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Al-Waheshy: Tolerance is not a political decision

Omar Al-Waheshy - Internet


Omar Al-Waheshy, one of the leaders of Libyan Muslim Brotherhood and also the Justice and Building Party. He is from Benghazi and lives in Switzerland since he left Libya in 1995.

He started visiting Libya after the Libyan Revolution in 2011 to participate in rebuilding the new Libya through his civic and political activities.

Although Al-Waheshy is a well-known Islamic figure, known for his modesty, he disclosed, via Facebook, that commandos elements stormed inside his house in Benghazi, intending to allocate the house for one figure of Operation Dignity led by General Khalifa Haftar.

LIBYAPROSPECT intervened Al-Waheshy to ask him about the incident, his opinion concerning the war against the terrorist group of the Islamic State (IS). It is important to clarify that those who stormed the house claimed Al-Waheshy is an IS official. Here in this exclusive interview, Al-Waheshy responds to all such claims, saying that “military confrontation against the IS is not enough, there should be an intellectual battle as well.”

LIBYAPROSPECT: Why was your house confiscated in Benghazi, was any of your family members present at the time?  

  • My house that was raided and then allocated to one official of the Operation Dignity was empty that time, as I left once the operations kicked off. My house is one of many houses also expropriated by one army unit called (Commandos).

LIBYAPROSPECT: Will you consider any legal action against those who stormed inside the house?

  • Firstly, and foremost, it is Allah who we complain to. The state is divided, some frivolous are fooling around missing with the country and people’s livings. There is no law to adhere to at least for now, but we filled a complaint. Hopefully, the law would take its course in the future.

LIBYAPROSPECT: Have you heard of similar incidents for other people in Benghazi? Have you communicated with official bodies?

  • My house is not the first and won’t be the last, as long as chaos, weapons, and militias continue to flourish. The interim government under the leadership of Abdulla Al-Thinni is utterly helpless, unable to perform any of its duties but to protect itself and surrounding politicians.

LIBYAPROSPECT: Operation Dignity leaders say that peace and security prevailed Benghazi, what do you think on that?

  • I say that Dignity leaders managed in sowing hatred and grudges among Libyans, increased social disintegration, lawlessness, crime rates, killings, and blood became everyday scenes inside the city, hostility and sneaked dominated all cities. And regionally, some countries dominated Libya’s resources and the political decisions.

LIBYAPROSPECT: Could social and political reconciliation efforts succeed and redress grievances?

  • Most of the conciliation efforts carried, and being carried, are built on shaky ground, inappropriate atmosphere and proceed with wrong mechanisms; that’s why none of them succeeded in solving the current divisions among Libyans. So, we should reassess all such efforts and reformulate real reconciliation project based on one value: “the country is for everyone, all has the right to live, and we should all work to preserve it.”

LIBYAPROSPECT: Reconciliation without tolerance is incomplete and not meant to succeed, why, in your opinion, none of the political, religious and legal entities tried to spread tolerance throughout the country?

  • Tolerance is not a political decision, it is not a law ratified by Legislature institutions, but the spirit, culture, and morals should be permeated. And that’s what we miss now. Unfortunately, the religious and political speech of some had a very negative effect, blocked the needed atmosphere for such culture to prevail.

LIBYAPROSPECT: On your Facebook page, you said that those who raided your house claimed you are an IS leader, but you are known for modesty and support for the anti-IS war. How do you see the fight against the IS? Do you expect any improvements to occur once the group is defeated? 

  • The fighting against the IS is a battle that will not end; it is linked to a corrupt atmosphere, suspected regional agendas, and international interests. Each time, it comes under a new name that adapts with the current mood. When it finishes in one area, it reemerges at another, as long as such phenomenon wasn’t addressed adequately, and with the lack of different solutions that are not limited to (security solution).