Lebanese Muslim movement to hold rally opposing Syria's al-Assad
A Lebanese Sunni Muslim movement with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood was set in northern Lebanon Friday to stage its first rally against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, DPA reported.
Hizb al Tahrir organizers told the German Press Agency dpa "a sit- in will be held inside the mosque of al Mansouri Mosque in Tripoli after Friday prayer, and then we will stage a rally in an open area near the mosque, so as not to defy a decision by the government to ban the protest."
Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri met Thursday with Internal Security Forces chief General Ashraf Rifi and army commander General Jean Khwaji and warned that security forces would crack down on anyone organizing a rally in Tripoli's main square, Nour.
A Lebanese security officer on the ground near the mosque told dpa "we have firm instructions to stop the rally if the protesters move only a few steps from the mosque."
The rally is organized to support "the Syrian protesters who are calling for their freedom," a reference to ongoing anti-government unrest in neighbouring Syria.
It is scheduled to take place near the mosque. Pro-Syrian groups had earlier planned their own demonstrations, but canceled them after the government banned rallies.
Tripoli Mufti Sheikh Malek al-Shaar stressed that everybody in Lebanon is allowed to express their opinion, but in a way so "that they don't pose a challenge to other movements" in the city.
The Hizb al Tahrir movement's media official, Ahmad Qasas, told a news conference at the party's headquarters in Tripoli Thursday that attempts to suppress the demonstration were consistent with instructions from the Syrian regime to official authorities in Lebanon.
Hizb al Tahriri is a Muslim movement which works to convince Muslims to overthrow their present governments peacefully and establish a worldwide caliphate, which would then impose conservative Islam upon all majority Muslim countries.
The organization is banned in all Arab countries except for Lebanon, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates.