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The bigger threat to Lebanese stability is the implosion of Syria, which long played a dominant, sometimes controlling, role in Lebanon. Hezbollah has directly intervened on the side of the Assad regime. The Shia movement's involvement risks bringing the conflict back to Lebanon, as did Hezbollah's costly 2006 war with Israel.
The roots of Sunni Islam's ailments it must be noted are not entirely to do with religion, as most journalists, politicians and "experts" in Europe and across the Atlantic never tire of repeating. Rather than scripture and theology, it is in politics and economics, in power balances, foreign interventions and the scramble for influence and resources that the causes of its ills reside.
The 85-year-old Grand Ayatollah did not talk to me as if I'm Sunni or Shia, Muslim or non-Muslim but just as a human being. I left his reception fully confident that Iraq is currently in safe hands so long as it continues to have wise men like him. However, what will happen after Sistani departs a fragile Iraq?