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Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood snubs Gaddafi | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- Both the Libyan National Transitional Council [NTC] and the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood [MB] have rejected attempts by Muammar Gaddafi to negotiate. This comes at a time as Gaddafi’s regime has intensified its talks with the United Nations and the Greek and Bulgarian governments in order to get support for Gaddafi’s proposal for an immediate ceasefire between his forces and the revolutionary forces in return for cessation of NATO’s military operations in Libya.

While the embattled Libyan leader and his senior aids have publicly ejected any talk of Gaddafi stepping down after approximately 42-years in power, Abdul-Munim al-Huni, the NTC representative to Egypt and the Arab League, revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that personal envoys of Gaddafi have met with a number of Pro-NTC figures in Cairo, to get guarantees from legal persecution and to secure what he called an honorable departure from power. Al-Huni revealed that Gaddafi put forward a new proposal seeking a fatwa by some clerics and religious scholars on current developments in Libya.

Al-Huni said that a few weeks ago, he personally met with representatives of the Islamic Society, led by Dr Ahmad al-Sharif. They told him that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, Colonel Gaddafi’s second son, backs the idea of the possibility of seeking a fatwa from a number of religious scholars in Libya on what is happening, and to act as arbitrators in the current disputes between Gaddafi and the NTC, which is headquartered in the liberated city of Benghazi.

Al-Huni pointed out that the proposal involves naming 10 religious scholars of whom Gaddafi’s regime will choose five from the western region, while the NTC will nominate the other five from the eastern region. He said that he rejected this formula because it will consolidate Gaddafi’s effort to divide Libya into two parts, eastern and western. Al-Huni added: “We told the delegation clearly that we would nominate four persons who are not regarded as pro- Gaddafi, and who are noted for their patriotic legacy in Libya, and that they will choose the rest.”

Al-Huni underlined that the dispute between Gaddafi and the NTC is not one between husband and wife to be settled according to religious tenets. He stressed that the Libyan people have the final say, that they have made up their mind, and that their decision is irreversible on the need for Gaddafi to immediately step down and leave Libya for good. He added: “This is the core issue. The Libyan people have had enough of marginalization, impoverishment, and corruption on every level throughout the years of Gaddafi’s rule. He must leave to stop Libyan bloodshed. That is simply what we want him to do, no more no less.”

Over the weekend, Gaddafi seemed to be seeking Islamic religious scholars and clerics to arbitrate in the Libyan crisis. A delegation from the Libyan Awqaf Ministry will visit the office of Dr Ahmad al-Tayyib, the rector of the Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo. A statement released by the Libyan Embassy in Cairo said that “Ali Mariya, the charge d’affaires of the Libyan Arab Follow-up Office (embassy), will accompany the delegation to discuss with the Al-Azhar Mosque rector what he called current developments in Libya.”

Libyan Prime Minister Dr Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmudi made several telephone calls over the past few hours with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, and Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nicolay Mladinov. The official Libyan News Agency, JANA, reported that Al-Mahmudi requested the UN secretary general to immediately intervene and halt what he called the “Crusader NATO aggression” against the Libyan people, holding him responsible for the killing of innocent civilians and destruction of the infrastructure in Libya. He called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly to stop the “barbaric Crusader aggression.”

Al-Mahmudi called on his Greek counterpart Papandreou to intervene and stop “this aggression which continues with blind rancor, violating all humanitarian and international laws, norms, and charters.” He requested the Bulgarian foreign minister to play a role “in stopping NATO’s barbaric aggression, which does not refrain from bombing unarmed civilians and destroying civilian installations, houses, hospitals, educational facilities, hotels, and busses.”

Suleiman Abdul-Qadair, the general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood [MB] in Libya, said Libyan Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmudi’s call on the MB to enter political negotiations with his government to find a political solution to the Libyan crisis is a desperate attempt to drive a wedge in the national ranks by dividing them into factions. He added: “The Libyan regime has for a long time described Libyan opponents abroad as agents of foreign intelligence agencies. So why change its tone now unless this is a desperate attempt to drive a wedge in the national ranks to create differences and suspicion within the national ranks.” He pointed out that the circulating rumors on a meeting between envoys of Gaddafi’s regime and some revolutionaries are aimed at creating suspicions within the national ranks.

In a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat by e-mail, Abdul-Qadir added: “As for us, we are part of the heroic Libyan people who continue to write heroic epics for freedom and dignity, after so many people have been killed and honors violated, let alone all this destruction and devastation caused by this regime, led by Gaddafi, against the helpless Libyan people. He stressed that “there will be no dialogue except on the departure of Gaddafi, his sons, and his henchmen from Libya. Any call for dialogue must be through the legitimate representative of the Libyan people, namely the NTC.”