We tried to tell you. With another Wilsonian adventure well underway, our political establishment learned nothing in Iraq about trusting the thin veneer of a moderate, tolerant society that peeled off like cheap car window tinting as soon as the regime fell. Western governments proceeded on a rank oversimplification of “good” and “bad” sides in Libya, funding what was believed to be the former without questioning or investigation.
As reported below, there is Sharia at every turn, and the West hopes against hope for the Paper Sharia of academic exercises to emerge: Sharia as advertised, as opposed to Sharia as observed.
Coming soon: buyer’s remorse. “Libya could fall into hands of extremists, Nato warns,” by Thomas Harding, Ruth Sherlock, and Richard Spencer for the Telegraph, September 12:
Libya is in danger of falling into the hands of Islamic extremists if a stable government is not rapidly established, Nato’s secretary-general warned last night.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Islamic extremists would “try to exploit” any weaknesses created as the country tried to rebuild after four decades of Col Muammar Gaddafi’s rule.
The solution should not be to throw money blindly at people who seem to tell them what they want to hear.
Mr Rasmussen was speaking amid growing evidence of splits in the rebel leadership in Tripoli. His words will cast a damper over the euphoria sweeping Tripoli in the wake of the revolution.
His warning came as the head of the National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, told cheering crowds in Tripoli that Islamic shariah law would be the “main source” of legislation in the new Libya.
Mr Jalil, who only arrived in his new capital on Saturday, made his first public speech in Martyrs” Square – once Col Gaddafi’s “Green Square” – last night.
“We are a Muslim people, for a moderate Islam, and we will stay on this road,” he said. His formulation suggested that Libya would follow neighbours such as Egypt in allowing room for secular freedoms.
Whose Egypt? Mubarak’s? Life was still miserable for non-Muslims under his government, which was still an Islamic state with Sharia as the basis of legislation. Egypt’s future character is not entirely settled, but the secularists are outmanned and outgunned by outfits like the Muslim Brotherhood, who are leading the charge to ramrod an even more stridently Islamic state through via the next constitution.
Ultimately, the promises are benign-sounding generalities. Sharia will determine the specifics.
But there are already signs that the rebel leadership is split over a variety of issues including the future role of the Islamist militias which played a significant part in the revolution.
Mahmoud Jibril, the interim Libyan prime minister, also arrived in Tripoli at the end of last week after complaints that he had been too busy travelling the world to lead his own revolution. On Sunday night he was forced to announce that his first government reshuffle would take place in seven to ten days.
Asked if Nato was worried that a delay in setting up a fully fledged new government increased the risk of extremists taking control, Mr Rasmussen said: “We cannot exclude the possibility that extremists will try to exploit a situation and take advantage of a power vacuum.”…