Libya


Islamic Africa is a peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary, academic journal published online and in print. Incorporating the journal Sudanic Africa, Islamic Africa publishes original research concerning Islam in Africa from the social sciences and the humanities, as well as primary source material and commentary essays related to Islamic Studies in Africa. The journal’s geographic scope includes the entire African continent and adjacent islands. Islamic Africa encourages intellectual excellence and seeks to promote scholarly interaction between Africa-based scholars and those located institutionally outside the continent.

For my post on the Arab youth views of democracy, click here.

The photographs here were taken of camels and people in Libya around 1957 by Dr. Virgil Clift.

[Tabsir Redux is a reposting of earlier posts on the blog, since memories are fickle and some things deserve a second viewing. This post was originally made on April 27, 2013]

by Daniel Martin Varisco, Middle East Muddle, Anthropology News, November, 2013

As President Franklin Delano Roosevelt prophesied, December 7th, 1941 is a day that lives in infamy, even some seven decades after the event that triggered United States entry into the Second World War. Another date of more recent infamy is December 17, 2010, when a harassed Tunisian vegetable hawker named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in front of the municipal building in the picturesque town of Sidi Bouzid. Although badly burned, he survived until January 4, just ten days before Ben Ali, the Tunisian dictator for some 23 years, boarded a plane for exile in Saudi Arabia. The first kind of infamy was the beginning of a devastating war, the second became the stimulus for what was hoped to be a sweeping political revolution across the Middle East. Three years later it seems to be politics as usual, a chilly seasonal change from the jasmine scent of the Arab Spring that blew across Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen and now swirls through the political maelstrom enveloping a surviving dictator in Syria, ongoing instability in Iraq and Afghanistan and a new regime outlook in Iran.

Seasoned pundits know that in many parts of the world spring’s prospects yield to the heat of summer, the cooling autumn and eventually the chilly reality of winter in a never-ending cycle. The Arab Spring is not one season fits all, but the overall effects have been more chilling than thrilling this year. In Tunisia the Islamic party leading the country is in a state of national paralysis following the July killing of opposition MP Mohamed Brahmi. In Egypt the elected president, Muhammad Morsi, remains in military custody and his major party of support, the Muslim Brotherhood, has been banned. The military, under General Sisi, has reinstated martial law in a move that most Egyptians, it seems, support. In both Tunisia and Egypt, the transition to power by Islamic groups who promised not to dismantle the civil state structure has angered a wide range of groups, especially secularists and more moderate Muslims. (more…)


Up to 600 worshipers had attended the service and were leaving to receive free food being distributed on the lawn outside when two explosions ripped through the crowd. Photograph by Mohammad Sajjad/Associated Press

Enough blood has been shed in the past few days to make any sane person question how anyone could possibly justify such cold-blooded and senseless attacks on innocent people. The poison gas in Syria is bad enough, but now we hear that the Somali Shabab have decided to kill shoppers in a Nairobi mall rather than play Captain Hook off the East African coast and now at least 78 Pakistani Christians are killed in a blast at a historic church. This is the ugly side of religion. More than a hijacking of Islam, this is dragging the faith that produced great scholars like Ibn Sina and al-Ghazali into the sewer. To say that the Prophet Muhammad would have condoned this kind of indiscriminate murder is as absurd as the medieval Crusader claim that Jesus would bless the slaughter of Jews and Muslims. But at least the crusades ended several centuries ago.

Muslims killing fellow Muslims or Muslims targeting Christians for death are both equally insane acts. Every day the death toll rises in Iraq and Syria, as though we have returned to the days of the Mongols and Mamluks. (more…)


Libyan musicians; Photography by Dr. Virgil Clift in the 1950s

Danza Caratteristica

Above and below are postcards of scenes in Ghadames, Libya from the 1950s, when it was still a kingdom.


Ingresso alla Citt`a Coperta

The photographs here were taken of camels and people in Libya around 1957 by Dr. Virgil Clift.

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