Filed under Libya

19. The folly of proxy war

In the 19th and beginning of the 20th century the Middle East had become in the view of many Arabs a playing board, on which foreign powers played their game using the Arabs as pieces. While the Ottoman Empire lost more and more of its authority over its Arabic subjects through the machinations of France, … Continue reading

15. Building a new (religious) foundation

In revolutions dictatorial regimes are seen as a structure that has to be demolished. The end of the regime’s figurehead is not the end, but the start of the demolition of the “structures” of the old regime. Not only the cronies, who profited from the dictatorship, should go, but also the legal foundation of the … Continue reading

13. Will popular Islam survive the revolutions?

The revolutions in the Middle-East have inadvertently unleashed a force that cannot be controlled. Radical groups, which were before held back by the now toppled regimes, have started to attack sufi graves. The most highlighted incident was the destruction of the ancient and famous sufi sanctuaries in Timbuktu by armed radicals, who called themselves Ansar … Continue reading

10. Musings on Libya’s militias

Thomas Hobbes discussed in his famous work “Leviathan” the need for a strong, civil government. Without a government, the people would fall back to their natural state. This natural state is a chaotic one, a battle of man against man. In order to contain this violence, the government should have the exclusive right to use … Continue reading

9. The (ex-)mujahidin in Libya: the end of a struggle?

During the 2011 Libyan revolution the former fighters of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) joined the rebels in their fight against Mu’ammar Ghaddafi’s troops. Their militias took under guidance of their former emir (leader) Abdelhakim Belhadj in August 2011 Tripoli by surprise. Ghaddafi’s son, Seif al-Islam, desperately tried to persuade the fighters to switch … Continue reading