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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Prominent Islamic scholar Al-Omrani kidnapped and murdered in Tripoli Libya

Sheikh Nadir Al-Omrani, was kidnapped on October 6. On a video made by Tripoli's Criminal Investigation Board (CIB) a man named Haitham Al-Zintani is shown confessing his role in the abduction and murder of Al-Omrani.

An article in the Libya Observer on the October 6 abduction claims that two cars intercepted Al-Omrani as he was on his way to morning prayer in an area of Tripoli. Omrani is an Islamic scholar and member of the Council of Researches and Islamic Studies at the Libyan Fatwa House in Tripoli. He is an associate of the Grand Mufti of Libya Sadiq al-Ghariani. Al Ghariani is a strong opponent of Khalifa Haftar the commander of the Libyan National Army(GNA) of the House of Representatives(HoR) government. However, he is also opposed to the UN-backed Government of National Accord(GNA). Abdullah al-Jaadi of the Council of Researches said that two groups could benefit from the abduction of the Sheikh, the Islamic State or the Dignity Operation of Khalifa Hafar in Tripoli.
If the confession of Al-Zintani is correct the abduction and consequent murder of Omrani was actually an act carried out by supporters of Salafi cleric Rabee al-Madkhali. The supporters of Madkhalism, as it is called, are allegedly linked to the Rada (Deterrence) forces in Tripoli. Gilles Kepel, a political scientist has described Madkhali as a perfect example of a regime "court scholar" found in many Middle East regimes. Although originally critical of the Saudi government, he now staunchly defends it and his doctrine involves a quietist approach within regimes in contrast to some other more radical Salafist trends. According to a Wikipedia article on Madkhalism:A cornerstone of Madkhalist discourse is unquestioning loyalty to governments, even those that use extreme and unjustified violence against their subjects.[17] Unlike other Islamist groups which often oppose dictatorial government in the Middle East, the Madkhalist movement is openly supportive of such regimes.[9][28][29][30] Madkhalists argue that the governments of Arab countries rule by divine right, otherwise God would not have allowed them to take power..
Madkhali is now quite old. I enclose a video describing him attending a prayer at a mosque in Saudi Arabia.
The confession of Zintani goes into considerable detail as to what happened to Omrani and why. He claims that a colleague had placed Omrani in a hole in the ground after accusing him of misleading the public with false religious views. He then shot and buried him. Zintani also claimed that the colleague was head of the Esbiaa branch of the anti-crime board, and that Omrani was held at the headquarters of the board for a month before being murdered. Zintani explained that Omrani had been singled out because his views of Islam contradicted those of Madkhali and his kidnapping and death were ordered by a top Egyptian Madkhali cleric. He claimed other members of Ghariani's group were also on a death list. Some claim that many members of Rada led by Abdulauf Kara are Madkhali supporters. Rada has denied any involvement in Omrani's death saying: “The force condemns strongly this crime but also condemns suggestions that it was involved in it. We call all relevant bodies including the General Attorney to open an urgent investigation into the incident.” Rada also denied that the person appearing in the video worked for Rada or had any connection to the group.
The Libya Observer also comments on the video. So far all the evidence appears to be based upon this one video and the confession of Zintani. According to Zintani the command to kill Omrani was from the Egyptian cleric Mohammed Saeed Raslan. He added: “AL-Omrani was killed by the chief of the supposedly Interior Ministry’s Crime Fight Apparatus, Abdelhakim Emgaidish, and Ahmed Al-Safi, who is the mufti of the group in Libya and who received the fatwa from Egypt.” A mufti is a Muslim religious authority who interprets Sharia law. Zintani claimed that a group from Rada, the Special Deterrent Forces, held meetings in which they plotted to kill a number of clerics and sheiks whom they considered members of the Muslim Brotherhood or Libyan Fighter Group. The Libya Observer claims most members of Rada are accused of having links to Madkhalism, but are also said to be linked to Khalifa Haftar whom they consider to be leader of the country and not to be toppled at any cost. The Observer also notes that there are said to be a number of brigades in the eastern region who are fighting alongside Dignity Operation forces.
A number of recent tweets also refer to the confession and murder. One says: "A man detained in connection w/ Omrani's abduction alleges it was done on the advice of leading Egyptian Madkhali sheikh Mohamed Raslan #pt". Another claims: "Leading anti-MB figures in #Libya (incl Sufis) privately admit rise of Madkhali Salafis worrying but 'common enemy' reasoning holds for now." MB stands for Muslim Brotherhood.


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