Iraq Kurds, coalition launch offensive to retake Sinjar

Three years to end Israeli occupation in UN resolution

Somalia appoints new PM after bitter infighting

Blow to Israel: EU court removes Hamas from terror blacklist

Sharp rise in Syria passport applications

Turkey FM visit to Iran highlights Syria divide

UK troops mistreated Iraq detainees in 2004

Saudi to carry on massive public spending

Iran to Australia: We warned you about the gunman

From bikini to Jihad in Ceuta, Melilla

Tunisia votes Sunday in second round of presidential poll

Islamist militias launch air strike near key Libyan oil terminals

Egypt refers 312 Islamists to military courts

Turkey rejects EU criticism over media arrests

Kerry meets chief Palestinian negotiator

Saudi cleric sparks uproar for showing wife’s face

15,000 march against country’s ‘Islamisation’ in eastern Germany

Key oil producers face uncertain outlook in 2015

Gulf stock markets tumble

Australia mourns Sydney cafe siege victims

Hostages flee as police storm Sydney café

Erdogan to EU: Mind your own business!

Syria PM in Iran for talks with key ally

22 Swiss jihadists fighting abroad

#illridewithyou: Australians stand in solidarity with Muslims

Sydney siege 'lone wolf' or IS-led attack?

EU support UN efforts for Aleppo ceasefire

Saudi policeman killed in Riyadh hostage-taking

Saudi king receives Jordan monarch

Palestinians push UN bid to end Israeli occupation

Hostages held in Sydney cafe, Islamic flag held up