Saturday, October 15, 2011

Land Of Confusion

Normally on a Friday Moe and I stay home especially since the war started.Sometimes we will go for a ride into town to check things out, but the last few weeks there has been some sort of march , festival , protest , or demonstration for the new government ,or against Ghadaffy.I don't particularly enjoy driving in the traffic , and as neither Moe nor I are able to do any walking , parking the car is out of the question. Generaly we drive around a certain area in town that isn't too crowded.

BUT.... this Friday I decided to surprise Moe and go off the beaten path. I choose to drive into town on the freeway instead of the coast road. I wanted to see where it had flooded . To see if there  were any traces of the flood we had last week .There wasn't ,but we did encounter check points on the highway leading to the freeway.Well , it was a Friday , so we really didn't think much about that.

We drove towards town and the exit that would take us to Bab Azazia. I changed my mind about going there as it would entail walking , so exited before we got to the off ramp going to Bab Azazia.This was the exit off the freeway ,on the opposite side from the Khaddbah and Abu Salim neighborhoods , that leads towards the Rixos Hotel.I haven't been too interested in going to the Medan Shuhada (or as it is known in English, The Martyrs Square) formally known as the Green Square, but I did want to go to the hotel and have a cup of coffee there.The most popular places to go to in town these days are the Medan Shuhada , Bab Azazia , or the Rixos Hotel. Here again we encountered check points along the way where before there hadn't been any.

We got caught up in a heavy flow of traffic coming off the freeway. This was unusual too , all this traffic on a Friday.We found the hotel but couldn't get to it. It was blocked off. Oh well .So , off we go to another part of town that was fairly close and easy to get to , so I thought.Once again we ran into traffic from check points . Lots of  NTC fighters to-ing and fro-ing all over the place, but this is the normal these days. Resounding shouts of Allah Alkhabar rang in the air.Moe said he heard shots, but I was too busy concentrating on driving to pay any attention to shots in the air.More check points , traffic , cars being check thoroughly , which is a good thing .Eventually we get to where we want to go .

We could hear reports now and then at different check points of trouble in first one place ( the ones we had just been near !) and then another .Fighting had broken out , reports of attacks and we could now see a pall of smoke in the distance hanging over the city.We decided it was time to go home . Enough of adventurous sight seeing in town.

We passed through so many check points between town and Tagura I lost count. I got to where when we approached a check point I automatically popped the trunk to my car. I didn't really mind as it was reassuring to see they were being so thorough in looking for any hidden weapons .

Later last night Moe was watching the Libyan news in Arabic. I could pick up key words now and then. My Arabic is atrocious. Moe's strokes have left him with difficulties with his speaking language skills , so it makes for very interesting and unique translations .More like a puzzle that needs assembling.I have to admit I am not very good with puzzles, so I am often in the dark as to what has happened .It wasn't until I could get the internet to open for me that I found out all the trouble spots we had been in the middle of ,or around yesterday. It probably was a good thing I didn't know at the time , lol .I am pretty sure it will be a while before we will go into town again.

One more thing I want to talk about before I go that happened yesterday .I saw on the news where some mosques had been desecrated in attacks by Salafi hardliner Muslims here in Tripoli. They said the mosques they attacked belonged to Sufi Muslims ,therefore Not permissible.They don't consider the Sufi's to be Muslims . The Salafi are a branch of the Sunni Muslims. The Salafi said that the mosques they attacked had relics , bodies of men buried in them that many ( not just the Sufi's) consider holy men or holy imman's (teachers) that are respected .They believed this to be wrong and took these drastic steps to right the wrong .

Here is the part I have trouble with, and many others may as well , almost all mosques here in Libya will be named after some holy man ,having his body buried within the mosque .It is just a custom that is a hold over from the time of Turkish occupation .

Another thing I find ironic is that during the entire time of the battles for Sirte , Bani Walid, and Sebha, the mosques all over Libya ,especially the Tripoli area, have played almost non stop a hypnotic chant over the loud speakers of " Allah Alakhbar" . Usually the mosques will broadcast this from noon prayers until the last prayers of the night , but sometimes even afterward.This is a welcomed and acceptable action from the mosques .The catch? This is in actual fact a Sufi custom, this chanting, therefore by the Salafi's own beliefs , not religiously acceptable. Religious intolerance should be unacceptable in the New Libya .

I heard this song by Genesis last night as I was waiting for the internet to connect.Thinking to myself how true this was for the world .Enjoy.


Ellen Keim said...

Even though things are still so dicey in Libya, it's so nice to be able to hear from you that you're safe. Praise Allah for the Internet!

That's very interesting about the Sufis and Salafis. I know so little about all of that. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

I keep you and your family (and Libya) in my prayers. May Allah take care of us all.

PH said...

Sorry :

"Here is the part I have trouble with, and many others may as well , almost all mosques here in Libya will be named after some holy man ,having his body buried within the mosque .It is just a custom that is a hold over from the time of Turkish occupation ."

