The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
9 Points

Hezbollah is a fascistic, sectarian organization

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/10/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,096 times Debate No: 35479
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (44)
Votes (3)




Few people on here seem to be willing to debate such a topic, but I've decided to start another debate on Hezbollah, because of a request in the comment section of my first debate about a related issue. I take the Pro position that Hezbollah is a fascistic, sectarian organization.

Fascistic: Expecting unquestioning obedience and acting in a tyrannical manner that involves censorship, compulsion and persecution.

Sectarian: Fighting for a certain sect and seeking sect-related, religious goals and ambitions.

Rules of the debate:

1- First round is just for acceptance. Opponent can't present any arguments in the first round.

2- Opponent should accept all the definitions in this round.

3- Opponent only has to disprove all my claims to win the debate. He/she doesn't need to make any claims, because I'm the one providing evidence that Hezbollah is a fascistic, sectarian organization.

4- Forfeits are not allowed. If anyone forfeits a round, he/she directly loses the debate.

5- Devil advocates are welcomed.

I wish my opponent the best of luck!



Thank you for this debate, Niqashmotawadi3. I look forward to reading your arguments.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank rross in return for accepting this challenge, hoping this debate would be beneficial and worthwhile for all the readers here. According to the rules above, I'm the one giving evidence that Hezbollah is a fascistic, sectarian organization. My friend only has to disprove my arguments to win the debate.

1- On Hezbollah's Fascism

There are many examples of Hezbollah's fascism but I'm going to only list a few. I apologize for the graphic images I will use as evidence alongside my citations. We have agreed to use the following definition of fascistic: Expecting unquestioning obedience and acting in a tyrannical manner that involves censorship, compulsion and persecution. Hence, I will use examples that relate to that definition.

1A- Hezbollah's “Either with me or a traitor” principle which they use to accuse others of treason, even though actual treason should only be determined by the Lebanese government after thorough investigations. This has been recently demonstrated on Hezbollah's channel, Al Manar, by a Pro-hezbollah newspaper editor in-chief Ibrahim Al-Amin who said, "Lebanese opponents of Hezbollah are Israeli collaborators until proven otherwise[1]." This is clearly an example of unquestioning obedience. Further evidence for this is present in 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E and 1F.

1B- Hezbollah attacking peaceful protesters in front of the Iranian embassy and killing Hashem Salman on June 9, 2013, and then objecting to giving him a burial in his home-town because he is a “traitor”[2]. Note that Hashem is only a young pacifist and a youth-leader of a political party(Lebanese Option Party), and even Hezbollah hasn't claimed or proved that he is an actual traitor.

Hezbollah attacking peaceful protesters in front of the Iranian embassy.

Hashem Salman shot dead.

1C- Hezbollah threatening Rami Olaik for publishing an anti-Hezbollah book, "Under the Green Waters," by burning his relatives' house entrance and leaving a letter on May 21, 2013[3]. Rami Olaik is an ex-Hezbollah supporter(formerly a member of Hezbollah that served as the party’s representative at AUB from 1992 to 1996), prominent author and currently a professor in the American University of Beirut. According to Olaik, “Hezbollah members burned the entrance to my home[grandmother's house] in the town of Yahmour, and left a letter saying, you have to leave and not come back."

1D- Hezbollah's attempt to kill Moustapha Geha for republishing his father's work "Khomeini Assassinates Zarathura" on Saturday April 14, 2012. His father was assassinated previously for his ant-Hezbollah books on 1992 , and the son was about to have a similar fate[4]. Thankfully, the son is currently safe in Sweden after the assassination attempt, and more outspokenly anti-Hezbollah than ever in his political asylum.

Moustapha Geha's father after his assassination in 1992 for his book "Khomeini Assasinates Zarathura."

1E- Hezbollah's supporters burning the Future TV building and archive on May 10, 2008, which forced the TV station to be inactive for a while[5]. The journalists who worked there claimed that Hezbollah members threatened to bring down the roof on their heads. Note that the TV station belongs to the Harriri family which is against Hezbollah.

1F- Hezbollah having fascistic districts in Dahiyeh and other regions where Sunnah are persecuted and shunned[6] and dissenting Shiah are threatened(Such as Sayyed Mohammad Ali El Husseini and many others[7]). In addition to this, Hezbollah prohibits the Lebanese military from arresting certain suspects from the Dahiyeh[8].

1G- Hezbollah attacking Lebanese towns and villages in 7 and 11 May 2008, conquering Beirut and forcing the Lebanese Ministry to follow its orders as a result of the conquest[9].

1H- The leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, has made speeches which themselves are full of fascism. For instance, he says that the hands that try to arrest any Hezbollah member must be cut off[10]. He also praised the fascism that occurred in May 7, when Hezbollah started a coup and many Lebanese were killed, by stating that 7 May was a glorious day in the history of Lebanon[11].

1I- Hezbollah's participation in the Syrian war alongside the Syrian tyranny[12]. It is true that some of the rebels are radical Islamists and terrorists. However, a large group are moderate Muslims who are seeking freedom from the Alawite dictatorship that has governed for many years. Hezbollah's role against the FSA is thus fascistic because it is fighting to revert Syria back into a fascistic regime.

1J- Hezbollah establishing strict, Islamic laws in some Lebanese districts and forcing people to follow them. For instance, Hezbollah attacks alcohol shops in certain regions, even though the government does not ban alcohol. An example of this is the incident that happened in Tyre(a Shiah populated area) on November 16, 2012, in which an alcohol shop was bombed[13]. Moreover, Hezbollah even places restrictions on Lebanese poetry festivals in South Lebanon and the Dahyeh region, which prohibit the poets from hinting to sexual matters, using any form of flattery toward women, drinking alcohol, allowing the attendants to drink or using music and instruments used in such events.

