Arabs-on-a-rope. Let me ask it again, where do they find those Arabs who write in US newspapers? This Alia Ibrahim has a silly article on Hizbullah in the Washington Post. Nothing new or original beyond what the March 14th camp is saying in Lebanon on a daily basis. Her thesis, of the notion of Taklif as the determinant of the power of Hizbullah among Shi`ites is more silly than her style. And the article uses cyclical arguments: this is like saying that Mr. Bush is popular among Republicans because he is…Republican. And Hizbullah members don’t all follow Khamenei as “object of emulation.” First, Taklif has been in place during the era of Subhi Tufayli: so why was the party not as powerful then? The answer to those questions, and to Hizbullah’s popularity, can be found not in this idea or that but in the sectarian politics of Lebanon–and in other historical factors. Yes, Hasan Nasrallah has the power to command loyalty in the Shi`ite community, as does Jumblat among Druzes, and mini-Hariri among Sunnis, unless there is also taklif among Sunnis and Druzes too. And then she says this: “”Taklif’s use as a political tool has become almost like a military order, and it completely contradicts the individual’s sacred right of choice. Nothing should be imposed on people,” says Hani Fahs, a cleric and member of the Shiite Higher Council, citing a verse from the Koran: “How can you enslave people, born free by their mothers?”" First, any Arab correspondent who can’t recognize a Qur’anic verse is clearly lacking in Arabic and Islamic education. This is NOT a Qur’anic verse, but a saying attributed to `Umar Ibn Al-Khattab. As for Hani Fahs: search this site to learn about his background. He is one of many Sunni and Shi`ite clerics who is willing to offer fatwawawas for a…fee.