Reuters is reporting on demands by Ali Sallabi (aka Ali Salabi), an associate of Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, for a role for “moderate” Islam in Libyan politics. According to the report:
A prominent and influential Libyan Islamist cleric, returning to his native land after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, has demanded a role for “moderate” Islam in politics. “We call for a moderate Islam,” Ali Al-Sallabi said at a meeting late on Sunday that included supporters and opponents. “But you all have to understand that Islam is not just about punishment, cutting hands and beheading with swords.” Though he has no formal political role, Al-Sallabi has become a hugely significant voice in Libyan affairs because he is close to the government of Qatar, an influential backer of interim rulers the National Transitional Council(NTC). He also is a close associate of Tripoli’s military commander Abdel Hakim Belhadj, a rising — and increasingly divisive — Islamist figure in post-Gaddafi Libya. Some Libyans, including several at the meeting, suspect that Al-Sallabi favours introducing a strict form of Islamic law, or sharia, in a country that has long disavowed militant Islam. Qatar is a super-rich nation with a tiny population of about 350,000 nationals living under conservative Islamic rule. Its role in the region dwarfs its population, including giving financial and military support to the war on Gaddafi. Since the fall of Tripoli on Aug. 23, Sallabi has emerged as a prominent spokesman for groups of Islamists unhappy about what they see as attempts by some NTC leaders to exclude them from political life. It was not clear whether he was back in Libya permanently or would return to his temporary base in Qatar.
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“Moderate Islam” is known to be a code word for the ideology of the Global Muslim Brotherhood.¡
An earlier post reported on the “growing influence of Islamists in Libya” including Salabi while another post reported on Salabi and his association with Qaradawi.