Controversial sketch about missing Shia cleric sparks protests and calls for boycott in Lebanon

Published February 15th, 2017 - 02:12 GMT
This controversial sketch made reference to Sadr's disappearance (screenshot)
This controversial sketch made reference to Sadr's disappearance (screenshot)

Angry protesters attacked the offices of a Lebanese television channel on Tuesday night, after it broadcast a sketch apparently mocking Shia cleric Imam Musa al-Sadr.

Sadr, the founder of the Amal political party, has been missing since a visit to Libya in 1978.

Around 300 people protested outside the headquarters of privately owned al-Jadeed channel following its decision to show a comic play referring to the disappearance.

Amal is the largest Shia party in Lebanese parliament, with narrowly more seats than Hezbollah. Demonstrators, waving Amal flags, could be heard chanting “here we are Nabih” in reference to Nabih Berry, the Amal speaker of Lebanese Parliament, as they threw fireworks, rocks and eggs at the building.

Meanwhile, on Twitter a hashtag was launched calling for a boycott of al-Jadeed channel, which was the number one trending topic in Lebanon on Wednesday.

Guys, share this. We are calling for a boycott of al-Jadeed channel and all the companies that advertise with them.

#CampaignToBoycottAlJadeed because it’s a sold-out, worthless channel…

If you love Lebanon, stop your adverts on the channel of sedition.

Because Musa al-Sadr was a rare gem.

However, others tweeted in defense of freedom of speech, describing the protestors as “over sensitive”.

A number of Lebanese politicians have spoken out against the violent demonstrations, while President Michel Aoun called on Tuesday for ministers to help restore calm.


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