Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Can Netanyahu now bring about peace?

Soon after becoming Prime Minister of Israel for a second time in 2009, Benyamin Netanyahu gave a stirring and quite brilliant speech at Bar Ilan University. It’s brilliance stemmed from its delivery, content and timing. For the first time he advocated the two state solution to the Middle East crisis, soon after President Obama gave a speech in Egypt urging progress to be made on the crisis. And in broad terms, he gave hope. However, four years later and having been asked by President Peres to form a second successive government, Prime Minister Netanyahu seemingly has not managed to move the peace plan forward.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Response to the Islamaphobes

I was going to title this article as "Why the West should not fear Sharia law in Libya and even if they do it's none of their business". I thought it may be too hefty as a title for a blog that has a tiny (and I'm not entirely consistent) readership. But it certainly summarises my views on this subject quite nicely.

Ever since the declaration of liberation of Libya from that non-Islamic tyrant Gaddafi, and after Mustafa Abdul-Jalil's speech in which he proclaimed the Libyan constitution will be based on Islamic Jurisprudence (often translated into English as Sharia law), that has been an uproar by a significantly large section of the self-righteous, arrogant and self-proclaimed flag bearers of a fair justice system of the Western media and politicians. "This will mean girls can no longer have an education", they bemoan. "Women driving cars in Libya? Don't be silly", they'll tell us. Even
" might have been better to have stuck with the devil we knew (Gaddafi) because we don't know what the 'devils we don't know' may end up doing" (have a listen here). 
This guy would rather see an evil, murderous, tyrannical leader remain in power torturing his people for another 42 years than to see Libya implement Islamic law. How messed up is this guy?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Can Libyan Jews return?

A Jewish man forced into exile from Libya since 1967, when he was 12 has returned to Tripoli. He still considers Libya his home and intends to reestablish a synagogue in the country. With the removal of gaddafi and the impending advent of a democratic state, he hopes that he and the few Libyan Jews of yesteryear can now return and live in peace and freedom. Certainly there should be no reason why not. After all, it was once their home. And Islam does not prohibit Jews from living in our lands.

However, it ought to be remembered that the Libyan Jewish population left the country not because of an evil regime. They left prior gaddafi taking over. It was the 1967 Arab war with Israel and the immense hatred of the Arab individuals for the state of Israel that brought this about. And nothing has changed. Israel still exists and still oppresses our Palestinian brethren. And we still hate them and they are still our enemies. And it is still a Jewish state. Therefore, though your average Jew may protest vociferously to the contrary, Jewish people are inextricably linked with the state of Israel. And when the question is brought up "should we, the Libyans, allow Jews back in the country?" The question of Israel inevitably arises and needs to be answered.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Libya's governmental system

The National Transitional Council of Libya is working hard behind the scenes to form an interim government that will take the country through to elections. The main job of this interim government is to stabilise Libya and also to determine/establish the form of government that Libya will follow. The formation of the government has so far been delayed multiple times and though I am not privy to the internal discussions that have caused the delays, it is certain that it is due to wranglings on personnel and probably the form it will take. After all, it is taken for granted that Libya will be a "democratic" nation, a term that in itself has more than one meaning. And should Libya be democratic at all? Is democracy compatible with a nation that is Islamic in it's central principle? These are immensely tough questions and there will be debate up and down the Mediterranean coast as to how to form the government. Libyans are never shy about being opinionated and on this issue, why not? This affects all our lives, including those of us living abroad.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Tripoli and the Organ grinder?

The shape and form of the forthcoming Libyan/British relationship is of major interest to those of us Libyans that live on this European island. It is even more of an issue for people like myself that have lived the vast majority of our lives in the UK. A place as much home as Belashher, Tajoura. Will it be a symbiotic relationship, akin to the bird and the hippo? Or more parasitic? Or will the organ grinder keep playing a merry little ditty for the monkey? It's a relationship that will matter greatly to Libya as she tries to emerge from a period where potential has taken a massive backseat to results. Britain can make Libya acceptable. They can make it sought after. And they can provide the expertise and business governance needed if Libya wants to become a "player". Britain isn't the power it was, even as recently as the Thatcher years. But its influence is still felt.

