Turkish World Bulletin: Conflict in Libya has nothing to do with Islam

Rage boys who support of the Ansar al-Sharia Brigades protest against the US Sept 2012

The conflict in war-torn Libya is more about resources and power than religion or ethnicity, a former advisor to two post-revolution Libyan governments has said.

“It’s a conflict that has very little to do with Islam, ethnicity or tribalism,” Ashur Shamis, a London-based opposition activist who served as advisor to Libya’s first and second post-revolution transitional governments, told The Anadolu Agency during a visit to South Africa.

He recalled how strongman Muammar Gaddafi had used to say that “wealth and weapons are in the hands of the people.”

Shamis insisted that, although the refrain had not reflected the reality on the ground when Gaddafi said it, Libyans took the saying literally when the strongman was ousted and killed in 2011.

Libya has remained in a state of turmoil since Gaddafi’s ouster and death in 2011.

Since then, rival militias have frequently clashed in the country’s main cities, including capital Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi…

Without a doubt the oil in Libya is powerful motivation for fighting. But this account leaves out that the fact there are two competing governments, one secular-oriented and the other (Libya Dawn) being like the Muslim Brotherhood, who are held in high esteem by the ruling party in Turkey and the World Bulletin.

Islam is part of the mix. Libya Dawn wants an Islamist government, the others do not. And let us not forget that terror groups like Ansar al-Sharia are also active and that one city (Derna) has pledged allegiance to Islamic State.   The type of government (secular vs Islamist) is just one more thing to fight about.

After all, if Islam had never existed, North Africa would resemble southern Europe.