Sunni Islam in Lebanon
|Related ethnic groups|
Sunni Islam in Lebanon constitutes about from 27%  to 28%  of the total population of Lebanon. Sunni notables traditionally held power in the Lebanese state together, and they are still the only sect eligible for the post of Prime Minister. Within the Lebanese context, especially political, the group is seen as an ethnoreligious group. Sunnis are concentrated in west Beirut, Tripoli, Sidon and in the countryside of the Akkar.
Lebanon’s Sunni community is among the largest ethnopolitical groups and comprises around one-third of the total population. Sunnis are widely dispersed in Lebanon with the majority of Lebanese Sunnis residing in urban centers (more than two-thirds living in Beirut, Sidon, and Tripoli), and rural Sunnis living in the Akkar region, the western Bekka Valley, and in the Shuf Mountains. They share other Lebanese groups’ ethnic Arab background and Arabic language.
With the Lebanese civil war ending in 1990, and parliamentary elections being held throughout the 1990s and into 2000, most of the previously warring factions were satisfied with the reforms to the electoral system and took part in the political process. Since resolved, Lebanon’s fragile peace is dependent on a sectarian governmental structure, where the President is a Maronite Christian, the Prime Minister a Sunni Muslim, and the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies a Shi'a Muslim. Lebanon’s re-emergent sectarian structure allows for little cultural, economic, or political discrimination against the Sunni population. Some Sunnis in particular have embraced the political system, due to not being as militarily powerful as they were in the past (e.g., the Sunni militia "Mourabitoun" suffered a number of humiliating defeats in Beirut during the 1980s, and the rise of Shi’a organizations such as Amal and Hizbollah decreased Sunni militancy). As mentioned above, the Prime Minister is to be of Sunni origin, and this post has seen increased influence as part of Maronite-Sunni negotiations. The Prime Minister is specifically in charge of domestic economic reform, and after decades of civil war Lebanon is finally beginning to rebuild its cities and get its economy back in order. If reforms continue to be successful, Sunni leaders will continue to receive support from the population in general.
Relations with Saudi Arabia
The Sunnis of Lebanon have close ties with Saudi Arabia, which supports them financially. Moreover, Tripoli, the stronghold of the Lebanese Sunnis, is also the birthplace of Lebanon's Salafi Movement, a puritanical Sunni movement from Saudi Arabia.
Relations with Lebanese Alawites and Syria
Sunni Muslims and Alawites have been in conflict with each other for centuries. The Alawites of the Levant gained power and influence when the French recruited Alawites as soldiers during the French mandate of Syria. After independence from France, their co-religionists the Assad family came to power in Syria in 1970.
Over the years, there have been numerous clashes between the Sunni and Alawi communities in Tripoli, particularly over the past 14 months since Syria’s uprising began, as part of the Arab Spring that started in Tunisia.
Notable Lebanese Sunni Muslims
- Riad Al Solh, the first Prime Minister of Lebanon (1943–1945), after the country's independence
- Rafik Hariri, assassinated former Prime Minister of Lebanon
- Saad Hariri, former Prime Minister of Lebanon
- Fouad Siniora, former Prime Minister of Lebanon
- Omar Karami, former Prime Minister of Lebanon
- Najib Mikati, current Prime Minister of Lebanon
- Walid Toufic, singer
- Al-Waleed bin Talal, Saudi-Lebanese businessman
- Marwa, singer
- Suzanne Tamim, singer
- Fadl Shaker, singer
- Dana Halabi, singer and model
- Hassan Khaled, former leader of Lebanon's Sunni Muslim community
- Gibril Haddad, Islamic scholar and Arabic translator
- Wissam al-Hassan, assassinated brigadier general at the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF)
- Saeb Salam, a politician, who served as Prime Minister six times between 1952 and 1973
- Tammam Salam, a Lebanese politician
- Amar , singer
- Islam in Lebanon
- Religion in Lebanon
- Shi'a Islam in Lebanon
- Orthodox Christianity in Lebanon
- Maronite Christianity in Lebanon
- Bab al-Tabbaneh–Jabal Mohsen clashes
- 2012 conflict in Lebanon
- Future Movement
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