A demonstration against the Libyan dictator Moamar Kaddafi (or Gaddafi or Katafi or Gheddhafi or Khaddafi or whatever other name he uses) took place in Toronto last Saturday, February 26.
There were actually two demonstrations, which marched on Dundas Square at the same time. One of them, with more participants, was strictly Libyan. The smaller one consisted of Iraqis, who wanted democracy in Iraq and among their chants you could hear calls for al-Maliki, the Prime Minister, to resign. They maybe wanted more, but for some reason all their signs were in Arabic. Strange, isn’t it? One may think that they should have translated them in English to make the Canadian public understand and support their demands. As you know, in our multicultural country, as of now, Arabic is not a compulsory subject at school. (But maybe they just wanted to hide those demands…)
The Libyan demonstration was much better prepared. Their signs were well-designed and pre-printed. Most of them had at the lower edge the name of the organization, which organized the event – Toronto Arab Solidarity Campaign.
According to Torontopedia’s entry about that organization, this is a city-wide network that supports the movements for freedom and democracy throughout the Arab world. It includes both Arab and non-Arab members, and organizations such as the Canadian Coptic Association, the Egyptian National Association for Change, the Canadian Arab Federation, the Canadian Peace Alliance, and the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War.
That tells you enough. The notorious CAF has been involved in suppressing free speech for years. The Egyptian National Association for Change was formed last year with the participation of representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood. Both the Canadian Peace Alliance and the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War are extremely left anti-Israeli and anti-Western organizations, which were heavily involved in bringing the terrorist supporter George Galloway to Canada. As of the Canadian Coptic Association, they are needed as useful idiots to make the group look less extremist.
Nevertheless, the purpose of the demonstration was noble. Who could have thought that the Crazy Colonel would end up like that? There is an old Russian saying that even God protects the crazy people. In the case of Gaddafi that worked flawlessly for decades. He came to power as an absolutely inexperienced junior army officer. Then he introduced a bizarre form of sharia socialism, explained in the Green Book (a superb work of unintended humor, which I highly recommend, if you can find it).
After that he decided to change the world by supporting all kinds of big and small terrorists (including PLO) and personally ordering terrorist attacks. He survived the wrath of the USA when they bombed him and even managed to convince the gullible Europeans that the Americans killed his non-existent adopted daughter.
He almost became the new Che Guevara.
I remember how years ago I and the other students from my class were greeting him with tiny Libyan flags in our hands. The only government visitors that my Communist homeland used to receive were Third-World losers like Gaddafi and leaders of other Communist countries.
At the time he looked quite presentable (had nothing in common with his current look of a dead hobo). Despite the poor choice of a uniform, which resembled garment stolen from a cheap production of War and Peace, he already had that egomaniacal appearance designed to show his superiority over the dumb Europeans.
His famous female guards had the same expression, as if they have eaten a case of lemons (on the side note, some of them were way beyond voluptuous and it was hard to understand how they were able to protect him if needed). The Libyan students who studied in my country were no different – their superiority came from the possession of US dollars, the coveted hard currency, which allowed access to the special stores stuffed with Western goods. The dollars also paid for somebody to write their essays or for bribes to get better grades.
Despite his militant insanity, Gaddafi had one advantage – he was a secular dictator able to maintain some resemblance of order in his country. Islam was subdued, the female Libyan students didn’t wear hijabs.
Once he is gone, all those restraints will evaporate. You can see from the pictures of the demonstration that most of the women who took part wore hijabs. And this is Canada, which is a democratic country. Can you imagine what will happen in Libya when the Islamists take complete control? The hijabs would be the least worrisome issue…
For those who think that the hijab is the sacred goal of every Muslim woman, how could you explain that it was forced on that little girl? After all, she could hardly make a decision on such an issue herself.
We can add to the mess that’s inevitable in the near future the tribal structure of the Libyan society, which becomes more apparent day by day with the different tribal factions that get involved in the fight against Gaddafi. It’s sad, but when you mix Islam and tribalism, nothing good would come out of that. There is hardly any democracy in the future of Libya.
It may become a larger copy of Somalia, suffering from gangs, constant civil war and Muslim extremism, which would hurt women and children. They may even develop their own pirate squads. Wasn’t the situation the same when Thomas Jefferson fought as a US president against the Muslim piracy in Northern Africa?
I wish I had something more optimistic about the future of the country, but there is nothing.
Still, one of the best pictures I took at the event was of that beautiful smiling girl with the Canadian flag, who differed from the gloomy demonstrators. Who knows, she might be the future of Libya, if she and others like her get a chance to be REALLY themselves.