As with any people, the opinions on this point amongst Libyans is varied. There a many in Libya who want the relationship to thrive, to bring in much needed investment. These people are the ones who are desperate for work, and the influx of foreign firms will increase the number and quality of those jobs. There are those who have long enough memories who fear a return to the "friendship" that was prominent during the monarchy. It was an affair that sowed the seeds of the Gaddafi revolution and gave the "Free Officers" legitimacy. Then there's the fear that the UK will influence Libya down a path that is not "Libyan" - a phrase that is difficult to define but easy to recognise.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

For you is your way of life and for me mine......

While growing up in London during the 80's, I dreamt about the time Gaddafi would go and allow the Libyan nation to be an Islamic nation. After all, it is a 100% Muslim nation, populated by a people whose level of practising may vary but whose staunch belief never wavers. In my youthful, beautiful naivety I never imagined this could ever be controversial. After all, Libya is 100% Muslim nation. Why should that be an issue to anyone?

Obviously, I now know that the secular and democratic ideals of "Tolerance" and "Live and Let Live" are only meant to apply domestically and have no place in foreign policy. And so, with victory against Gaddafi assured, the scaremongers come crawling out to inform the world that alot of the fighters are "Islamists", with ties to al-Qaeda. And with that they play to the fearful prejudice that has been instilled within their people.

It's an amazing word "Islamist". There aren't too many in the English language that compete. It is a word with so much negative connotation but with no meaning to it whatsoever. And it's etymology would suggest it comes from the word "Islamism". A word that is never used and so "Islamist" is a word with little origin. Say "Islamist" to your "man on the street" and thoughts of big beards, multiple wives, suicide bombing and world domination come to mind. But how do you really define an "Islamist" (sorry, the quotes are going to remain throughout as it's an odd word)? Essentially, an "Islamist" is a follower of Islam, right? However, we have a word for that, which is Muslim. So that can't be it. OK, so an "Islamist" is a fighter who fights in the name of Islam? Nope, that is a Mujahid. Someone who believes in the rule of Allah over the rule of man? Nope, Muslim again. It's a word that is akin to the words "Mussleman" and "Mohammedan". Words with no meaning but much influence. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Women's Rights in Libya

When I wrote The People's Manifesto, my family pointed out one glaring omission. The freedoms and rights of women in Libya. This wasn't, it shouldn't be noted, an accident. Not because I don't believe in women's can I not, since our Prophet made it a cornerstone of social interaction. It was just that, Libya for me has been a paragon of women's rights. Where the balance of equality and social responsibility is maintained. I didn't think it was something that Libya and Libyans needed to worry about from a constitutional standpoint. However, it appears that not everyone holds my opinion on the female standing within Libyan society. There seems to be a belief that women in Libya are second-class citizens, who have no part to play in society than to have and bring up children - why this is belittled I am not sure.

So, let me start off with an amendment to The People's Manifesto.

It is the solemn belief of the Libyan people that females are held in the highest esteem in our society. That as our mothers, daughters, sisters and wives it is the duty of our society to ensure they respected, safe and adored. That they have full rights to their own wealth and that no man has any rights upon that wealth. That no man should lay a finger on them and that no harm should become them. It is our belief that women have a voice and that they will have a say in how this country will be run. Allah has provided women with a nature that is opposite to man so that they may work with men to make Libya the beautiful balanced society we dream of. It is not only a right, but a duty that women play a full and active part in politics, as their wisdom and softness of nature can only benefit the nation. But it is without fear that we express our belief that the greatest duty a woman has to society is as a woman. A large nation is a strong nation and it is through them that we will become strong. And it is our mothers that ensure that the importance of family is upheld. There is no greater enforcer of morality than our mothers and we will ensure they have the power and rights to make our society great.