2- On Hezbollah's Sectarianism

We agreed to use the following definition of sectarian: Fighting for a certain sect and seeking sect-related, religious goals and ambitions.

Hezbollah is no longer just a local resistance, but a sectarian and fascistic organization with its own agenda. This agenda was announced by its leader Nasrallah in the late 1980s when he announced that Hezbollah's main ambition is to create an Iranian-controlled, Shiah state in Arabia[14]. It is clear that Hezbollah is seeking the dominance of the Shiah sect over the Sunnah. This can also be deduced from Hezbollah's involvement in the Syrian war alongside with Bashar Al Assad, even when the Syrian rebels are a dangerous threat to Israel according to the Israelis themselves[15]. This shows that Hezbollah's ambition is not to fight Israel, but to participate in a Sunni-Shiah civil war so that the Shiah are victorious. Another example of Hezbollah's sectarianism is the support of the Bahrain revolution (lead by Shiah against Sunnah) because of the oppression in that particular country[16], even though Hezbollah supports an oppressive Ba'ath regime in Syria which oppresses a majority of Sunnah. Hezbollah, back in 1982, used to have non-Shiah participants. However, currently it is clear that Hezbollah is mostly composed of Shiah from Lebanon, Iran and Iraq. Even Samir Kuntar, a non-Shiah old fighter in Hezbollah which is praised as a hero(even though he is a bestial murder), has been lately converted into a Shiah[17].



















To win this debate, Pro needs to prove that Hezbollah is a fascistic, sectarian organization. This can be done in two ways:

1. Pro needs to show that there is something in the nature of the organization of Hezbollah that is fascistic and sectarian. For example, Pro needs to show that the organization's mission statement, goals and funding, speeches, structure etc. are inherently fascistic and sectarian. He has not done this so far. In fact, the evidence shows quite the opposite (see below).

2. If Pro wants to base his argument on evidence of individual Hezbollah members behaving in a consistently fascistic and sectarian way, then he needs to provide evidence that the average Hezbollah member is significantly more fascistic and sectarian than any other Lebanese national. Further, if he is able to demonstrate this (and he has yet to make any move to do so), he must show that it is not some random and temporary phenomenon, but that Hezbollah, the organization, is structured to actively recruit and keep fascistic members in preference to other types of people.

If he doesn't provide this evidence, then there is no reason to link any of the behavior of Hezbollah members with the organization. If certain people are behaving fascistically, there's as much reason to blame it on their sex, nationality and religion as their membership of a political party.

Hezbollah the organization: neither sectarian nor fascistic

When we look at official statements from Hezbollah, there is no evidence of fascism or sectarianism. Quite the opposite.

This statement comes from the Hezbollah Press Office, in relation to the aims and background of the movement:

"Hizbullah observes the creed of the genuine Muhammadan Islam and the ... ideological conviction that is established with proofs and evidence and does not originate from emotional liking or sectarian, denominational or racial group spirit. Since reason is the source of this observance, Hizbullah has always been ready to have dialogue with others over its convictions and creeds or even its method and positions: Hizbullah does not seek to impose its convictions on anyone... It is attached to have mutual understanding with others." (1)

In a speech two months ago, Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's leader, said, "No one can accuse us of being sectarian." He added, "We have fought in Bosnia, in defense of whom? In defense of the Sunnis. There are no Shiites in Bosnia." (2)

Please compare this with Pro's source: an undated, unoffical video from at least 25 years ago, of Nasrallah before he became leader of Hezbollah (3). If Pro wants to prove that Hezbollah has sectarian motives, he needs evidence that is more recent and more relevant.


I will now rebut Pro's round 2 arguments. Pro has presented so much false and misleading information that I can't cover it all, due to word restrictions. I will address some of the main points here.

No evidence for traitor principle

Pro claims that Hezbollah has an "either with me or a traitor" principle. I have been unable to find any evidence whatsoever for this claim.

Pro claims that Hezbollah called Hashem Salman a "traitor". However, his source does not even once mention the word "traitor" (4) and nor does the MTV report (unsourced) the article was based on (5). It seems as if Pro has completely fabricated this, and he should either provide some evidence in the next round or withdraw his allegation.

Pro also quoted Ibrahim Al-Amin who was interviewed on Al Manar. Ibrahim Al-Amin is a journalist and not a Hezbollah spokesman. Furthermore, it's clear from the interviewer's reaction (see photos below) that he regards Al-Amin's views as shocking, extreme and even slightly comical. In no way can the words of Al-Amin be taken to represent Hezbollah the organization.

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Unsupported murder allegations

Pro has named Hezbollah as responsible for the murders of Hassem Salman, Moustafa Geha (senior), and for the murder attempt of Moustafa Geha (junior). In fact, in none of these crimes have the gunmen been identified, there have been no arrests and certainly no convictions for these murders (6). Pro has stated his opinion, but it is no more than speculation at this point.

Moustafa Geha (junior) has been very vocal in his claims that he was attacked by Hezbollah and that they killed his father too. He has provided no convincing evidence, and it must be noted that his claims coincided with his application to emigrate to Sweden. Under Swedish immigration regulations, to claim asylum, he must prove a well-founded fear of persecution due to his political or religious beliefs (7). Nobody can know what Geha truly believes except the man himself, of course, but he's not alone in wanting to leave Lebanon - 33% want to emigrate (8). In Sweden, the average income is five times that of Lebanon, and the average man can expect to live ten years longer (9,10).

