The return of Qadhafi

The return of Qadhafi
The former Libyan leader continues to exert control over the country from beyond the grave. Some Libyans even claim to have seen his ghost.
2 min read
30 Dec, 2014
Some Libyans claim to have seen Gaddafi's ghost [Getty]
Libya has found it difficult to transition to democracy after the glorious revolution because the spectre of the late Colonel Muammar Qadhafi and his 42 years of authoritarian rule hangs over the country.

Since his killing on 20 October 2011, Qadhafi continues to preoccupy people’s minds, with some calling for his grave to be exhumed and his corpse relocated. Increasing numbers of Libyans are also claiming to have met him and talked to him after his death.

Qadhafi has returned from the grave though in the guise of his followers and supporters. His ghost is taking advantage of the chaos he used to mercilessly rein in, and which is now destroying the remaining state institutions. Many analysts are asking: Is Libya becoming or is it already a failed state? If so, what are the borders of this state?
     Is Libya becoming or is it already a failed state?

Qadhafi has been buried, but he has returned to tell us his nationalist dream will not only sweep the Arab World but the whole of Africa and Europe. A video that combines two older videos is currently being circulated by his supporters and tries to show Qadhafi as a wise leader with outstanding foresight.

The first video is from 2009 and shows a German official warning that most of Europe would become Muslim within decades. The second is from 2010 and is of Qadhafi on a visit to Italy calling for Europe to embrace Islam.

During Qadhafi's visit to Italy in 2010, he reportedly ordered his men to find 500 beautiful women and pay them between 70 and 100 Euros to attend a speech he was giving about Islam. He also pitched a tent on the grounds of the Libyan Academy in Rome, causing controversy and anger. Italian officials described his actions as a mere performance.

Another example of Qadhafi's bizarre behaviour was his insistence of being presented at international meetings as the "king of kings". Former President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak agreed to do so at the 15th summit of the Non-Alignment Movement held in Egypt in 2009. Neither president had any idea what awaited them.

Qadhafi's men are working hard to keep his legacy alive in the minds of Libyans, and through them the former leader continues to issue decrees and involve himself in matters from beyond his grave. There are real attempts being made to cement the Qadhafi ideology and destroy the Libyan revolutions.

Libya needs to assess why the revolution that removed its dictator is still unable to achieve the goal of freedom.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.