Saudi fatwa sparks outrage in Libya

Saudi fatwa sparks outrage in Libya

July 14, 2016 - 13:12
Posted in:
Written By: AbdullahBenIbrahim

A fatwa issued by Saudi cleric Rabee al-Madkhali for his Libyan salafist followers to join the fight in Benghazi has gone viral on social media and caused outrage for misconception of Libya's status quo.

The Madkhali fatwa, or Islamic religious ruling, issued 2 weeks ago, urged all Libyan salafists to join Dignity Operation to thwart what he claimed the Muslim Brotherhood attack on Benghazi, in reference to the advance of Defend Benghazi Brigades toward the city.

Madkhali, who has many salafist followers here, claimed in his fatwa that the planned attack of Defend Benghazi Brigades on Benghazi is not aimed at Khalifa Haftar, but to eradicate salafist groups from there. He went further and claimed that the Muslim brotherhood is more dangerous than the Jews and Christians.

Pro- Madkhali salafists in Benghazi have joined Dignity Operation from the very beginning under the Salafist Tawheed Brigade. They follow strict rules of Islam and do not recognize the country's flag and anthem.

Khalifa Haftar favors them and has exploited them because they are against Shura Council. Both accuse the council fighters of being terrorists and Muslim Brotherhood affiliates.

In 2011, Rabee Madkhali said the uprising against Gaddafi's regime was fitnah, an Arabic word means falling into sin and hypocrisy, and urged his followers to stay at home.

Madkhali has already issued three contradicting fataws about the ongoing fighting in Benghazi, all based on his misconception of the current affairs in Libya. At the beginning of Dignity Operation, he issued a fatwa calling his followers to avoid the fighting and stay at home, even if it was against the Muslim Brotherhood.

Months later, he ordered his followers to support any party that seeks to impose the Islamic Sharia law in the country. Now, he advised them to join the fighting against Defend Benghazi Brigades.

His recent fatwa was deplored by both the Libyan Scholars Association and Arab Maghreb Scholars Association. In a statement, the Libyan Scholars Association regarded Madkhali's fatwa as an intervention in the Libyan domestic affairs and called on the Foreign Ministry to contact the Saudi counterpart in order to end such abusive intervention, as it constitutes a call of hate that can add to the violence among Libyans.