Cut off the hand: a common metaphor

Pro misrepresents Nasrallah as saying, "the hands that try to arrest any Hezbollah member must be cut off." Nasrallah was speaking in the context of a trial in absentia in the Netherlands - the procedure of which he objected to. He said, "Mistaken is the one who images that we will allow the arrest or detention of any or our Mujahideen. We will cut off the hand that tries to get them." (11) He was clearly speaking metaphorically.

As Pro is no doubt aware, to "cut off the hand" is a common expression in Lebanon and the region. For example, last year an Egyptian official threatened to "cut off the hand" of any international body that entered Sinai (12). The President of Sudan said that "Sudan will cut of the hand that harms it" in relation to the conflict with South Sudan (13). And in 2006, more generally, the President of Iran said, "Iran will cut off the hand of any aggressor." (14)

Hezbollah and Syria

Pro claims that Hezbollah is fascistic because it is supporting a fascistic regime in Syria. By this logic, the US is an Islamic organization because it supports the Islamic rebels.

In fact, in an interview with Julian Assange last year, Nasrallah was clear about Hezbollah's reluctance to get involved in Syria, in their unwavering preference for a political solution, and for the Syrian governments need for reform:

"In principle, we don’t want to interfere in the internal affairs of Arab states. This has always been our policy. There are developments in the Arab world that have been very serious and very important to the extent that nobody – no movement, no party – can just not take a position regarding them... What we call for in Syria is dialogue and reform, and for the reforms to be carried out. Because the alternative to that - because of the diversity inside Syria, because of the sensitivities inside Syria – is to push Syria into civil war. "(15)

Debate Round No. 2


I thank my opponent for her response.

I understand how the limited space forces us to exclude some arguments and objections—I had to exclude many citations myself, but my opponent ignored many points that supported my position: (1) 7 and 11 2008 May incidents, (2) Fascistic zones in Dahiyeh and other regions, (3) Persecution of Sayyed Mohammad Ali El Husseini, (4) Persecution of Rami Olaik, (5) Future TV burning and many others.

A- On Hezbollah's official statements

My opponent provided official statements from Hezbollah's Press Office that are against sectarianism and fascism, while disregarding a leaked video of Hassan Nasrallah, in which he states that Hezbollah's ultimate goals are to defeat Israel and create an Iranian-like, Shiah state in Arabia, back when he was an influential and popular spokesman for Hezbollah[1]. I leave the decision to the readers on what is more truthful: the leaked video or the public media statements.

If my opponent is looking for official writings describing Hezbollah's ambitions, she needs to look no further than to a book (almost a Hezbollah manifesto) called "Hezbollah" by Naim Qassem (Hezbollah's Deputy Secretary General), whereby Qassem confesses Hezbollah's ultimate dream of starting an Iranian-controlled, Shiah state and goes further to say that Khomeyni has in his hands all Hezbollah's decisions[2]. I will provide citations from that book which is available on Amazon, if my opponent cannot access any copy of it.

B- On Hashem Salman

My opponent completely ignored Hezbollah's fascism when it attacked the peaceful protesters on June 9, 2013, and focused on a less important aspect which is Hashem not being called a "traitor" after his death. Unfortunately. my opponent's response was entirely built on a Strawman logical fallacy. She argues, "Pro claims that Hezbollah called Hashem Salman a 'traitor.'" If you go back to my argument, I never actually said that. What I said is the following, "Hezbollah attacking peaceful protesters in front of the Iranian embassy and killing Hashem Salman on June 9, 2013, and then objecting to giving him a burial in his home-town because he is a 'traitor.'" This doesn't imply that Hezbollah made an official statement considering him a traitor, but they refused to bury him because of such reason. Here are the citations which explain how Hezbollah members refused his burial[3,4]. The only reasonable conclusion I can make is because they refuse to bury traitors, unless my opponent has a better explanation to offer.

C- On Hezbollah's Involvement in Syria

My opponent concedes that Hezbollah, after some refusal, got itself involved. However, she commits a false analogy logical fallacy in her response when she says, "
Pro claims that Hezbollah is fascistic because it is supporting a fascistic regime in Syria. By this logic, the US is an Islamic organization because it supports the Islamic rebels." There is also a Strawman fallacy here. I said previously "Hezbollah's role against the FSA is thus fascistic because it is fighting to revert Syria back into a fascistic regime..." I didn't say "Hezbollah is fascistic because it is supporting a fascistic regime." According to the our definition of fascism, giving money to potential (or actual) fascists doesn't make you a fascist. Fascistic: Expecting unquestioning obedience and acting in a tyrannical manner that involves censorship, compulsion and persecution. Hezbollah, not the US, is participating in tyrannical acts that include compulsion and persecution. Hence, the analogy is false.

C- On the assassinations

My opponent claimed that all the murders I presented are unsupported, claiming that "there have been no arrests and certainly no convictions for these murders." Has there been one single arrest of the Hezbollah members holding sticks and beating protesters in the picture below? No.

Hezbollah is a fascistic organization which imposes its fascism on the Lebanese judicial system and security forces, and I shall treat the lack of arrests as further evidence that supports my position. I've already mentioned how Hezbollah refuses to give convicted suspects to the Lebanese authorities. Besides, my opponent is completely wrong about the murders being unsupported.

C1- Evidence that Hezbollah killed Hashem Salman:

1- Eye witnesses in the event, including a Reuters reporter who saw the whole thing[5].

2- Pictures of Hezbollah members attacking the protesters[above].

3- The fact that Hezbollah refused his burial in his hometown[above].

4-. Look at the last picture I posted. You can see a potential gunman from Hezbollah.

