This new Reuters article shows how Libyan Sheikh Ali al-Salabi, who I’ve blogged about before, is positioning himself and his bro’s for a post-Qaddafi Libya. Some excerpts:
Sheikh Ali al-Salabi, one of Libya’s most prominent Islamic scholars, also asked Arab leaders meeting in Cairo on Saturday to “help the Libyan people regain their stolen freedoms”. ”The Libyan people went onto the streets in peaceful and civilised demonstrations to ask Gaddafi the dictator to step down after 42 years in power. These 42 years were black and dark years for the Libyan people,” al-Salabi told Reuters in a telephone interview from Qatar.
“The Libyans want Gaddafi, his sons and his miserable regime out. The Libyans want the international community to recognise the transitional council and to support it with arms, food and medicine to redress the balance and protect the people from the onslaught by Gaddafi’s forces,” he said. He said Islamist scholars and groups backed the council, based in the traditional Libyan opposition bastion of Benghazi and headed by ex-Justice Minister Mustafa Abdel Jalil.
The council has made clear it does not want foreign troops on Libyan soil but has urged world powers to impose a no-fly zone to ground Gaddafi’s warplanes.
Al-Salabi sought to allay Western concerns about the Islamist groups in a post-Gaddafi era, saying Libyan Islamists did not believe in al Qaeda’s ideology and did not want to establish an Islamic state. ”All these accusations by the Libyan regime that these young men are linked to al Qaeda are lies. I was supervising the dialogue with these young men. They want a modern civic state with an independent judiciary, the rule of law and government of institutions with a new constitution agreed on by all Libyans.”