The greatest problems facing present-day societies are lovelessness and intolerance. The replacement of dictatorships by other loveless administrations cannot lead to any significant social change in societies where hatred and rage predominate. So long as no teacher of love summons the people of a country to love, peace, brotherhood and unity, societies going through such processes can never achieve peace and happiness.
One example of this situation is Libya. When profound social change known as the Arab Spring began in 2010, Qaddafi’s repressive system collapsed along with it in a period of eight months; a new age thus began for Libya.
However, the Qaddafi-free period was a far cry from responding to such vital demands as democracy, liberty, the rule of the law and respect for human rights. Libyans found themselves out of the frying pan and into the fire. There is currently a rabid clash of interests in the country. Since the components that make up the country regard one another with hatred, political authority is far from the democracy desired by the Libyan people. The country, wracked by terrorist actions, clashes between tribes and militias, kidnappings, sporadic invasions of oil fields and people living in abject fear, is on the brink of falling apart.
But how did the country get to this point?
The Qaddafi Period
Libya lies on the southern coast of the Mediterranean and possesses lands rich in oil. Although it declared independence in 1951, it saw Qaddafi come to power in a coup in 1969. Qaddafi established a sort-of republic called ‘Jamahiriya’, meaning state of the masses, intended to bring the tribes of the country together in a spirit of national consciousness. He collected his thoughts in a three-volume tome known as the Green Book. In his view, true democracy was possible with his system which he presented as an alternative to communism and capitalism. Indeed, Qaddafi’s system was nothing other than a synthesis of Arab nationalism and communism as interpreted by Qaddafi; he was clearly much influenced by Mao’s ”Little Red Book”. In practice, the Libyan people were forced to live for years under Qaddafi’s eccentric rule and despotism.
Eighty-five percent of the approximately six million population of Libya consists of tribes and clans; Libya in fact consists of more than 140 tribes. Geographically, ever since ancient times, Libya has consisted of three main regions: Cyrenaica, Tripoli and Phasania. Much of the country consists of desert. In the East is Cyrenaica based around Benghazi, Tripoli around the city of the same name in the West, and Phasania based around Sabha on the Northwest. These three regions are Libya’s power centers.
Rivalry, tensions, disputes and disagreements between tribes and clans came to a halt during Qaddafi’s 42-year iron rule; this violence was halted by violence. Conflicts again raised their head after Qaddafi was overthrown, however.
One of the main problems is the division of Libyan oil resources between Tripoli and Benghazi. Most of the country’s oil fields are in the region of Cyrenaica based around Benghazi. The militia forces that control the oil fields located some 1,000 km east from the capital, Tripoli, want to seize that wealth for themselves. The Libyan government lacks the power and authority to resolve the problem; all it can do is issue threats. Libya’s petrol production has fallen to just 10% of its previous capacity. Declining revenues mean that the people of Libya are unable to import food and other basic needs.
Debates over, and demands for, federalism are one of the main obstacles to stability in Libya. Division means that the people will face still worse problems.
A huge civil war between Eastern and Western Libya is on the horizon.
It is estimated that since the start of the Civil War in 2011 some 1,700 militia groups have emerged; fear and uncertainty therefore reign in Libya today, and nobody is safe. Although the Libyan government is trying to disarm them and bring them under control, it has not been completely successful. The militia are still able to operate freely and regard themselves as executive, legislature and judicial authority. The Libyan government is quite helpless in the face of these militias and has had to officially recognize that they enjoy partial autonomy. Kidnappings, including that of Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zaydan in 2013, assassinations, bombings, suicide attacks and illegal acts of all manner are going on. As I said at the beginning of this piece, where there are no policies of love, disagreements turn into conflict and hatred.
There is no doubt that certain Western countries’ plan to design a Libya in line with their own interests play a major role in the current turmoil in Libya. The defenders of untrammeled savage capitalism, with its concept of exploitation, consider their own interests more than the welfare of the people of a country.
The Only Way out for Libya
The present situation in Libya might be described as a dead-end. Some researchers suggest that a “miracle” is needed if Libya is to avoid collapse entirely and pull itself together. The situation in the country, which could be one of the wealthiest in the region with its rich oil and natural gas reserves, is indeed thought-provoking.
There is only one way out for Libya, with its 97% Muslim population: a union of Islamic countries modelled on the European Union and which has signed up to all EU criteria. That union will build a union of nation-states based on love and brotherhood, which has implemented universal human rights and all the ECHR rules. It will be a union containing different ethnic components, in which different beliefs are regarded as enriching, in which ‘peace,’ the root of the word Islam, is fully implemented in all spheres, and which aspires to the utmost levels of art, beauty and quality.
Such a union is also in the interests of the West. Several Western diplomats and investors have been on the receiving end of the violence. A climate of instability threatens not just the Libyans, but all nations. That also has a deleterious impact on tourism and social and cultural life. The differences of opinion, life style and belief between the West and Muslims reveal just how important it is for there to be an arbiter on all matters, from trade to neighborliness, someone to calm matters down, a teacher of love. The policies of love that are so deeply embedded in Islam will appear in a Union of Islamic Countries capable of resolving internal disputes quickly and peaceably.
Adnan Oktar's piece on News Rescue: