Tension escalated Monday with political parties threatening to take measures after Hezbollah-affiliated students at the Lebanese University prevented Fairouz songs from being played during a memorial service over the weekend.
Chouf MP and National Liberal Party head Dory Chamoun told The Daily Star that he was shocked at the events at the university over the weekend. “There needs to be respect for one another in this country and I hope that the decision over what happened is reversed,” Chamoun explained Monday evening.
The NLP threatened to stage a sit-in outside the university’s Hadath campus if no action was taken. “We will stage a protest in front of the LU building if the incident inside is not rectified,” a party statement said, according to local TV station MTV.
Caretaker Education Minister Elias Bou Saab, who is currently in Dubai, tweeted about the incident and said he was awaiting details of the fracas.
“Not everything in the media is accurate and whoever has a problem with any events should report them to the university administration as they are responsible for implementing the law,” Bou Saab tweeted.
Over the weekend, friends of engineering student Mohammad Hamadeh who died in a car accident last month planned a memorial service at the campus. They intended to display his picture and play Fairouz songs to remember his love for the famous Lebanese singer.
“We were setting up the speakers for the music to be played when around 30 members from the Hezbollah Student Council came and said that it was not allowed,” Rawan Karnib, a friend of Hamadeh told TV station LBCI following the fracas.
Hamadeh’s mother was invited to attend the memorial, but the university’s security ordered a halt to the ceremony following verbal altercations between the two sides.
The Hezbollah Student Council said the reason for their opposition was that the ceremony coincided with the anniversary of the death of the Prophet Mohammad.
Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt blasted those involved in halting the memorial. “Do not deprive us of the prayer of Jerusalem, the prayer of Fairouz,” he said in a tweet.
In their weekly media statement, the Kataeb Party blasted Hezbollah over the incident. “The Kataeb Party draws the line at practices of Hezbollah that bans the meeting of opposite sexes in public spaces and prevents music from being played inside and outside of the Lebanese University.”
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