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Libya

Minyan Village Mourns: A Photographic Essay

Galliny, uncle of Gerges Samir, 20, and Malak Ibrahim, 25.

Between agony and happiness, the village of Al-Aour in the Egyptian governorate of Minya received the news that thirteen of its sons were among the twenty-one Egyptian Christians recently beheaded by the Islamic State (IS) organization in Libya. Women and children’s screams echoed through the village. On 3 January 2015 around 2 a.m. in the coastal Libyan city of Sirte, masked gunmen knocked on the door of a dormitory of Egyptian workers. "We came for the Christians. Stay away," they said, according to Milad Ibrahim, who witnessed the abduction of his two cousins behind closed doors in an adjacent dormitory.  The twenty-one victims were workers who had ...

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Quick Thoughts: Paul Sedra on the IS Massacre of Egyptian Copts in Libya

[Still shot of the blood of victims mixing with the sea water from the video allegedly depicting the execution of twenty-one Copts at the hands of IS]

Among the most important points to make about these horrific murders relates to context. I would argue this event cannot and should not be placed within the context of domestic Egyptian politics or of Muslim-Christian relations in Egypt. Without question, Egypt has a persistent problem with sectarianism and violence against Egypt’s Coptic community. But these latest sectarian murders represent an effort by the Islamic State (IS) movement to advance its transnational agenda rather than an Egyptian one. Its reference to “conquering Rome” in the video of these murders–even though the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church has for centuries pursued a path entirely separate from ...

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مذكرة الى الهيئة الليبية الوطنية التأسيسية لصياغة الدستور عن المساواة في حقوق المواطنة للمرأة الليبية في الدستور

[صدر المذكرة التالية من قبل مجموعة من المواطنين الليبيين المعنيين لالهيئة الليبية الوطنية التأسيسية لصياغة الدستور في 20 آب 2014 فيما يتعلق بحق المرأة الليبية على نقل الجنسية لأبنائها.]  14 أغسطس 2014 إلى: الهيئة الليبية الوطنية التأسيسية لصياغة الدستور الموضوع: المساواة في حقوق المواطنة للمرأة الليبية في الدستور السادة أعضاء الهيئة بعد التحية نود تهنئتكم على انتخابكم للهيئة التأسيسية لصياغة مشروع الدستور في ليبيا وإلى الأمل والثقة التي ألهمت العديد من الموطنين في ليبيا إلى غاية الآن. تحت قيادتكم تنتظر كافة الأمة الليبية بقلق ما يعتقد أن يكون نقطة تحول في ضمان الحقوق والحريات المدنية للشعب الليبي ودعم ليبيا في تحقيق أساس الاستقرار الذي سيساهم في إعادة ...

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From Raqqa to Derna: Exceptionalism in Expansionism

[Image courtesy of Al-Wasat]

In early November, militants affiliated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria took full control of the Libyan city of Derna, festooning government buildings with the familiar flag bearing the shahada and celebrating their victory over their opponents within the city. A coastal settlement of around 100,000, less than two hundred miles from the eastern city of Benghazi and hours from Tobruk, where the internationally-recognized House of Representative rules from, the loss of Derna aroused fears within the West of further Islamist and ISIS domination over restive and ungoverned Libya. As news outlets and Libyan watchers across the ideological divide pointed out, a ...

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Civil Society Call for the Protection of Libya's Democratic Transition

[Image from the

[The following statement was issued by members of Libya's civil society.]  Libya’s transition since 2011 has been a difficult path to follow; riddled with instability and violence. Libyans and the international community alike did not anticipate much of what has come to pass, rendering the country in constant flux and continual deterioration putting democracy, freedom, human rights at stake.  Nearly four years since the uprising, Libya’s trajectory may still be rectified. If not motivated by the potential that Libya and Libyans have to produce peaceful conditions in which they can exist and prosper, then let us be motivated by the need to put an end to the ...

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (5 August)

[Crop of image of United States President Barack Obama talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as they walk across the tarmac at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, on 20 March 2013. Image by Pete Souza.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Occupation, Intervention and Law and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the O.I.L. Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each biweekly roundup to OIL@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every other week.] Gaza Hamas' Chances, Nathan Thrall Hamas's ongoing combat is indicative of a strategic decision making process, not maniacal hatred of Israel, writes Thrall in London Review of Books. Israel's Use of Law and Warnings in Gaza, Janina Dill Israeli military arguments that it provides warnings to Gazan citizens of ...

