Libya Year One: The Impassable Road to Stability
The North Africa Journal: Islamists in Libya were always staunched enemies of the Gaddafi regime. Muamar Gaddafi spent millions of dollars either fighting them or paying them to gain their loyalty. One of the very last acts he did as the rebellion started in Benghazi was to release from jail a group of Islamist militants and gave them money to buy their support.
The power of Islamists in Libya remains largely unproven and the country faces political uncertainty and instability stemming from other pressure points and political forces. It is evident that the Libyan society remains largely conservative but the extremist religion sentiment is generally not widespread. At least not yet! But as the revolution toppled the Gaddafis, Islamist voices became more vocal to the point that the then Interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril highlighted the importance of religious rules in the Libyan legal and government context.
The same Mahmoud Jibril is currently building a coalition of parties and civil society organizations to endorse a rather moderate Islam in politics. In his efforts, some 44 political parties and 236 NGOs joined him, along with some 300 personalities, ahead of setting up a Constituent Assembly scheduled to be elected in June 2012. Their coalition is called the Alliance for the Patriotic Political Forces. Jibril convinced the various ethnic regions, or tribes to join the coalition, including the Amazigh, Toubous and the Touaregs. Continue here | Click here to subscribe