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Feb 17, 2013

Voice of Russia 15 February 2013
libya_militias_terror_400

Mass protests are sweeping across Libya as the country marks the second anniversary of the beginning of a civil war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi. Two years after the fall of the Gaddafi regime, no new constitution has been drafted.

The new authorities have obviously failed to maintain law and order. Crime is rampaging and popular discontent is on the rise. Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has shut the borders with neighboring Egypt and Tunisia from February 14 to 18 as a security precaution.

Though the anti-Gaddafi revolt erupted on February 17, the main celebrations will take place on the 15th . Airport security is being tightened. Meanwhile, Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines have suspended all flights to Libya until the 17th, citing “tensions on the grounds”. Earlier, Germany, France, Canada and other countries urged their citizens to immediately leave Benghazi over the imminent threat of terrorist attacks. Security is being tightened in the capital Tripoli and also in Benghazi where four U.S. diplomats were killed in a bloody raid on the U.S. consulate last September.

With anarchy and marauding flourishing in border areas where once strict law and order reigned under Gaddafi, most Libyans, particularly in the east, have been outraged by the authorities’ inaction. In addition to local extremists and “adventure seekers”, terrorists of all sorts, including groups of jihadists from Mali, have been pouring in. The “democracy” the West had once been so fervent in forcing upon Libya looks more like a medieval rule, says Director of the Cairo-based Java Center for Political Studies Rifaat Sayed Ahmad.

“NATO air strikes threw the once prospering country by African standards back into the Middle Ages, and still worse, they plunged it into a civil war. The West used military force to install an obedient yet unpopular regime unable to deal with the religious and tribal feud that is tearing the country apart. Libyan oil and gas – that was the main target of NATO’s military intervention in the name of the noble goal of freeing ordinary Libyans from Colonel Gaddafi’s dictatorship, as one French TV program put it.”

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Four ‘Christian missionaries’ arrested in Libya

A Christian Catholic man living in Libya holds a Bible (AFP Photo/Joseph Eid)

RT

Libyan authorities have arrested four foreign nationals in the eastern city of Benghazi on suspicion of being Christian missionaries. The arrests come as Libya celebrates two years since the start of the revolution that ousted Muammar Gaddafi.

­Libyan authorities have arrested four foreign nationals in the eastern city of Benghazi on suspicion of being Christian missionaries. The arrests come as Libya celebrates two years since the start of the revolution that ousted Muammar Gaddafi.

One of the alleged missionaries held dual Swedish-US citizenship, Swedish authorities have confirmed. The others detained were from South Africa, Egypt and South Korea.

The arrested foreigners were reportedly interrogated before being handed over to Libyan intelligence authorities. They are currently being held in ‘Preventative Security’ – a parallel security body created during the 2011 war made up of several rebel brigades that fought in the conflict. With the general power vacuum in the region, it is unclear what charges the alleged missionaries would face if found guilty of evangelizing.

They were arrested on Tuesday at a publishing house where they were printing thousands of books that called for conversion to Christianity,” security official Hussein bin Hmeid told Reuters. Police reported finding 45,000 books, and said that another 25,000 had already been distributed.

Proselytizing is forbidden in Libya. We are a 100 percent Muslim country and this kind of action affects our national security,” Hmeid added.

At least 1 percent of the Libyan population is Coptic Christian, and there are small groups of other Christian denominations, such as Protestantism, present in major Libyan cities. The country’s Christian communities consist almost exclusively of sub-Saharan immigrants and small numbers of Western expatriate workers.

Christian Catholics living in Libya attend Good Friday service at Saint Francis church ahead of Easter celebrations in central Tripoli (AFP Photo/Joseph Eid)

Libyan religious regulations come from the Gaddafi era, and have yet to be revised. Islam is the driving ideology in Libyan society, as 97 percent of the population is Sunni Muslim. Gaddafi imposed Islamic law on every aspect of Libyan society and politics, while simultaneously opposing radical Islamist movements seeing it a political threat to his regime.

Non-Muslim faiths enjoy certain freedoms, despite the strict prohibitions against proselytizations. However, Libyan law currently limits the number of places of worship for each Christian denomination to one per city.

With the fall of Gaddafi, radical Islamist ideology has gained influence inside Libya, prompting many Christians to flee the country or hide their faith. Last year, the International Committee of the Red Cross was forced to suspend its activities in Benghazi after its offices were attacked. The aid group was accused of distributing Bibles and proselytizing.

Libyan-style “democracy”: two years without Gaddafi

Andrei Smirnov
Voice of Russia
February 16, 2013

Mass protests are sweeping across Libya as the country marks the second anniversary of the beginning of a civil war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi. Two years after the fall of the Gaddafi regime, no new constitution has been drafted.

The new authorities have obviously failed to maintain law and order. Crime is rampaging and popular discontent is on the rise. Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has shut the borders with neighboring Egypt and Tunisia from February 14 to 18 as a security precaution.

Though the anti-Gaddafi revolt erupted on February 17, the main celebrations will take place on the 15th . Airport security is being tightened. Meanwhile, Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines have suspended all flights to Libya until the 17th, citing “tensions on the grounds”. Earlier, Germany, France, Canada and other countries urged their citizens to immediately leave Benghazi over the imminent threat of terrorist attacks. Security is being tightened in the capital Tripoli and also in Benghazi where four U.S. diplomats were killed in a bloody raid on the U.S. consulate last September.

With anarchy and marauding flourishing in border areas where once strict law and order reigned under Gaddafi, most Libyans, particularly in the east, have been outraged by the authorities’ inaction. In addition to local extremists and “adventure seekers”, terrorists of all sorts, including groups of jihadists from Mali, have been pouring in. The “democracy” the West had once been so fervent in forcing upon Libya looks more like a medieval rule, says Director of the Cairo-based Java Center for Political Studies Rifaat Sayed Ahmad.

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