September 13, 2011

Libya embraces “moderate Islam” under NTC


by Jan Harris

The National Transitional Council (NTC) has promised that Libya will become a democratic Islamic state where extremism will not be tolerated.

Speaking to a crowd of around 10,000 people in Tripoli, the head of the NTC, Mustafa Abdul Jaili, also promised that women will be able to play a part in politics, under the new regime.

It was Mr Jalil’s first official speech since the NTC took over leadership of the newly-named Libyan Republic, and followed news that Colonel Gaddafi’s son, Saadi Gaddafi, has crossed the border into Niger.

The location of Colonel Gadafi himself is still not known.

The NTC was established in Benghazi, the second-largest city in Libya, after Colonel Gadafi met peaceful pro-democracy protests with military force in February, using thousands of sub-Saharan African mercenaries, ground attack jet fighters and helicopter gunships against the protestors.

Agostino Miozzo, the EU’s international crisis manager, told the Guardian that the leaders of the NTC are determined to decide Libya’s fate themselves, and will not be pressured by International communities into holding early elections.

The NTC’s first priority is to stabilise the country by securing its borders, and there are some locations where it still faces opposition from Gaddafi loyalist forces.

However, optimism is high that Libya will have a brighter future under its new leadership.

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