C2- Evidence that Hezbollah killed Moustapha Geha:

1- Fatwas(authoritative and religious dictums) were issued by pro-Hezbollah Sheikhs calling for the death of Moustapha Geha. For example, in 1983, the Jaefariya Authoritative Court issued a fatwa that dictated him as an infidel and apostate[6]. Note that Hezbollah members highly respect that court.

2- His investigation case was mysteriously closed when Hezbollah and the Syrian regime were controlling Lebanon, but Moustapha Geha(junior) recently re-opened it[7].

3- His anti-Hezbollah books were all removed and banned from the Lebanese libraries[8].

4- His son's assassination attempt after re-publishing one of his father's anti-Hezbollah books, "Khomeyni Assassinates Zarathura.[above]"

My opponent accuses Moustapha Geha(junior) of faking his assassination to get political asylum in Sweden. I ask my opponent for evidence that Geha couldn't have afforded a passport like most Lebanese immigrants. The BoP is on my opponent in this matter.

D- On Hassan Nasrallah's speeches

My opponent ignored the second point I raised on Nasrallah saying 7 May was a glorious day in the history of Lebanon, and responded that it is not fascistic to say "We will cut the hands of anyone who arrests one of our members." The following expression is a common expression... but also a violent threat directed at the Lebanese security forces. I leave the reader to decide whether such speeches are fascistic or not.

F- On Hezbollah's Involvement in Bosnia:

My opponent mentions Hezbollah's involvement in Bosnia as proof of their non-sectarianism, even when the military operations of Hezbollah and the Syrian army eclipse by far this participation. Even Hafez Al Assad once commanded his army to fight alongside the coalition forces to liberate the Sunnah of Kuwait in the 1991 gulf war. This surely was a non-sectarian move, but it doesn't at all counter all the sectarian atrocities he committed. Same goes for Nasrallah.

G- On Ibrahim El Amin's Interview

Even though he is not a Hezbollah official, I used his quote to show the presence of such thinking among Hezbollah supporters who are identified as intellectuals. Mr. Ibrahim did not come up with this idea in his office. He learned it from the culture that surrounds him. The news correspondent only acts shocked to add controversy to his show. I have not seen one public apology from the channel to people like me, especially that Mr. Ibrahim went further and said people who are anti-Hezbollah need mental rehabilitation.

In summary, my opponent has not offered effective refutations but focused on ambiguities and used Stawmans, ignoring many important points that dealt with Hezbollah's characteristics and practices. I gave ample citations for Hezbollah's persecution, compulsion, atrocities and murders... and even explained and cited Hezbollah's ultimate goals and current practices which are clearly fascistic and sectarian.

[2] Hizbullah (Hezbollah): The Story from Within by Naim Qassem. Publication Date: January 1, 2005.









So far, Pro and I agree that:
  • There is no evidence of sectarianism of fascism in any of Hezbollah's official publications;

  • In the 21 years Nasrallah has been leader of Hezbollah, he has never publicly argued for sectarianism. Pro used a "leaked" video from 25 years ago, the context of which is completely unclear;

  • There is no evidence of Hezbollah calling Hashem Salman a "traitor". No news source ever made that allegation, and now Pro claims he didn't say it either;

  • The murderers of Geha and Salman have never been named or arrested. To say Hezbollah is responsible is pure speculation.

Hezbollah actions are typical of Lebanon

Last round I invited Pro to show that the actions of Hezbollah is significantly different from other Lebanese groups. He has declined to do so, presumably because the behavior of "Hezbollah supporters" is very normal. For instance, Pro calls Dariyeh a "fascistic district", where Sunnis are shunned. He also complains about the rules against alcohol and indecent themes at poetry readings in Dariyeh.

Last year in Tariq al-Jdideh - a district dominated by the Future Movement (a Sunni-majority political party) - there were armed clashes between Sunni gunmen and the Lebanese Army. The next day, reporters spoke to a "local strongman" who admitted being involved in the "protection" of the area, including blocking roads, who said he wanted the "strife and discord to grow". Meanwhile, residents of nearby Dariyeh felt unsafe going out into the streets because these Sunni activists. (1)

Pro needs to show that the behavior of Hezbollah members is more fascistic and sectarian than that of other Lebanese nationals. On the evidence so far, it seems that Hezbollah members behave typically of Lebanese political groups, and may even be unusually tolerant and open.

Hezbollah: dialogue and partnership

Pro has been unable to link any official Hezbollah activity with fascism or sectarianism. On the contrary, all Hezbollah's rhetoric is about dialogue and anti-sectarianism.

In Round 2, Pro said that Nasrallah praised fascism by praising the events of May 7, 2008. Nasrallah did praise the events of May 7 because they led to an end of conflict and not because "Hezbollah started a coup and many Lebanese were killed" as Pro falsely claims.

From Pro's own source:

"I tell the Lebanese, in particular Sunnis and Shiites, that the May 7 events put an end to war in Beirut," [Nasrallah] said. "The May 7 events safeguarded Lebanon's institutions and forced all Lebanese parties to go back to the [national] dialogue..."

In the same speech Nasrallah said that he "welcomes partnership in government," he highlighted the need for a strong and independent judiciary, and he called for the abolition of sectarianism. He stressed his support for the Lebanese army and the government, and called for a united country. He added, "We do not replace the state and we have never exerted state authority in any area." (2)

The content of the speech was totally the opposite of fascism and sectarianism, and Pro was misrepresenting his source when he claimed otherwise.

Sayyed Mohammad Ali El Husseini: what persecution?

Pro claims that Husseini was persecuted by Hezbollah, but I have read Pro's (rather long) source through twice and - once again - there is no evidence of this at all. Husseini claims that he has been threatened by lots of people, "Lebanese and Iranian," (he does not specify Hezbollah) and he continues to live and work in the middle of Dariyeh, which Pro claims is a "fascistic district" of Hezbollah. (3) This, despite Husseini's long-lived and consistent opposition to Hezbollah is clear evidence against the resolution.

