In the new liberated Libya there is a struggle between rival factions of the new regime. The main struggle is between “moderate” Islamists and “radical ”Islamists. The former are represented by some regime figures, such as NTC leader Mustafa Abduljaleel who says that the new Libya will remove the Qaddafi restrictions on polygamy (I expect the US Congress to invite him to address a joint session just for that, and to honor him with rousing standing ovations). He also says that Libyan law will be Islamic Shari’a law, although he has not bothered to ask the Libyan people yet.
The less moderate Islamists are the Salafis who want an even stricter Islamic society like Saudi Arabia or the Taliban. They have been clamoring to imitate the Saudi Wahhabis in tearing down ancient mosques and monuments as “haram” or taboo. In Mecca, some of the most ancient Islamic monuments from the days of the Prophet have been erased and replaced with five star hotels and shopping malls. Homes of the Prophet and his early sahaba supporters lost to the greed of princes and potentates. I have written here in the past about the transformation of Mecca as the new Las Vegas without the legal “diversions” of the one in Nevada. An unforgivable and irreversible crime.
Arab media reports
tell us the Libyan Salafis are already eying some mosques and shrines that are centuries old, with plans to tear them down and erase all traces o them. In their place, they might want to erect murals of the king of Saudi Arabia and all the senior princes.
All sides of the new Libya are fully armed and ready. I expect the secular exiles who rushed home when the dictator seemed about to fall to be thinking of their plans B and C.