By Al Russell.
Tripoli, 31 August:
A demonstration against the recent attacks on buildings by Salafist extremists took place this evening in Tripoli’s Martyrs’ . . .[restrict]Square.
The event, which started at 6pm and lasted around an hour and a half, drew a crowd of around seven hundred people. It featured speakers from prominent Sufis, a spokesman from the League of Ulema, and Jamal Ben Issa, head of the Supreme Revolutionary Council.
“We know who’s behind these attacks,” said the spokesman from the League of Ulema “I don’t even want to use the word.” Many in the crowd seemed sure that he was referring to islamist influence from Saudi Arabia. Another speaker, hwoever, was not so coy. He accused Saudis and Qataris of being responsible.
Sadat El-Badri, the leader of Tripoli Local Council, was in the crowd, having made a speech on TV yesterday condemning the attacks. In his TV address he also called for an effective mechanism for disarming in Libya, saying that the police and army should be the only two armed groups in the country.
He also called for the re-establishment of the judicial system and respect for the rule of law and human rights.
Banners at the protest carried such slogans as “No to the imposition of dogma”, “Destroying mosques is un-Islamic”, “We live according to Sharia’a, extremism leads to ruin” and “How long will the state remain weak?”
This is by far the largest demonstration since the attacks begun last week. Other meetings, organised via Facebook and Twitter, attracted crowds of dozens, rather than hundreds, although last week’s protest amongst the rubble of the Al-Sha’ab shrine, did succeed in halting the destruction, albeit temporarily. [/restrict]