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Human Rights Roadmap for a New Libya

[Logo of Human Rights Watch. Image from hrw.org]

[The following report was published by Human Rights Watch on 3 February 2014] Human Rights Roadmap for a New Libya Introduction After four decades of authoritarian rule, Libya faces the challenge of reforming outdated and repressive legislation and writing new laws that guarantee the full panoply of citizens’ rights. The enduring legacy of Muammar Gaddafi’s rule includes laws that have curtailed the freedoms of generations of Libyans. Since the 2011 revolution in Libya, with some exceptions such as repealing a Gaddafi-era law criminalizing the establishment of political parties, the transitional authorities have added to the problem by issuing some new laws that limit ...

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Libya’s Revolution 'Will Not Stop Until We Have Freedom'

[Image of Jamal al-Hajji, who was convicted of defamation on 31 December 2013. Image courtesy of Amnesty International via Index on Censorship.]

After forty-two years of political oppression in Libya, it was hoped that the apparatus of Gaddafi’s regime would be dismantled after he was swept from power. Vestiges of the despot’s suffocating grip on free speech still remain, and are still being used to suppress political expression. Jamal al-Hajji, a writer and commentator from Tripoli, faces jail and a large fine after comments he made in a television interview in February 2013 sparked a defamation case by government figures. During an interview on al-Wataniya, a Libyan television channel, al-Hajji accused the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohamed Abulaziz and five other politicians and public figures of ...

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Les villes petites et moyennes dans les revoltes arabes: un etat des lieux

[Image is cover of below issue]

Les villes petites et moyennes dans les révoltes arabes: un état des lieux. Compte rendu de: Karine Benafla (dir.), Dossier « Villes arabes: conflits et protestations », Confluences Méditerranée, 85 (2013), 9-164. Une des dimensions singulières des révoltes arabes est leur territorialité, qui a d'emblée constitué une clé de leur interprétation. Or, cette territorialité est plurielle et se décline en plusieurs moments. Aux révoltes des petites et moyennes villes tunisiennes (Sidi Bouzid, Kasserine), libyennes (Misrata et Benghazi) ou syriennes (Deraa, Homs), et des villes industrielles secondes comme Mahalla al-Koubra ou Suez en Egypte, se sont d’abord ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (October 14)

[Prime Minister Ali Zeidan shakes hands with US Secretary of State John Kerry. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to maghreb@jadaliyya.com by Thursday night of every week.]  Algeria Algeria: Crackdown on Independent Trade Unions Human Rights Watch condemns Algerian authorities’ efforts to limit the formation and operation of independent trade unions. Algerian Bashing dans le conflit Syrien. Baki 7our Mansour addresses social media’s “Algeria bashing.” Les compagnies pétrolières se détournent de ...

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Is Algeria an Anti-Imperialist State?

[Principle leaders of the FLN (left to right: Mohamed Khider, Mostefa Lacheraf, Hocine Aït Ahmed, Mohamed Boudiaf, and Ahmed Ben Bella). Taken after their 22 October 1956 arrest by the French Army following the interception of their (Moroccan civilian) flight between Rabat and Tunis headed for Cairo. Image from Wikimedia Commons.]

In the last two years, several articles and analyses have attempted to decrypt Algeria’s ambiguous position toward Western imperialist interventions in Libya and Mali. In contrast to its assertive and resolute diplomacy of the 1960s and 1970s, the Algerian regime confused more than one observer, as it was not easy to tell whether it supported or opposed these recent wars. On the one hand, reductionist views failed to analyze the situation objectively and resorted to the easy explanation: that Algeria is being pragmatic and that the seeming contradictions in its decisions and actions are only a reflection of its realist approach. On the other hand, those who adhere to a ...

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (25 September)

[A view inside the Zaatari camp, northern Jordan. Image by UK Department for Intenational Development.]

 [This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Occupation, Intervention, and Law and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the O.I.L. Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each biweekly roundup to OIL@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every other week.] News  Iran-US Dialogue Iran: Nasrin Sotoudeh Among Freed Political Prisoners, BBC News Iran has reportedly freed eleven political prisoners ahead of a visit by President Hassan Rouhani to the UN General Assembly in the United States. Not Realistic to Talk Syria Without Iran: Turkish President, Hürriyet ...

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Beyond Authenticity: ISIS and the Islamic Legal Tradition

The Atlantic thinks ISIS is Islamic. President Obama and countless others disagree. As the debate rages on with no shortage of interlocutors, one must stop to ask, what is the utility of making such pronouncements? Is the simple binary of whether ISIS is Islamic or not an effective way to discuss and understand the various questions at stake concerning the Islamic tradition, its authenticity, continuity and change? In response to this basic question, Muslims globally have gone on the defensive, denying ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (January 30)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to maghreb@jadaliyya.com by Thursday night of every week] Algeria Is a Late ‘Arab Spring’ Knocking on Algeria’s Doors from the Desert? Adam Al-Sabiri considers the implications of the vast protest movement against ...

