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Libya's 'Classical Liberal' Sharia Supremacist Leader
This past week's Benghazi hearings refocused attention on statements made by Libyan leader Muhammad al-Muqaryaf [Magariaf] in the immediate aftermath of the murderous 9/11/2012 attacks on the vulnerable U.S. Benghazi diplomatic mission compound. Al-Muqaryaf, head of Libya's National Congress, reiterated (and elaborated upon) his contentions to Al-Hayat's Raghdah Durgham during an interview published October 1, 2012.
Al-Muqaryaf's candor has proven a useful adjunct to the concrete e-mail evidence which emerged from the Benghazi hearings (and beyond -- see here, here) exposing the Obama administration's deliberately mendacious narrative. But notwithstanding Al-Muqaryaf's steadfast refusal to abide the Obama administration's deceitfully redacted false scenario -- constructed to uphold its politically contrived Big Lie about "the demise of al-Qaeda" -- unwarranted hagiographic assessments of the Libyan leader have been put forth by typically informed conservatives. For example, although nested within a harsh overall critique of the Libyan intervention, this romanticized assessment of Al-Muqaryaf himself was provided by National Review's Andrew McCarthy:
McCarthy's characterization of Al-Muqaryaf as "a liberal in the classic sense" was subsequently repeated by Rush Limbaugh, verbatim -- sans the weak qualifier "reputed."
Stated bluntly, these romantic characterizations do not withstand scrutiny. Al-Muqaryaf is not a "classical liberal." Rather, he is a sharia supremacist, both in his words and in his conduct of Libyan state affairs.
Addressing the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, 2012, Al-Muqaryaf articulated a "vision" of (expected) treacly Islamic apologetics, and boilerplate Islamic Jew-hatred, vis-à-vis Israel. But Al-Muqaryaf's statements also belied his sharia-based rejection of free speech, melded in seamless if unwitting contradiction to expressed endorsement of "democracy," "openness," and "freedom" itself.
Shortly after this September 27 U.N. address, he made his sharia supremacist views plain. During a London interview on October 1, 2012, Al-Muqaryaf, while claiming that Libyans ostensibly desired a "constitutional, democratic, civil" and "secular state," added this profound caveat:
He reiterated that viewpoint at the inauguration ceremony of the Maydan al-Shuhada (Martyrs' Square) Mosque in the northwestern Libyan city of Al-Zawiyah three weeks later (October 21, 2012). After thanking the denizens of Al-Zawiyah for inviting him and members of the (Libyan) General National Congress to take part in "laying down the cornerstones of Allah's house [i.e., the Maydan al-Shuhada Square mosque]," Al-Muqaryaf proclaimed:
Al-Muqaryaf further noted that the GNC planned to prepare and issue several draft laws relating to "abolishing the law of interest [in the banking system]" -- a statement which elicited applause from the crowd -- before adding, "This has been an essential entitlement for us for a long time."
Since at least April 2012, foreign Christians within Libya have experienced attacks -- two Egyptian Christians were killed when a bomb exploded in the Coptic Church of Misrata during January, 2013. Christian religious icons and cemeteries have been desecrated and Christians arrested for the alleged "crime" of proselytizing. Regarding the sharia-based offense of proselytizing, a Libyan security official told Reuters:
Bilal Bettamer, identified as a Benghazi lawyer and human rights activist, affirmed that Libya is an exclusively Muslim country which should not accept Christian proselytization. Bettamer claimed:
Yet on the same day it was reported that four Christians were arrested in Benghazi, February 17, 2013, for proselytization, Muhammad Al-Muqaryaf gave a speech, also in Benghazi, marking the second anniversary of the 2011 uprising and pledging once again that sharia would underpin Libya's constitution. This juxtaposition was symbolic, not fortuitous, as borne out by more recent events.
It was reported less than a month ago (April 14, 2013), for example, that the Libyan Ministry of Social Affairs endorsed a fatwa from the Grand Mufti, Sheikh Sadeq Al-Ghariani, prohibiting Libyan women from marrying foreigners. As described in English-language Libya Herald,
Finally, as reported April 25, 2013, Libya's Grand Mufti Al-Ghariani (perhaps emboldened by the Libyan government's recent endorsement of his fatwa banning Libyan women from marrying foreigners), responding to what he characterized as burgeoning number of complaints to the Fatwa (religious ruling) office, is now demanding gender segregation at educational and financial establishments as well as at universities, government offices, companies, and hospitals.
Most Libyans, he maintained, "were calling for the application of Sharia Law." Moreover, he noted that everyone in a Muslim nation anticipated that:
Al-Ghariani directed his open letter demand for an end to such "immoral" gender-mixing to the Al-Muqaryaf , president of the General National Congress, the prime minister, other members of Congress and the government, as well as militia leaders and civil society organizations. As of this writing, I could find no evidence that Al-Muqaryaf -- the alleged "classical liberal" champion of "equality among citizens and between the sexes" -- has rejected Al-Ghariani's latest demands.
Libyan President Muhammad Al-Muqaryaf should be characterized as the (sadly) commonplace sharia supremacist Muslim leader he in fact appears to be. As such, Al-Muqaryaf is the apotheosis of the "(Bernard) Lewis doctrine's" failed utopian aspirations. He most assuredly does not represent the unfulfilled realization of that misbegotten policy construct, cynically undermined by the machinations of the Obama administration.
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