Hezbollah persecutes Olliak's...grandmother?

Olliak used to be a member of Hezbollah, now he writes novels that criticize the movement. He has the habit of using his relatives as characters in these autobiographical novels, and these relatives/characters are often sharply critical of Hezbollah. Fires were lit at his uncle's house and his grandmother's house (not at Olliak's house, surprisingly, and nobody was hurt). How fortunate for Olliak that these "attacks" occurred two days before he was to host a book-signing, generating lots of publicity for him. (4)

The transmission disruption at Future TV

The Future Movement is a Sunni-majority political movement in Lebanon, directly opposed to Hezbollah.

In May 2008, the government - lead by the March 14 Alliance which includes the Future Movement - announced it was going to shut down Hezbollah's communication network. (5)

In protest, Hezbollah occupied the Future Movement's media outlets, including Future TV, and suspended transmission. This temporary disruption occurred with no fatalities and, according to Pro's source, with the cooperation of the Lebanese Army.

Future TV was off air for four days, at which point the Doha agreement was reached between the Lebanese Army, Hezbollah, and the March 14 Alliance. Part of the agreement was that Hezbollah could keep its communications network. (6)

Hezbollah's actions were in self-defense and proportional to the perceived threat. They were not trying to suppress free speech or censor the media but rather to defend their own communication network, which they believe to be essential to their defense against Israel.

Attack on protesters at the Iranian Embassy

Pro has provided us with several photos of Lebanese Option Party (part of the March 14 Alliance) protesters being attacked at the Iranian Embassy last month and, of course, with photos of Hashem Salman's corpse. Salman's death is not disputed, of course, but it is less clear who is responsible.

The protest was about Hezbollah's involvement in Syria - a very divisive issue - and one of several protests that were organized that day by the Lebanese Option Party. The other protests, which were larger, seem to have gone ahead without incident. (7)

Pro claims that the thugs that beat up the protesters have not been arrested because Hezbollah controls the security and justice systems. This is a huge claim to make, on no evidence. A more likely explanation is that the incident only occurred a few weeks ago and the police have been unable to find and arrest the perpetrators. This is a problem everywhere - in Chicago, for example, arrests are made in only 30% of shooting homicides. (8)

Most news sources have assumed that the thugs were "Hezbollah supporters" because of their yellow armbands, and yellow is the color of Hezbollah's flag. Yellow is also a very noticeable color, and it makes sense for the thugs to have some means of differentiating themselves from the protesters so they don't accidentally beat up other thugs. The presence of yellow armbands might be indicative of Hezbollah's involvement, but it's hardly proof of it.

Finally, even if Pro were able to prove that the thugs are members of Hezbollah (and I don't think he can), there's no evidence that Salman's death was intentional, or that the Hezbollah leadership supported the attack on the protest, let alone the killing of Salman. Every organization has supporters who act wildly or against the group's interests sometimes. Salman's death was absolutely horrible, yes, but Pro has not been able to show that this act was an inevitable consequence of structure and nature of the Hezbollah organization.









Debate Round No. 3


I thank my opponent for her participation in this debate.

I would like to recall
one of the two ways my opponent defined for winning the debate:

"Pro needs to show that there is something in the nature of the organization of Hezbollah that is fascistic and sectarian. For example, Pro needs to show that the organization's mission statement, goals and funding, speeches, structure etc. are inherently fascistic and sectarian."

Naim Qassem is a Lebanese cleric and politician who happens to be the Deputy Secretary-General of Hezbollah, which makes him the second in command after Nasrallah[1]. He also played an important role in the foundation activities of Hezbollah before he was appointed to his current position in 1992, and is considered one of the founding members of the organization[2]. His book, "Hezbollah," is an important book which explains the story of Hezbollah from within, explaining the foundations and missions of such an organization, and the book has been republished by the author himself in 2010[3]. My opponent completely ignored Qassem's book, when it was used to prove that the
mission statement and ultimate goals of Hezbollah are both fascistic and sectarian: “Sectarian” because Hezbollah is planning to establish a Shiite state after it defeats Israel, and “fascistic” because the nature of that state would be like the Iranian regime and under the same Ayatollah[4]. Concerning the speeches, I provided a speech of Hassan Nasrallah that my opponent attacked ferociously claiming it was unofficial, outdated and without a clear context. However, it turns out that video was actually accurate, given that Nasrallah's claims in that speech match perfectly with Naem Qassem's claims in "Hezbollah." Qasem's citations were presented in the previous round, so that I could respond to any objections here, but I didn't get any from my opponent.

A- Refutation of my opponent's arguments

Imagine a prosecutor providing pictures, testimonies and eye-witnesses that convict a person of selling drugs in the past, and yet getting an objection from the defender that the suspect was never convicted or trailed, and so the good evidence provided by the prosecutor is not actually “proof.” This summarizes my opponent's tactic so far when it comes to claims convicting Hezbollah of atrocities. In this section, I'm going to deal with the arguments put forth by my opponent in the previous round:

A1- Con argues that Anti-Hezbollah protesters in front of the Iranian embassy where beaten by identified thugs that have nothing to do with Hezbollah.

This claim has not even been made by Al Manar TV (Hezbollah's official channel) or Pro-Hezbollah media.My opponent has not offered us one shred of evidence or proper citation for this claim, which means that this is just pure speculation. Pro goes further and argues, Most news sources have assumed that the thugs were "Hezbollah supporters" because of their yellow armbands, and yellow is the color of Hezbollah's flag.” First of all, Hezbollah are well-known for their “black shirt” forces[2]. Hezbollah supporters refer to them as “Qowaat Al Intibatt.” Second of all, Hezbollah has used yellow armbands on many occasions(picture below).

