[This article was published in the 15th issue of Nida'ul Islam magazine (, October - November 1996]

The Official Spokesperson For The Fighting Islamic Group In Libya:

The Libyan Regime is Living In a Situation of Hysteria

The love of the Muslim Libyan people for their religion and their sacrifices are well-known. History has recorded some brilliant episodes of the struggle of this people to uphold their religion and expel the invaders, such as the rebellion against the rule of the infidel 'Abidiyin in Arabian Morocco and the expulsion of the Italian invaders. It is not befitting for the descendants of Omar Almukhtar to submit to the infidel and oppressive rule of Qaddafi. They rose more than a year earlier and raised arms in his face to dispel the myth of his "indefeatable" security forces.

In order to take news of the events from their sources, this interview took place with the official spokesperson for the Fighting Islamic Group Al-Jama'a Al-Islamiyyah Al-Muqatilah (FIG), brother Abu Bakr Alsharif, one of the elder sons of the Islamic revival in Libya, and is regarded as one of the founders of the FIG.

The Aggression of The Regime

* Can you give us a quick word with respect to the situation of the Muslims in Libya and the pains which have befallen them as a result of the transgression of the Qaddafi regime?

All gratitude to Allah and peace and blessings upon the Messenger of Allah: There is no doubt that the tragic situation which is hurting Libyan society is not hidden from any person with even the least concern for the situation of the Muslims.

So the absence of the Islamic regime - which is a guarantor for the achievement of salvation and peace in this world and the next - is what brought us to this situation. Qaddafi, as a ruler who has been forced over the necks of the Muslims in Libya in order to achieve the interests of the enemies of our Nation, has fulfilled the role which has been expected from him to the letter. This role required him to break the rules of Islam and its symbols within the minds of the people and in their everyday lives. The Muslim community in general, having regard to its religion, its origin, and history must have some goodness left. For the principles may be threatened, and these may even die with many people, however, some remain who work to eliminate corruption with their hands and their tongues in fulfillment of the Words of the Almighty All Glorified: "O you who believe, whoever apostates from his religion from amongst you, indeed Allah will bring a people whom He loves, and who love Him, humble amongst the believers, yet stern against the rejecters, striving in the path of Allah, and not fearing the blame of a blamer." [S5; V. 54]

Further, it was awaited and expected from a person such as Qaddafi to move and strike with his horses and legs to eliminate these remaining few because he knows that these few - alone - are the ones who can, with the help of Allah and His provision to end his transgression, and remove his rule. Indeed, Qaddafi began from early on to constrict the spirit of the Muslim Libyan youth inside and outside Libya, and began to kill every person who even thinks of doing some positive and fruitful work to confine his evil and to arrest his corruption. It did not matter to him whether these reformers worked in peace or rose in arms against him.

Whilst we are convinced that a regime such as Qaddafi's can present justifications for its actions, however, it went further adding to these practices which create a realisation amongst the youth of the necessity to fight the armed evil with the armed good. Indeed, scaffolds for hanging Muslims have been erected in the parks, university grounds, and various areas since long ago, in order to hang the choicest children of our country. Then elements named revolution committees overtook the mosques, the schools, the colleges, and various organisations, until it became a familiar matter in Libya to see a student giving orders and the dean of the university accepting these orders, and to see the honourable, respectable Sheikh dragged from his pulpit or from his study circle to be slapped by filthy hands stained with the blood of the innocents.

As for the economic front, you can talk without a second thought about the corruption. There is confiscation of people's money with no justification, and the withholding of the salaries from the employees, the black market which is run by some of Qaddafi's stooges, and finally what are called the cleansing committees which on the face appear useful, but beneath the surface employ torture against innocent members of the public. The regime claims that these committees were formed to fight corruption in government, yet in reality they are nothing but new tools to enforce the iron fist and the legal robbery under the veil of correction. In addition to this is the squandering of Muslim wealth in areas which only serve the madness of Qaddafi and his love for fame as per the coined phrase "our goods are for others" . This is a small picture of what is much larger, otherwise, the matter would require elaboration beyond the scope of this meeting.

The direction of the FIG

* The FIG came to prominence with the assistance of Allah Most High to fight the apostate Qaddafi regime and to establish the foundations of Islamic rule in Libya. Can you familiarise us with the direction of the FIG in brief?

As for what is related with the legal and ideological direction of the Fighting Islamic Group, this is in the book of Allah Most High and Exalted, and the Sunnah of His Messenger (s.a.w.) in accordance with the understanding of the predecessors of our Ummah amongst the companions and the righteous followers, and not the understanding of the belated, with our belief in the currency of Ijtihad with its restrictions which were placed by the first, and this Ijtihad is in other than the creeds and the fundamentals, but in other areas to confront new eventualities and innovations which Muslims face with the passage of time.

