Subhi al-Tufayli

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Subhi al-Tufayli (صبحي الطفيلي) (born 1948) was secretary-general of Hezbollah from 1989 until 1991. Al-Tufayli was a Shia Islamist and a close follower of the late Ruhollah Khomeini.

Early life and education[edit]

Al-Tufayli spent nine years studying theology in the city of Najaf, Iraq, where he met and was influenced by other Islamist clerics and by the teachings of Ruhollah Khomeini. Returning to Lebanon, he joined with Abbas al-Musawi to help found the Hezbollah movement/militia in the Beqaa Valley in 1982. Beqaa is one of Hezbollah's three main regions of support in Lebanon.[1]

In Hezbollah[edit]

Al-Tufayli was spokesman for Hezbollah between 1985 and 1989, and then the first Secretary-General of Hezbollah from 1989 until 1991.


In 1992 al-Tufayli was replaced by Abbas al-Musawi as head of Hezbollah. Hezbollah's hostage-taking campaign had wound down since the "Kuwait 17" bombers of the 1983 Kuwait bombings who were linked to leading Hezbollah members were now free, and the Taif Agreement had essentially ended the Civil War in Lebanon. Al-Musawi was both head of the military wing and former head of the movement's "internal security apparatus in Beirut," and was thus thought well-equipped to lead Hezbollah in its new primary mission of fighting Israel and ending Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon.[2] Al-Tufayli also opposed Hezbollah's participation in Lebanese national elections[3][4] and its "moderation" toward the Lebanese state.[5]

In July 1997 he organized protests, dubbed the "hunger revolution"[by whom?], against the Lebanese government.[6] Al-Tufayli said it is "completely unacceptable that a human being could be humiliated because of poverty or because they were in need."[7]

His breakaway group is known as the "Revolution of the Hungry" (Thawrat al-Jiya)[8]

In February 2013, al-Tufayli berated Hezbollah for fighting on behalf of the Syrian regime in the Syrian civil war. He said "Hezbollah should not be defending the criminal regime that kills its own people and that has never fired a shot in defense of the Palestinians". al-Tufayli added: "those Hezbollah fighters who are killing children and terrorizing people and destroying houses in Syria will go to hell".[9] He also berated the Lebanese Army for not stopping Lebanese citizens crossing the border to fight in Syria.[10]


More recently, al-Tufayli has stated that Hassan Nasrallah is implementing the agenda of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ali Khamenei,[11] that the Islamic Republic's doctrine of "Rule of the Jurisprudent" (Wilayat al-Faqih) is un-Islamic and its government tyrannical.[12]

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Ragheb Harb
Secretary-General of Hezbollah
Succeeded by
Abbas al-Musawi