Lessons from Libya

LeftRight3-copy1-300x184By Andrew Revord
Associate Editor-In-Chief
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind,” and the recent events in Libya prove this statement true yet again.
It is so easy for anyone to get caught up in dreams of revenge; to be anti-this or anti-that. It is much harder to be pro anything, and have real solutions in mind.
The cause of Libyan dictator Moanmar Gaddafi’s recent death remains uncertain, but it is clear   he was killed after being captured in his hometown of Sirte by rebel fighters of the National Transitional Council (NTC), which sought to overthrow
Gaddafi.  He was paraded around Sirte to slaps and jeers from the Libyans.  Sometime later, he was found shot dead, likely by NTC fighters.
Gaddafi was certainly evil— he has been linked to terrorist organizations like the one responsible for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing which killed 270, and the terrorists responsible for the 1972 Munich Olympics bombing.  During the revolution to overthrow him, Gaddafi’s forces shot unarmed protesters, burned and looted the houses of suspected protesters, and attacked hospitals and doctors treating the wounded.
To make matters worse, the NTC, which fought for democracy in Libya, now claims Islamic (Sharia) law will be the basis of its new laws, and any laws contradicting Sharia will be null and void.
Sharia is anything but democratic; it is very restrictive of freedom of expression. Sharia punishes blasphemers and anyone who converts from Islam to another religion, and limits the rights of non-Muslims.
Sharia is particularly harmful to womens’ freedoms— it permits polygamy and usually requires some kind of head cover for women.  In many countries under Sharia law, women are restricted from driving, voting, education and working most jobs men can work. The lesson from Libya is: be careful what you wish for if your only motivation is opposing something.  Although it is a democratic movement, the NTC gained support from the growing hatred of Gaddafi.  In other words, it was more anti-Gaddafi than pro-democracy.
It is easy to stand against something— standing up for something is much harder.  As Prospect students, we will be the ones leading our community, our nation, and even the world, whether we want to or not.  We must not blindly follow others, but our criticism and opposition should always be backed up with fresh ideas.  Problems will always exist if nobody has a solution.