In addition to reliance on the direction of Jihad and the changing of the regimes which are sitting on the chests of our Ummah against our will, to our firm belief that the new means and that which wishes to overstep the choice with force are amongst those means which Allah Most High described as distractions from His path: "And this is my straight path, so follow me and do not follow the various paths as they will distract you from His path."[S.6 V.153] and which fits the statement:

This is the truth there is nothing hidden in it, so leave me away from the detours, as the different attempts which digress in front of our eyes only prove the failure of these methods, politically and in reality.

The FIG sorts the current regimes in our countries as an enemy which has the attributes of apostasy, puppets, and war against the religion approved by Allah.

* What are the fruits which have been reaped by the FIG since the declaration of Jihad?

The most important achievement of the FIG is the bringing back to life of an overlooked requirement and a dead Sunnah. I mean by this the fight against the apostates and the traitors, it also revived the hope - with the help of Allah - in the spirits which had been overcome with hopelessness and fear which had been created by this regime through entrenched means. For this reason, the popular sentiments of the people have become clear on the side of the FIG and this is exemplified in the offer of information with respect to the movements of the regime, or the offer of different types of assistance to the Mujahideen. Furthermore, the FIG has shown the true face of the fight, that it is a creedal fight between truth and falsehood, and these are the first steps in the path of correct change, as for the final fruit in this world, this is in the Hand of Allah Most Exalted and Most High.

* How does Qaddafi and his puppets face the new developments?

The regime is currently living in a situation of hysteria which I do not think that it has ever faced at any previous time; for this reason, he is gathering all that he owns of military and security might to annihilate the Fighting Islamic Group. The Libyans have not bombarded their own country since the Italian occupation of Libya.

However, we are seeing the Libyan airforce bombarding the Mujahideen positions in the green mountain area which was a gathering place for Libyan Mujahideen against the Italian occupation. Today, it is one of a number of gathering points of the Fighting Islamic Group. At the same time, Qaddafi is attempting to conceal the reality of the battle from the public, so he represents his attacks under different guises such as the pursuit of drug traffickers etc. To date, he has gathered approximately 10,000 soldiers in the area amongst whom are Serbian forces who had been brought from the former Yugoslavia. He has also established two new mission rooms under the control of Colonel Abu Bakr Yunus and Colonel Mustafa AlKharouby, who are members in the Qaddafi revolutionary leadership. Most recently, they introduced the cleansing committees - as they call them - to subdue the breaths of the sympathisers of the FIG, and to tighten the grip around them with respect to their possessions and work.

* What is the reaction of the Muslim Libyan people with respect to the developments since the declaration of Jihad, and what is the extent of the response of their children with their Mujahideen brothers?

I have mentioned that the sphere of public sympathy has begun to expand at a very pleasing rate despite the suppression and terror which the regime practices. Of the noticeable aspects in this respect is that the people in Libya are now very well aware of the reality of the battle and are aware that the side which is facing up to the regime is the Fighting Islamic Group. Some of them call them "the Afghans" and others call them "the Sunnis" and they are not drug traffickers, nor apostates, nor spies, as the regime attempts to portray them. The average person now has a noticeable role in distributing the leaflets and publications for the group in addition to the offering of information and assistance to the Mujahideen.

* What was the reaction of the opposing secular movements, and what is the position of the group with respect to it.

It never occurred to the secular groups that a Muslim Jama'a can lead armed opposition in this manner. This was a surprise with respect to them, so they attempted to belittle the achievements of the FIG initially. However, when they saw the FIG beginning to gain prominence quickly on the Libyan scene, they attempted to contain the FIG through various means, this interview does not have the scope to elaborate on this issue, however they had imagined that the FIG was a mere group of armed people who are able to do nothing except fire bullets, and that they are in need of political cover to take advantage of the military operations. I would like to say to them, and to every person who thinks in this way: "You have made a mistake", and I suspect that they are now engaging in new efforts to assert their presence, however, they must realise that they are very late.

As for the stance of the FIG with respect to these secularists, it has been revealed on more than one occasion through the words of the leaders of the FIG, briefly this stance: "They are gathering under the banner of Kufr and Jahilia (ignorance), because they are established on the principles of secularism and the separation of religion from government. This does not necessarily mean the apostasy of all their members, either because they do not know the reality of these groups or for whatever other reason.

* The current situation foretells quick developments, can you tell us about your future expectations with respect to these developments?

Firstly, we have a conviction in the help of Allah Glorified and Exalted, for He has promised - and His promise is true - to give victory to His religion, saying: "And verily Our Word went forth of old unto Our bondsmen, that they verily would be helped, and that Our host, they verily would be the victors." [S.37; V.171-173] It is the same whether we see it with our eyes, or whether our children see it after us.