- Posted August 16, 2013 by
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Libya has it's own Ikwan. Part. 2
Such is the concept Orthodox Sufism. It is a brilliantly simple concept of reverse psychology to appeal to the widest mass of people from both extremes and gradually indoctrinate both sides with the pure common thread of the sunna. It was considered austere both by European observers and native accounts, primarily for it's disdain of tobacco, coffee, music, dancing, and the veneration of tombs. By all accounts, the Grand Sanusi would have been appalled even by the simple white cupola which once covered his own tomb, before it was bulldozed by Gaddafi.
In other words, Libya has an Islamic history so rich and vast, it does not need foreign and uninvited help from Wahhabi, Salafi, or any other creation of Western Governments to represent Islam in Libya. Libya has the Sannusiyah. From a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed, Libya was blessed to be the home of an Islamic Empire that spread the Muslim faith to all corners of Africa and the Middle East, with some estimated 8 million followers at it's peak. The history of the Senusiyah has been purposely erased even from Libyan memory, first by the French, then Italians, then British, then Gaddafi, and now Gulf funded Wahhabi and Salafi impostors. The Islamic faith of the Libyan people is far more closer to that of the Sunna than anything Ibn Saud, Wahab, Abdah, Banna, or Azzam could ever hope to achieve through their Western collaboration and Petro-funding. The Islamist Extremist is a contrived invention of the West and Arab Dictators who act anything and everything but Islamic. Most of the "Reformers" who seek puritanical fanaticism are in fact exploiting false notions of piety to cloak true ignorance of the faith and collusion with dictatorship. If a government had absolutely no historical connection with the Prophet Mohammed, and was a creation of Western Intelligence agencies and their constant unwavering support of colonial dictatorship, it would hard to stay in power long unless it could make up, invent, or worse innovate, some phony claim to piety.
By Building mosques and schools in every city and country in the world, funded by Western PetroDollars, that could indoctrinate their perversions as fact, skeptics would see it as a protector and spreader of Islam. For much of the past century, Islam has become radicalized due to the self proclaimed Saudi Monopoly on Islam. 99.99 % of ALL mosques around the world rely on Saudi, and therefore Wahhabi, funding for construction, maintenance, instruction, and leadership. One reason why Saudi Arabia was not even an option for Gaddafi was the fact that only Gaddafi, with Libya's Oil money, had been able to spread his own network of Mosques and aid that directly sought to undermine Wahhabi influence in Africa and Eastern Europe. This caused bad blood, to say the least. In many ways, Gaddafi's 42 year rule resulted in an Islamic time capsule preserving a strain of Islam that has disappeared or been wiped out: a pure form. A way of life that has held family together like glue during the worst of Gaddafi's bloody binges and purges. With Gaddafi gone and his own self serving notions of piety absent...who will be left with the power and resources to spread anything but the idolatry of Qtub, Ibn Tamaiyah, and bin Laden? Most of those who would dare call someone takfir, or an infidel, or claim that Jews and Christians should be anything other than respected and protected, or that women have every right to pursue the financial security as exemplified by the Prophets wife, Khadijah, those are not Islamic scholars but graduates of western intelligence circles and secret power pacts. The key to Libya's future and that of Islam are entwined. Libyans must cast aside foreign religious yokes and rediscover their own nearly incalculable history of practicing the purest form of Islam and spreading it across the sands of the Sahara in every direction. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states have fake resumes provided by Colonial Powers. Libya and the Sannisiyah have undeniable credentials that can be traced back to the bloodline of the Prophet Mohammed and seen in the spread of Islam throughout Africa, suppressed only by French and Italian colonization. The same colonization that brought to power...the House of Saud in Arabia and Hashemites in Jordan and Iraq. Western backed Arab dictators have been suppressing their people and the true message of Islam ever since. The worst of Arab dictators have been hailed as the closest of American allies. Libya and it's hidden orthodox religious mandate can change that, and the absolute last thing that the Saudi and Gulf dictators want or, will allow, is a successfully united Muslim Democracy that can expand not only true Islam, but truly successful Islamic Democracy. Libyans could soon be building mosques in the Hejaz, Nejd, and Gulf instead of the other way around. The pious principles of the Sannusiyah have always been embraced by the Arab Bedouin, whether Libyan or Meccan.
