By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 15 June 2016:
The League of Libyan Ulema, which represents mainstream Maliki-school Islam in the country, has hailed the defeat of the so-called Islamic State (IS) in Sirte but has accused Sadik Ghariani, still accepted by many in the west and south of the country as Libya’s grand mufti, of fueling conflict and division in the country.
It also accused him of moral responsibility in the murder in Tripoli last week of 12 former Qaddafi soldiers with his statement that the release of Qaddafi prisoners was a violation of Islamic law.
Tantamount to accusing Ghariani of the major sin of “fitna” (causing chaos and discord within the Muslim community) but without using the term, it claimed that, instead of encouraging people to value the victory over IS by promoting reconciliation, cooperation and unity against external and internal threats, he was “wrongfully advocating a call for jihad, or Holy War, against other Libyan cities”.
It asked: “Does the Grand Mufti want a civil war between Eastern and Western Libya; a war that will cause, among other atrocities, divisiveness, shedding of blood, as well as loss of resources, honor, and human dignity?”
Ghariani, it also said, “has distorted the truth [of Islam]” and was trying to turn a political argument into a religious one.
Ghariani has on more than one occasion said that the fight against Daesh is secondary to that against Khalifa Hafter and the Libyan National Army and that the real battleground has to be in Benghazi. On Sunday, speaking on his own Tanasah TV channel, Ghariani said that after the defeating IS in Sirte, the victorious forces had to go on to Benghazi and destroy what he described as the Qaddafi remnants there — meaning Hafter and the LNA.
Ironically, a month ago, Ghariani ordered the Misratans not to move beyond Abu Grain to fight IS in Sirte. They and the rest of the Bunyan Marsous forces ignored him.
Having been ignored, he and his followers have since decided to become supporters of the attack.