Many people have been concerned about the Obama Administration’s intervention into the Libyan Civil War with little knowledge of the character of the emerging new government, including indications of strong influences of religious extremists. The concern is that, as in Afghanistan with Al Qaeda, we are supporting the ascension of potentially more dangerous elements. That concern was heightened this week when the new Libyan government flatly rejected any possible extradition of Abdel Baset al-Megrahi — the terrorist mastermind behind the bombing of Pan Am flight 103. In the meantime in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood’s party has already announced sweeping proposed changes to structure society under Sharia law, including limits on tourists, banning bikinis and sunbathing. Other Islamic parties are calling for the removal of art and artifacts as non-Islamic.
In Libya, Mohammed al-Alagi, the Transitional National Council’s justice minister, rejected calls for the return of al-Megrahi. As we discussed earlier, al-Megrahi was released under pressure from Libya under a transparently false claim that he was near death. That was in 2009. His family say that he is again near death, but notably the new Libyan government says that it does not matter. He will never be turned over and furthermore Libya will never extradite its citizens to a foreign government. Al-Alagi stressed “We do not hand over Libyan citizens. Qaddafi does.” Wow, Qaddafi’s handing over al-Alagi was one of his few acts of yielding to international pressure. Previously, I objected to how the new Libyan government looks a lot like the old Libyan government with former officials joining the cause.
These were the same officials who lied for years about the country’s terrorist operations and praised al-Megrahi. It was only when Qaddafi started killing Libyans that they became instant humanitarians.
What, of course, makes the situation even more precarious is the access of Libya to weapons of mass destruction — rumored to be held by the old regime.
Over in Egypt, religious parties are moving against Western influences and even Western tourists to cleanse the country of non-Muslim elements. Abd Al-Munim A-Shahhat, a spokesman for the Salafi group Dawa, called for the removal of historical artifacts and the covering of pictures as non-Islamic — a move reminiscent of the Taliban’s destruction art and the two ancient statues of the Buddha called Bamiyan. A-Shahhat insists that wax should be used to cover art and artifacts because “[t]he pharaonic culture is a rotten culture” and human images must be “covered with wax, since they are religiously forbidden.”
Polls show a majority of Egyptians favor imposing Sharia law on the country with its restrictions on non-Muslim acts and conduct.
Source: Headline News