Again and as before the revolution you are confusing people and spreading disinformation :

1- You live in Tajoura, not Tripoli and Tripoli isn't synonymous with Libya so please stop acting as if you know either especially since you've finally admitted you can't understand a thing from what is happening around you. I know blogging keeps you busy and I really hate having to comment on your blog and hurt your feelings; but I wish you would stick to things you understand/know or have seen and if you want to write an opinion on something write it on something that isn't so black and white.

2- Most of what were destroyed were "اضرحة" loosely translated it means tombs and not mosques. These tombs in some cases had prayer rooms; but generally speaking weren't mosques.
3- The cry of Allah Akbar isn't a Sufi custom and even the prophet - pbuh - used to use it in the first battles more than 1400 years ago long before there was Sufisim. And that battle cry was used in the battles in the east and Zawiya and the western mountains long before we reached Bani Walid, Sirt or Sebha.
5- Muslims consider Sufi's to be Muslim and Shia to be Muslims ( Generally speaking ) the main disagreement with them is that they use "holy people" as a means to get closer to God; which is explicitly forbid in all translations and interpretations of all sects of Islam except them.

6- Sufi customs use drums in their chantings and don't confine their chants to just Allah Akbar. Actually they chant poems and I don't remember them repeating Allah Akbar as much as fighters do during war.

Again Sorry ;)

on the edge said...

I gather that you are or have been one of the victorious Tuwars?If so , congratulations on a brave and courageous job well done.

Yes we do live in Tagura.So? Your point being?I couldn't possibly know what it was like in the war to have tanks outside my home? Being shot at?Have rocket propelled rockets launched at our building?Have a gelignite factory in our back yard so to speak and be constantly under attack by the Ghadaffy supporters using it?See 20 or more mercenaries marching stealthily under my balcony?Knowing some friend or neighbor further down the street was being drug away in the night , never to be seen again? To know a good friend was murdered for making the new national flag here in Tagura? Another friends who lives in Tagura,her son in law shot and killed while trying to save someones life.He was trying to film a story to show the new Libya TV channel he started in Benghazi?

No, you haven't offend me , you are too busy being arrogant to offend.

I believe you might be a little confused by how most Sunni's feel towards the Sufi's ( sad to say) and the Shia.And since I have know Muslims from all over the world, of all sects,not just here in Libya, for over 40 years ( are you even that old?) I feel pretty confident in saying that the Sufi's are not held in high regard by the average Sunni for exactly the reason you have pointed out.

My husbands family are descended from several of these highly thought of "holy men" here in Libya.They take great pride in the fact that they are related, but they do not worship them as that is, as you also pointed out , forbidden by Allah.As for the " desecration of the mosques", this is how it was written in the news reports.

According to The USA Today News report of 10-13-20011: the following is what I had in my report if you had taken the trouble to read it....

"The vandalism has drawn concern at the highest levels as Libya's new rulers seek to reassure the international community that extremists will not gain influence in the North African nation.

Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, head of the governing National Transitional Council, reacted with alarm to reports that graves were being desecrated and appealed to a top Muslim cleric, al-Sadek al-Gheriani, to issue a fatwa, or religious ruling, on the issue.

He also called for restraint. "I ask those destroying these mosques to stop doing that because this is not the time to do that," Abdul-Jalil said Tuesday at a news conference. "What they did is not on the side of the revolution."

As you can plainly read for yourself , Mr. Abdul-Jalil himself is the one who used the phrase "I ask those destroying these mosques to stop ". Yes , in most mosques there is a room set aside for the tomb of the "Sidi" , but not always. Some times they are buried inside the mosque itself. And by the way , that Friday Moe and I happened to get caught up in the melee of the NTC fighters chasing the Salafi trying to get away from the mosques with some relics they had just destroyed inside mosques or prayer rooms.So , we were actually there.Is that close enough for you ?It was for me as there was shooting .

Personally I am a Sunni that does think that the Sufi's have some things to contribute.I have ( surprise!) done much research into this subject by the way. Have you ?

Yes, Allah Akbar is a inclusive phrase used by all Muslims of all sects, including the Sufi and the Sunni.But the Sufi's use it also to induce a religions trance by repeating it over and over, as did the mosques all over the Tripoli metropolitan area , including Tagura.Although they were NOT trying to induce anyone into a trance.Is that clear enough for you?Have you ever read any of Rammi's poems?Not all of the Sufi's trances are accompanied by drum or other musical instruments(musical instruments are haram,according to strict Islamic belief ), by the way.Some Sufi trances are induced through atonal acappella sound.
Check you later PH !

on the edge said...

Ellen , it is always so nice to hear from you . Thank you for your dua's.When I lived in the US , I did a lot of research on Islam and it's different sects. It is amazing how many there are . It seems that more are popping up these days as well. Allah myke!