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Libyan scholar downplays fears over extremism

February 20, 2014 at 3:34 pm

A Libyan scholar has played down fears over Islamist extremism in the country post-Gaddafi. Dr Ali Al Salabi, the Libyan member of the Secretariat of the International Union for Muslim Scholars, stressed that the people of Libya are moderate and reject all kinds of extremism.

In an interview with Quds Press, Dr Al Salabi praised the support which has helped Libyans to be liberated from Qaddafi’s rule. “Praise first goes to Allah Almighty for this achievement. Then we thank the Arab, Muslim and free peoples who stood by us in opposing the dictatorship and corruption; and we especially thank the rulers and people of the Gulf states, Europe and the USA, and all others who stood by us in achieving our objectives and toppling this desperate, dictatorial regime.”

In response to fears about Islamist extremism, Al Salabi said, “I say to the world that Libyan society is moderate and it leans towards wisdom, reason and logic. It is far from all kinds of extremism.” The Libyans, he added, are capable of handing any extremist phenomenon – either secularist or Islamist – with dialogue. He went on to claim, “One of the objectives behind this revolution is to establish a democratic state with political pluralism, promoting general freedom and a peaceful transfer of power.” The constitution, he said, would “respect the people’s identity and religion” and he cited Malaysia and Turkey as examples to follow.