Hezbollah soldiers in Alepo, Syria.

My opponent can argue that the thugs were pretending to be Hezbollah members, but it is clear that Hezbollah did not make any public statement denouncing what happened or accusing a third group of such a serious crime. Also, I gave evidence above that Hezbollah members refused the burial of Hashem Salman in his hometown, which was clearly a fascistic measure that acts as evidence for Hezbollah's involvement in what happened.

A2- Con argues that Anti-Hezbolah Shiah cleric, Sayyed El Husseini was not persecuted but just threatened by some “Lebanese and Iranians” who have nothing to do with Hezbollah.

My opponent's title was Sayyed Mohammad Ali El Husseini: what persecution?On the first glance, you might think that such an interview is misplaced, given that is published on A further read with give you those citations:

“My translator Henry informed me that Lebanese journalists are no longer allowed to publish or interview Sayyed Husseini. Dissent from the likes of this man is intolerable and has to be smashed. Hezbollah issued its threats.
[Reporter's Narration]

“Hezbollah worked to stop my ability to continue publishing in the newspaper. So I rely on foreign journalists to tell the world what I and my friends think." [Sayyed Mohammad Ali El Husseini speaking]

“He took my hand and asked me if I would please put him in contact with institutions and human rights organizations in the West. He feels, and is, extremely isolated thanks to Iran and Hezbollah.” [Reporter's Narration]

All that... and Con argues, Pro claims that Husseini was persecuted by Hezbollah, but I have read Pro's (rather long) source through twice and - once again - there is no evidence of this at all.”

Nonetheless, my opponent raises a good objection by asking why such a man is allowed to live in the “Dahieh” district: (1) He doesn't have any controversial books, (2) He is a Sayyed (from the Prophet's lineage) and (3) He doesn't have a good number of supporters. The three points can be deduced from the citation ( which I urge everyone to read. I'm going to focus on the second point. Sayyeds are given noble statuses and that usually save them from being killed or severely punished, even if they were controversial figures. Take for example Sayyed Ahmad Qabbanji who rejects the Prophecy of Mohammad, ridicules the Qur'an, attacks Islam and yet lives in Iraq[6]. He was arrested once when visiting Iran, but he was released.

A3- Con argues that Rami Olaik is making the whole thing up for book publicity.

Rami Olaik is already a popular author because of his book "The Road of the Bees." He doesn't need to blow up his anyone's home to become popular. Rami in the citation said “my home” but the journalist added grandmother's home between brackets to indicate that it is also his grandmother's home. In South Lebanon, most citizens have two homes, one in the city(usually Beirut) where high education and work is available, and another in the village where the elders stay and the family stays on the weekends.

A4- Con argues that Moustapha Geha(junior) faked his own assassination attempt and lied about his father's assassination just so he could easily immigrate to Sweden.

My opponent has not responded to the objections and contrary evidence I presented in the previous round, even when she had the chance to do so.

In conclusion, the debate is mainly between cases supported with good evidence and conspiracy theories presented as if they are better alternatives.

B- On 7 May and Hezbollah's actions

In 7 may, instead of protesting against the government for a plan to remove its communication network, Hezbollah chose the fascistic approach which was to attack towns and villages, forcing the government to follow its orders. The war and military operations were started by Hezbollah; ending it doesn't give them any credit. Moreover, this is—blatant fascism—regardless if the consequences where good or bad(remember the appeal to consequences logical fallacy). My opponent claims that Hezbollah's behaviour is similar to all Lebanese parties. This is untrue. I use the Lebanese Choice Party as a contrary example to that claim.

Thanks for reading.

[4] Hizbullah (Hezbollah): The Story from Within by Naim Qassem. Publication Date: January 1, 2005.



In the first round, Pro said that he would be the one "providing evidence that Hezbollah is a fascistic and sectarian organization." That I didn't need to make any claims, because the burden of proof is on him.

Subsequently, he accepted this framework:

"Pro needs to show that there is something in the nature of the organization of Hezbollah that is fascistic and sectarian. For example, Pro needs to show that the organization's mission statement, goals and funding, speeches, structure etc. are inherently fascistic and sectarian."

By accepting this framework, Pro has agreed that it's not enough to show that some "Hezbollah supporters" behave in fascistic or sectarian ways. The resolution is about the organization itself.

Pro has failed to meet the BoP

Only a small part of Pro's argument has actually addressed the nature of the Hezbollah organization. He has talked about prejudice and perceptions, about the alleged actions of "pro-Hezbollah" individuals, but very little about the organization itself, it's publications, its official actions, or its leadership.

Because this is the part of the discussion that directly addresses the resolution, I will summarize Pro's evidence here.

1. The "either with me or against me" principle.
Pro claimed that Hezbollah has this principle, but has provided no evidence for this, even when asked directly for it. He claimed that Hezbollah called Salman a "traitor", but this turned out to be a fabrication. None of his sources say this.

2. Nasrallah's speeches.
Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, has called for the end of sectarianism on several occasions. I have cited some of these above. He has made statements supporting the national army, the government, and the independence of the judiciary. Pro cannot and has not contested any of this. Instead, he provided a "leaked" video from 25 years ago, in an unspecified context, where Nasrallah (before he became leader) is talking about plans for a combined Shiah state. Pro does not explain how a large Shiah state is an example of fascism or sectarianism.

Pro has also misrepresented Nasrallah's speeches. He claimed that Nasrallah praised "the fascism that occurred...when Hezbollah started a coup and many Lebanese were killed." This is a grotesque misrepresentation. Nasrallah was explicitly praising the end of the conflict.

Pro claimed that Nasrallah said threatened "to cut of the hand" of anyone who tried to arrest Hezbollah members. Later, he admitted that this was, again, a gross distortion. Nasrallah was speaking metaphorically, objecting to the in absentia trial in the Netherlands of four individuals.

3. Hezbollah Press Office Publications
Pro concedes that there is no evidence of fascism or sectarianism in any of Hezbollah's official publications.

4. Naim Qassem's book
In his final round, Pro argued that Naim Qassem's book provides evidence that Hezbollah is both fascistic and sectarian. I don't have access to this book, but given Pro's record of mutilating his sources, I have no faith at all that what he says about this book is true.

There is only one customer review on Amazon:
"I was surprised about how closely their political goals align with our ideas of democracy and a sort of Roosevelt society where institutions are in place to provide education, job equity, health care and generally a social safety net for all citizens regardless of race or ideology. This is the Hizbullah that is allied with Michel Aoun, a progressive populist as well as a Christian." (1)

An article about the book in London Review of Books says:

"Naim Qassem called the liberation of south Lebanon 'the grandest and most important victory over Israel since it commenced its occupation'...But what impressed most Lebanese as much as Hizbullah's victory over Israel was its refusal to murder collaborators - a triumph over the tribalism that has plagued and divided Lebanese society since its founding. Christians I knew in the Lebanese army admitted that their own side would have committed atrocities. Hizbullah may have been playing politics in Lebanon, but it refused to play Lebanese politics. What it sought in south Lebanon was not revenge, but votes. In the interval between its founding in 1982 and the victory of 2000, Hizbullah had become - as well as an armed force - a sophisticated and successful political party. It jettisoned its early rhetoric about making Lebanon an Islamic republic, and spoke of Christians, Muslims and Druze living in harmony. When it put up candidates for parliament, some of those on its electoral list were Christians. It won 14 seats." (2)

These reviewers took away a completely different message from the book - a message of anti-sectarianism, forgiveness and collaboration.

In a recent speech, Naim Qassem talked about the Islamic Awakening, that it "is characterized by its ability to cope with national and liberal opinions, and different races and languages". He also spoke out strongly against sectarianism. (3)

For all these reasons, it's very difficult to believe that Naim Qassem's book provides evidence that the Hezbollah organization is either fascistic or sectarian.

5. Hezbollah's involvement in the Syrian conflict
Pro claims that the Syrian government is fascistic and by supporting this government, Hezbollah is therefore fascistic. As I showed above, in his interview with Julian Assange, Nasrallah was outspoken about the Syrian government's need for reform. He also said quite plainly that Hezbollah and Syria have not always been in agreement.

Hezbollah's involvement in Syria is extremely controversial. However, recent fighting in Syria is within three kilometers of Lebanon's borders. (4) Hezbollah's involvement can be understood in terms of strategic self-defense. It may be a mistake for Hezbollah to be involved in this conflict, but you can't conclude from this alone that the organization is fascistic.

6. Other evidence
The remainder of Pro's evidence against Hezbollah is in the form of rumor and unsubstantiated allegations. Each time that Pro made an allegation, I have provided an alternate explanation. For example, Geha's claim that there was an assassination attempt against him could also be understood in terms of meeting his application requirements to emigrate to Sweden.

Pro has demanded that I provide evidence for these allegations. But he misunderstands my point. My point is not that Geha lied about the assassination attempt or that Salman was killed by someone with a personal vendetta against him. I can't prove those things. But they are possible explanations and Pro can't prove that they are not true.

Take for example his separate claims that Dariyeh is a "fascistic district" of Hezbollah where any opposition to the movement is stamped out, along with his claim that Sayyed El Husseini, a constant critic of Hezbollah who lives in comfort in Dariyeh, is being persecuted by the movement. What evidence is here except prejudice?

Indeed, in his final round he resorted to quoting what the reporter's translator claimed before the pair went to interview El Husseini. This is ridiculous.

Most of Pro's arguments, in fact, were like images of corpses he was so keen to put up. Shocking and unpleasant, but not proof of anything. Nobody is disputing that Salman was shot dead. Seeing a photo of his corpse does not prove, in any way, that the Hezbollah organization is fascistic or sectarian. It might excite the hatred of people already opposed to the movement, but this debate has never been about that.

Thank you to Pro
for this debate. It's been interesting.


Debate Round No. 4
44 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by NiqashMotawadi3 4 years ago
@wrichcirw, thanks for your objective study of the debate.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
Finally, I understand Lebanon is in a de facto war zone, so evidence will not be clear; unfortunately, it has to be clear in order to make a valid argument.

Had the resolution been "Hezbollah has fascistic and sectarian leanings" I would have been much more receptive to PRO's speculative statements, but the resolution is iron-clad in asserting fascism and sectarianism, when the evidence did not warrant such a strong assertion.

Arguments and S&G CON. Interesting if not somewhat frustrating debate.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago

I did not look at all the sources, so I will score it neutral. This debate was extremely heavy in sources.

- I agreed with CON's opening list in round #3.

- I agreed with PRO's point about Sayyed Mohammed being subject to persecution, although I can understand why CON did not see was not evident in the source.

- I sided with CON on Qassam, and this was key - it clearly demonstrated Hezbollah's commitment to anti-sectarianism. From CON's source (emphasis mine):

"We must be aware of the leaders who exploit scholars to create sectarian secession for political goals. We must be aware of the US and "Israel", since ISLAMIC SECTS ARE THE COMMON ROAD TO WORSHIP and we all compete to sacrifice for Allah...""

