Global media is reporting that the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood has held its first ever public conference on Libyan soil. According to a Reuters report:
Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:30pm EST(Reuters) – The Muslim Brotherhood held its first public conference on Libyan soil on Thursday after being banned for decades, and used the platform to set a moderate tone, calling for a broad national reconstruction effort.As Libya emerges from a bloody civil war, many observers believe the next elections could pit religious political groups against secular parties, with better-organized Islamists such as the Brotherhood having a tactical advantage.Speaking nine months to the day after the start of the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi that eventually ended his 42-year rule, Libyan Muslim Brotherhood leader Suleiman Abdelkader praised the rebellion and called on Libya’s factions to unite.”Rebuilding Libya is not a task for one group or one party but for everyone, based on their ability,” Abdelkader told the meeting of about 700 people at a wedding hall in Benghazi, the eastern city where the revolt against Gaddafi began.His remarks appeared to be an expression of support for the idea of a technocratic interim government, which Abdurrahim El-Keib, the prime minister designate, is trying to assemble by a Tuesday deadline.Abdelkader would not, however, be drawn on whether the Brotherhood wanted one of its members to be part of the interim cabinet, which is due to organize elections in June to a constituent assembly.”Maybe some (members) will join based on their qualifications and ability. But for this time period we will not join as a party,” he told Reuters after his speech.The slickly organized event was heavy in revolutionary references, with the stage draped in the new national colors and speeches given by guest speakers from Tunisian moderate Islamist party Ennahda and Syria’s banned Muslim Brotherhood.There was also a general mood of celebration for a movement that was founded in 1949 but which organizers said had not held a public meeting in Libya until now.”I feel great. It’s freedom. It’s like a dream for us,” said Abdallah Dahmani, a 65 year-old university lecturer in chemistry.
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An earlier post reported that what were described as “senior Muslim clerics” were forming a new political party to rule the country based on “moderate” Islamic laws. Another previous post recommended Israeli analyst Jonathan D. Halev’s article titled “Did The Libyan Leadership Deceive the West” in which he writes:
Qatari involvement is likely to produce a regime in Libya that follows the political orientation of Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, thereby giving the Muslim Brotherhood an open door in the new Libya. The political debate in Libya will be within an essentially Islamist universe, with different leaders distinguished by the degree to which they seek to implement their Islamism. It seems that the strategy of the democratic states that trusted the promises of the rebel forces to adopt and implement the principles of democracy has collapsed, and that Western aid to overthrow Gaddafi’s tyrannical regime prepared the groundwork for the establishment of an Islamic state, which eventually may become hostile to the West.
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A post from September reported on what the New York times called the “growing influence of Islamists in Libya”, identifying Qatari Muslim Brotherhood figure Ali Sallabi (aka Ali Salabi), already known to be the Revolution’s “spiritual leader and a close associate of Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, as well as for the first time Abel al-Rajazk Abu Hajar who is said to lead the Tripoli Municipal Governing Council and is described as a “Muslim Brotherhood figure.”
An earlier post reported on Ali Sallabi and his association with Qaradawi who is known for espousing his view of moderate Islam. Qaradawi, a virulent anti-Semite is often referred to here as the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, an acknowledgement of his role as the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to lead the Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide. Based in Qatar, Sheikh Qaradawi has reportedly amassed substantial wealth through his role as Shari’ah adviser to many important Islamic banks and funds. He is also considered to be the “spiritual guide” for Hamas and his fatwas in support of suicide bombings against Israeli citizens were instrumental in the development of the phenomenon. A recent post has discussed a video compilation of Qaradawi’s extremist statements some of which have been discussed in previous posts including Qaradawi stating:
- Islam will conquer Europe through peaceful means.
- Hitler was divine punishment for the misdeeds of the Jews and that the Holocaust was exaggerated.
- He desires to end his life in the service of Jihad by visiting Israel and throwing a bomb, becoming a “martyr” in the process
- Calling for the death of all Jews.
- Calling for the collapse of the US if it doesn’t end its “unjust ways.”
The second collection contains various statements by Qaradawi on social issues such as discussing the killing of homosexuals and stating that beating is “suitable” for some wives.