When looking for a home in Hadath, Muslims need not apply. A 2010 decision by the mayor of the Beirut suburb bans Christian residents from renting or selling to Muslims.
The move has attracted renewed scrutiny given Lebanon's long history of sectarian divisions that led to a 15-year civil war.
Hadath Mayor George Aoun justifies his ban by pointing towards the shift in the Muslim population over... Еще the decades. Hadath was once almost entirely Christian, but it now has a Muslim majority.
«Starting in the 90s and up until 2010, our Shia brothers bought 55 percent of the village's property,» said Aoun in an interview filmed on Tuesday.
In response, the local council sought to preserve the so-called Christian nature of the village by applying restrictions on property.
The ban only applies to Christians however — a Muslim resident of landowner of Hadath is allowed to sell or rent their property to Muslims from outside the town or whomever they want.
Aoun believes the nine-year-old policy is constitutional as it is meant to preserve the «peaceful coexistence» between the country's religious groups, a notion he said is enshrined in the Lebanese constitution.
The public nature of the ban is unique in Lebanon, although alternative and more discrete means are used in other Christian areas.