Libyan Muslim Brotherhood Forms Political Party


Gulf media is reporting that the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood has announced that it has formed a political party. According to a report in The National:

Associated Press Mar 5, 2012 The Muslim Brotherhood in Libya announced on Saturday that it has formed a political party after six decades in the shadows of dictator Muammar Qaddafi’s regime. The Islamist group declared the creation of the Justice and Development Party in the absence of laws laying out a formal process for the establishment of political parties. The Brotherhood’s spokesman, Mohamed Gaair, said the group has representation in more than 18 cities across the country, and that more than 1,400 members attended Friday’s meeting in Tripoli to declare the formation of the political party. They chose as party leader Mohamed Sowan, a native of the city of Misurata, which saw some of the worst fighting in the civil war that brought down Qaddafi and has since become distrustful of authority based elsewhere in the country. Mr Sowan worked as a hotel manager and was a political prisoner under the Qaddafi regime for eight years until 2006. Mr Gaair said that the Brotherhood has had a presence in Libya since 1949, but that many of its leaders were jailed under Qaddafi or exiled. Several prominent former rebel leaders fighting to oust Qaddafi were associated with the movement, but the group does not have any officials in the transitional government. Now, the Brotherhood is considered the most organized movement in Libya to have nationwide support. Supporters include wealthy businessmen who returned to the country after last year’s civil war ended, opening up civil-society groups and charitable funds throughout the war-ravaged country. Mr Gaair said the group aims to establish a just and developed society based on religious values. “Our first main goal is to work on security and stability,” he said. “We are still a new founded party, but we will work on the basis of Islamic principles and that doesn’t mean the shallow meaning of religion most people think of like banning women from leaving home. This is not rational.” In October, Libya’s western-backed rulers said that Islamic law would be the main source of legislation.”

Earlier posts reported that the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood had held its first  ever public conference on Libyan soil and that  “senior Muslim clerics” were forming a new political party to rule the country based on “moderate” Islamic laws.

post from September 2011 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.

In December 2011, a post reported that Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Gannouchi had joined Qaradawi in Libya where both were expected to take part in the First National Congress for Libyan Reconciliation and Reconstruction.

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.

Read the rest here.

Another post from discussed a trip by Qaradawi to Libya.

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