This is from Hezbollah's deputy secretary general just 2 months ago, and was a hotly contested point in the debate, one that CON easily won given PRO's utter lack of substantiated sources.

- I stated earlier that fascism was a priori won by PRO, and so the debate hinged around sectarianism. CON wins this argument, and thus the debate.

- I will score S&G to CON:
PRO (round #2): "Hezbollah...killing Hashem Salman...and then objecting to giving him a burial...because he is a "traitor"[2]....even Hezbollah hasn't claimed or proved that he is an actual traitor."

This was misleading and contradictory, and was PRO's opening point. It set the tone for the debate, which was that PRO was going to obfuscate both his sources and arguments. CON effectively attacked this weakness. This led to a rather frustrating reading experience for me, especially considering the number of sources that had to be verified not due to interest from the reader, but because of suspicion. Compared to CON's relatively clear arguments, the difference was substantial.

Posted by Raisor 4 years ago

First, I think Pro made a mistake in accepting full BOP. This debate easily could have been shared, the winner being whoever was most likely correct in characterizing the organization.

Second, I think Con's best evidence showed up in the final round- namely the London Book review of Pro's Qassem source. Con should have brought this up as soon as Pro made use of the Qassem source, not waited until the final round when Pro had no chance to respond. I did not consider this piece of evidence in my decision. Even if Con thinks its unfair to use a book that isnt available electronically, this complaint should be made ASAP not in the final round.

I think Pro wins that most of the violence he describes are probably carried out by Hezbollah. Con's "alternate explanations" are pretty flimsy and Pro calls him out on this.

I dont think that Pro is showing that this violence is systematic or part of a larger political strategy. Con makes the argument that most of the media control and rhetoric is just par for the course politics in Lebanon. He provides examples of political violence from other parties to back this up.

This combines with the overt rhetoric of openness that Con points out goes a long way toward discrediting the violence Pro rests his case on as being a core tactic and driving force of the organization.

The debate was close, but in the end I think Pro failed to meet the BOP.
Posted by NiqashMotawadi3 4 years ago
@rross. I'll discuss this when the voting is over. I don't want us starting a new debate here. Even if nobody voted, it is disrespectful to start a comment-debate while having vote on the debate, IMO.
Posted by rross 4 years ago
I'm sorry if it seemed that I was rude to you in the debate. I didn't mean to be. But your final point about Naim Qassam did rest only on your word that the book said what you claimed it did. Not only did this seem unlikely, but you did misrepresent evidence all through the debate and so I could only conclude that you were continuing to do so.

There's no polite way to say that, unfortunately. Or if there is, it's beyond my powers of tact.

In a social situation, I would have simply refrained from comment (I hope), but this is a debate and that's why I said what I did.

You opened yourself up to comments like that by being careless with how you represented sources. To be honest, I was surprised that you did. There's enough substantial evidence out there that you could have used. Why didn't you?
Posted by rross 4 years ago
What do you mean, "especially those who don't happen to be friends of rross"?

Are you trying to say that nobody on my friends list can be trusted to provide a worthwhile opinion on this debate? How ridiculous and offensive.

I suppose your snide remark is in relation to wrichcirw's comments. Why don't you assess these comments on their merits rather than find spurious reasons to dismiss them?

This is a very long debate and, as wrichcirw said, very evidence-heavy. For someone to read carefully through this would take a substantial investment of time and attention. Then, to take the time to make comments, again, is doing us a favor.

It's very possible that nobody will vote for this reason. Don't take it to heart. If you want votes, do a much shorter debate, preferably a funny one, and people will vote.
Posted by NiqashMotawadi3 4 years ago
I wish people would vote. I'm interested to see people's opinions, especially those which don't happen to be friends of rross.
Posted by makhdoom5 4 years ago
than what is it. every organization has aims and moto what they have. what is there slogan what is there purpose, for what they are created. who are financing them. all that, need to be tell.
Posted by wrichcirw 4 years ago
@Iconoclast: "PRO never claimed Hashem was called a traitor, but treated as such."

1) PRO clearly puts the word "traitor" in quotations with a citation, meaning that PRO insisted that such an allegation was made, and it wasn't.

2) Any felon is "treated as such". That doesn't mean anything. PRO's claims were clear that he thought Hashem was deemed a traitor, not just treated like a felon.


Qassam was never quoted. He was merely referenced, without any verifiable sources. I have no idea how you can consider such a source a "trump card" unless you have already read the book before reading this debate, and I suspect you've read it in Arabic (my point being that an English translation would be difficult to obtain let alone source).


Personally, I found the Geha charge to be about as "clear" as all of the other allegations that PRO made. Most of what PRO cited didn't actually occur...they were a bevy of claims that would cause one to suspect that what PRO cited was true. This severely damages PRO's credibility...we are not dealing with "maybe's" here, we are dealing with a supposedly proven case, that "Hezbollah is a fascistic sectarian organization".


Again, this is coming from someone who is not familiar with this topic...I take a truly tabula rasa approach, whereas I suspect some extremely strong bias in you.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by TheHitchslap 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: This is a tough debate to vote on: args to pro, sources to con sources: con does a great job elevating sources and judging their validity or not throughout the debate. Args to pro for several reasons: first of all, he met his BOP even by his opponents admission that the nature of the organization it's self must be shown to be fascistic. He does with unjust persecutions, killings, etc... While Rross does counter these, I find they often required conspiracy theories, false analogies, and buck-passing (signs of a weak argument IMO). Over all good debate!
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: see comments. Probably the most source-heavy debate I've ever seen on this website.
Vote Placed by Raisor 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments