Lebanese minister slams ban on Muslims renting, buying housing

Lebanon's interior minister slams ban on Muslims renting in Christian-majority area
2 min read
22 June, 2019
Muslims are banned from renting in Christian-majority areas in Hadath - a decision that is now facing criticism from the interior minister.
Raya al-Hassan is among four women appointed to the new Lebanese cabinet [AFP]

Lebanon's Interior Minister has slammed a decision to ban Muslims from renting or purchasing houses in a Christian-majority area.

Raya al-Hassan criticised municipal chief of Hadath, George Aoun, who reportedly made the decision to bar Muslims from access to real estate in the area.

"I have been notified of the remarks made by Hadath municipal chief," Hassan said in remarks to LBCI TV Station, adding that he "will be asked to draw back his remarks if they turn out to be true".

This is in reference to Aoun telling the same TV station: "The decision was taken nine years ago and we won’t back down because we want to preserve national coexistence."

Aoun was responding to a viral Facebook post by Mohammed Aouad who shared his experience not being able to rent an apartment in Hadath due to the fact he was Muslim.

"Only 40% of Hadath is occupied by Christian inhabitants, while 60% are of the brethren Shiite community," Aoun stressed, adding "we don't want to change the demography of the area".

But Hassan said "the move is unconstitutional," adding that Aoun will be asked to withdraw the ruling.

Hassan became the first female Arab minister in charge of internal security agencies in February.

The minister of the interior is one of four women in the new 30-member cabinet, which is a record high for female political representation in Lebanon. 

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