The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

The fall of Tripoli in the Islamist imagination

Reza Pankhurst, of New Civilisation, an interesting UK-based Islamist website (apparently close to Hizb ut-Tahrir), on the parallels between the conquests of Mecca and Tripoli:

The fall of much of Tripoli on Sunday was greeted with joy by many, especially the crowds of thousands who were gathered in Liberation Square in Benghazi. The chants in unison were the calls “There is no God except Allah” and “We hear and Obey O Allah”. The revolutionary commander in Tripoli linked the event to the victory of the Prophet Mohammad over his tribe that had rejected his message and fought against him more than 14 centuries earlier which is known literally as the opening or conquest of Mecca. The parallels mentioned were numerous, from the timing (both the opening of Mecca and that of Tripoli occurred during the last ten nights of the holy month of Ramadan, just one day separating the two), the nature of the vanquished (the Prophet Mohammad and his companions faced oppression, torture, and death at the hands of those they came to conquer, and the abuses of the Gaddafi regime are open knowledge in Libya where thousands of mostly Islamic opposition have been tortured and killed while in captivity over the years), and the morality of the victors (in line with the Prophet’s general amnesty, the Libyan rebel official position is that those of the former regime who do not resist will not be killed).

That's probably what at least some Libyan Islamists are thinking, and no doubt they will be building a narrative around these lines.