The man considered to be Hezbollah’s first spiritual leader, Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, has died. And CNN’s top Middle East correspondent appears greatly saddened.
We do not revel in any death, however, one does not expect a top reporter for a major news agency to express sorrow when a leader of a terrorist organization dies. CNN Mideast Affairs senior editor Octavia Nasr wrote in her Twitter feed “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah… One of Hezbollah’s Giants I Respect A Lot.”
Here is CNN’s report on Fadlallah’s passing.
“He stood with great courage and clarity supporting the resistance against the Zionist enemy and was a prominent advocate of Islamic unity fighting division and strife,” Hezbollah said in a statement.
In a letter penned to President Barack Obama last year, Fadlallah said: “The size of support and cover-up provided by your country for the Zionist entity has become known. This entity was established on the land whose people were uprooted by the power of iron and fire. The subsequent American policies have contributed to the loss of the Palestinian cause, despite the ratification of many Security Council resolutions.”
According to the BBC:
For many in the West, Sayyid Fadlallah’s name was irrevocably linked with acts of violence against the American presence in Lebanon in the early 1980s.
Many bomb attacks, hijackings and kidnappings were attributed to the militant Shia movement Hezbollah, whose spiritual leader the bespectacled cleric was reputed to be in its early phases.
In the West, Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah was widely seen as the “godfather” of Hezbollah, and his name became well known during the turbulent and dramatic events that followed Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the subsequent ill-fated insertion of an American-led Multinational Force.
And in this BBC obituary:
He also continued to advocate suicide attacks as a means of fighting Israel, and only last year he issued a fatwa forbidding the normalisation of ties with the Jewish state.
Further, according to reports in the British Telegraph and BBC, Fadlallah supported Palestinian suicide bombings in Israel.
The United States has labeled Hezbollah a terrorist organization.
Because of all this, a campaign has started on Facebook calling on CNN to fire Nasr for praising Fadlallah. Read more about that here.