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In Lebanon, a short-lived rhetorical truce breaks down

September 17, 2012

In Lebanon, a weekend visit by Pope Benedict XVI brought a lull in the contentious debate among rival political and religious groups. But the rhetorical truce broke down on the day after the Pope left.

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah called for public protests against the film, “The Innocence of Muslims,” which has sparked demonstrations around the Islamic world. In response, Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel charged that demonstrations would re-ignite the religious tensions that the papal visit had eased.

“The Lebanese scene cannot tolerate more rallies against the anti-Islam film, especially since there are no guarantees that can make sure that the situation at the demonstrations will not spiral out of control,” said Gemayel. He charged that Nasrallah had broken an implicit agreement to defuse tensions.


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