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Memorandum on Equal Citizenship Rights for Libyan Women in the Constitution

[The following is an English translation of a memorandum that was issued by a group of concerned Libyan citizens to the Constitutional Drafting Assembly on 20 August 2014 with respect to the right of Libyan women to pass on citizenship to their children. The introduction that precedes the memorandum was written by Hanan Ghosheh, one of the people involved in the drafting of the memorandum. The original Arabic memorandum is reproduced at the end.] In the three years following the February 17 Revolution ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (November 21)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to maghreb@jadaliyya.com by Thursday night of every week] Algeria L’instance de coordination de la CNLTD appelle à l’organisation d’une élection présidentielle anticipée One of Algeria’s main opposition movements met ...

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New Texts Out Now: Andrea Khalil, Crowds and Politics in North Africa: Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya

Andrea Khalil, Crowds and Politics in North Africa: Tunisia, Algeria, and Libya. London: Routledge, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book?             Andrea Khalil (AK): In the fall of 2010, I was researching a book on the 5 October 1988 riots in Algeria. I was in France and Algeria from July-December 2010 looking for documents, archives, photos, testimonies, and literature about the riots. The events in Tunisia in the middle of ...

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Quick Thoughts: Ali Ahmida on the Situation in Libya

[The recent upsurge in fighting in Libya has been the most intense since the overthrow of Mu‘ammar Qaddafi in 2011. In addition to pitting various militias against each other, General Khalifa Haftar has proclaimed his intention to seize the reins of power throughout the country. Jadaliyya asked Libya specialist Ali Ahmida to shed light on recent developments]: Jadaliyya (J): Who is General Khalifa Haftar? Ali Ahmida (AA): General Haftar has a controversial history. He is originally from the eastern ...

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The Ottoman Scramble for Africa

During the nineteenth century, the place of the Ottoman Empire in the European state system became the subject of continual debate among the major players on the world political stage. Ottoman statesmen were acutely aware of the empire’s relatively weak position vis-à-vis its neighbors and sought to manage this situation while simultaneously expanding the role of state institutions in the provinces. We often see the Ottomans forced to accept unfavorable economic and political arrangements while playing ...

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ليبيا: دولة الميليشيات

  لم تكد تمضي ثلاثة أيام على سقوط طرابلس في أيدي «الثوار» يوم 20 آب العام 2011، حتى وقع أول الاشتباكات بين المجموعات المسلحة التي أبصرت النور خلال الأشهر الثمانية التي سبقت انهيار نظام معمّر القذافي. يومها، هوّن المتفائلون بتحقيق الديموقراطية في ليبيا من وطأة تلك الاشتباكات، فاعتبرها البعض ظاهرة موقتة يمكن السيطرة عليها فور انتقال ليبيا من دولة قائمة على «حكم الفرد» إلى دولة قائمة على «حكم القانون». لكن الطريقة البشعة التي قتل بها العقيد القذافي في 20 تشرين الأول العام 2011، والتي شاهدها ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (October 20)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to maghreb@jadaliyya.com by Thursday night of every week.]  Algeria La double occultation des événements du 17 octobre 1961. Ait Benali Boubekeur remembers the massacre of FLN supporters in France during the period of ...

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Snatch and Render from Libya

In 2004, the British government brokered the transfer of militants of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) from their “undisclosed locations” in the War on Terror to the Qaddafi regime. “This was the least we could do for you and for Libya to demonstrate the remarkable relationship we have built over the years,” wrote Sir Mark Allen, head of Britain’s MI6 to Qaddafi’s aide Moussa Koussa on 18 March 2004. The specific matter here was the “safe arrival of Abu Abdallah Sadiq,” the nom de plume of Abdul ...

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Eye on the Libyan General National Congress: Eighteenth Report

[The following report was issued by Bokra Youth Organization and H2O Team on 28 September 2013. This is the eighteenth in a year-long series of reports covering the actions of Libya's General National Council. This issue focuses on the period from 15 September to 30 September 2013. Click here to access the previous report.] Eye on the Libyan General National Congress: Eighteenth Report Introduction: The General National Conference (GNC) held five sessions in which the GNC ...

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Eye on the Libyan General National Congress: Ninth Report

[The following report was issued by Bokra Youth Organization and H2O Team on 26 May 2013. This is the ninth in a year-long series of reports covering the actions of Libya's General National Council. This issue focuses on the period from 15 April to 1 May 2013. Click here to access the previous report.] Eye on the LIbyan General National Congress: Ninth Report Introduction Libya's General National Congress held four routine sessions during this period. The highlights of these meetings included ...

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