Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

Challenges Ahead of Libya’s Revolution


Challenges Ahead of Libya’s Revolution

Recently, Mr. Akbar Ganji, an Iranian writer and human rights activist wrote an article in BBC Persian website; there he claimed that he participated in a conference arranged to assess the ongoing Arab spring. He quoted the Libyan representative for the conference saying that they would make an Islamic government, the Quran government after erasing Muammar Qaddafi's regime. He continued, "Over dinner with presence of other Arab representatives, I swore him to Holy Quran, not to make a government of Quran, because Quran and Allah wouldn't rule the country; there would be always someone who rules on behalf of Quran and Allah, and that leads to dictatorship. What we have achieved of establishing Islamic government in Iran? In response, he told me that establishing a democratic government meant starting from zero, but Quran government was previously put on experience and widely approved".

Now just put this allegation beside National Transitional Council Chief, Mr. Mustafa Abdul Jalil's rhetoric on day of announcing the liberation of the country from grasp of 42-years-long Muammar Qaddafi's regime, after he was arrested alive and shot death soon after.

Mustafa Abdul Jalil was delivering a historic speech in Benghazi city surrounded by thousands of supporters celebrating the liberation of their country, while still Muammar Qaddafi's corpse was on display in Misrata city. He addressed thousands of Libyans cheering around saying that Col. Qaddafi fell into history's garbage.

He added that he would make an Islamic government and resuscitate laws cancelled during former regime. Up to that point, nothing went wrong and no one became worried of establishment of an Islamic government, because there are governments with religious brand but with particular interpretation that radicals view un-Islamic or anti-Islamic Shariah.

But when he detailed about what he meant by a government based on Islamic Shariah, worrying assumptions started pinching experts following the so-called Arab Spring closely.
He said that the new government would revive the polygamy law cancelled during former regime. "Every Muslim man has the right to marry up to four women simultaneously according to Islamic Shariah. And this law was revoked during former regime that was against Shariah, and polygamy would once again become lawful."

Though I am truly happy that Libyans finally got rid of a dictator that let no opposing sounds rise, but there is something that makes truly worried. Muammar Qaddafi and his regime had to go. Now there is no Col. Qaddafi to threaten people of severe punishment in the case of criticizing government's activities or widespread poverty and high unemployment rate.

But there is a famous proverb saying, "A known enemy is far better then an unknown friend". Now Libyans got rid of authoritarian regime and can breathe in peace, because they are aware that there is no one to violate their laws and persecute them at will and whim presently. But the worrisome issue is the prospective of political establishment, which is wrapped with a black curtain and nothing is visible from the other site.
The question is what will appear out of the curtain? It is something that widely put on table, but no body dares to answer with certainty. And it is the thing makes me worried too.

There is something to be noticed. Right after the commencement of disturbance against the former regime months ago, the regime actually showed resilience against rebellions and tried to severely crackdown them.
Seemingly, Muammar Qaddafi and his political advisors, worried of situations of two countries previously hit by the storm of civil uprising, issued the violent recipe in order to deal with opposition, without considering the international community's possible reaction against mounting civilian casualties that the very contents of the recipe would cause. So, in order not to lose the bridle of control over the country, the regime firmly decided to counter opposition before it was too large. It sent strong message that government would stand against rebellions till last breath.

So, in order to control the mounting civilian loss, the United Nations Security Council approved no-fly zone over the country resolution, which led to some kind of military involvement.
During the anti-Muammar Qaddafi's regime struggle, everyone focused on how to bring down the level of civilians casualties and oust his regime. There were reports of arming civilians, without considering the possible outcomes. As result, now large number of people is armed and they do not share a similar goal.

They are consisted of liberals, to Islamists. In addition, there are various tribes, for whom tribal linkage is on the top, and each tribe is located on distinct locations and areas. And, certainly, rebellions are not formed in a hierarchical establishment, and the notion is entirely doubted that members of National Transitional Council are on the command. Two members of National Transitional council alleged that they commanded revolutionary armies to capture former regime's officials alive. In the case of Col. Qaddafi it became clear they did not follow their command. Revolutionaries shot death after taking him out of an irrigation canal.

Moreover, there is a true fear of Islamists capturing the power. The statement of Mustafa Abdul Jalil, as I mentioned above, obviously show that how Islamists controlled the National Transitional Council.
With these series of challenges, will Libya walk on the road ending into democracy? Seemingly, there are worries, as Libyan officials asked for extension of NATO mission possibly to help succeed in disarmament process. But the measure seems too difficult as there is no justification of further presence of NATO, and it decided to pull out from the country immediately.

It is really hard as well as too early to answer. Though challenges are enormous, but there is no disappointment of finding footprints of democracy in the country, because western countries, after withdrawal, maintain authority to control the political situation not to tilt toward radicalization.

Jawad Rahmani is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at jawad_rahmani2001@yahoo.com

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