The Grand Sannusi would remain in the Hijaz for six years, during which time he studied under many the great teachers and taught over many more. He would found the first lodge of the Sanusiyah Brotherhood in 1837 in Abu Qubays, near Mecca, though the name would come about later. The Sanusiyah soon accumulated a vast array of followers, especially among the Bedouin, who were drawn by the great learning and intellectual superiority of the founder.10 Once again, however, such a rapid rise lead to pressure on from the established hierarchy who, though threatened, could find nothing in his doctrine that betrayed the faith, orthodox or otherwise. As such, nearly all of the tribes of the Hijaz recognized the Grand Sanusi.11
After taking the clerical hint, he left the area bound for Jordan, and then Egypt before returning to Libya. His following grew with each journey he undertook, with each village, town, and city eagerly seeking a longer stay. In time, each city would have their own Sanusiyah zawiya. Upon returning to Libya, the Grand Sanusi stopped first in the oasis towns of Jalo and Aujila to preach and teach for some time before continuing on to Misrata on the coast. He had bypassed Benghazi and much of Eastern Libya while stopping in Tripoli and Gabes on his way back home to Algeria. Before even crossing over the Tunisian border, however, he realized that his premonition of French incursion had prevailed to the extent that he abruptly headed right back to Eastern Libya. It was there that he founded the founded the mother of all Sanusiyah lodges in 1843. The city of al-Bayda was chosen for its mild weather and fertile surroundings. The people welcomed their knight of the faith with no less fanfare than that which they had offered the young St. George the Dragon Slayer, who spared the same town only after they accepted Christianity. The Great Sanusi made no such demands, although occult books have been found in Gaddafi’s extensive bunker-villa complex in al-Bayda which points to his putting a Faustian flair on the offer of St. George.
From this citadel headquarters, a mission of pure faith and observance based on education, self-reliance, work ethic, trade, communication, and tribal cohesion spread at a rate unseen since the very Islamic invasion itself. A university was established in the town of Jaghbub to serve as an Islamic training center for the Sanusiyah ikhwan who would then go on to minister on the periphery before being assigned the position of Sheik at a newly established lodge. As the Italian and Turkish presence spread in Libya, the Sanusiyah headquarters was moved south to Jaghbub where the Islamic University would soon rival Al-Azhar in Cairo and put the University in Fez to shame. Its initial library consisted of over 8, 000 books from the Grand Sanusi’s personal collection.12
The move further south reflected the Sanusiyah mission by centering on the caravan trade and dominating the major oasis routes to Mecca. It also made clear that Chad, Sub-Saharan, and Central Africa would be the prime targets for expansion. In addition, the move to an isolated oasis such as Jaghbub put the main Sanusiyah lodge away from any contentious tribal boundaries, in such a way that it became incumbent upon each tribe to request their own lodges. The tribe or town world pay for the full cost of the Lodge, portions of its upkeep, and a small stipend for the Sheik. This was in addition to the standard 2.5% Islamic charity tax. In return, the citizens received an exceptional Islamic education for their children and for themselves. Also, of course, a mosque where there was not one before. Each Sanusiyah lodge became a source of pride for both its members as well as those who simply utilized the mosque. The religious fraternity also had a tremendous effect of the connectivity and stability of large portions of present day Libya by moderating the behavior of the wilder tribes, whose predations made southerly routes off limits to regular trade.13
The Grand Sanusi made one more pilgrimage to Mecca, teaching and preaching along the way. He died in 1859, shortly after his return to Jaghbub, in a memorial that was later bulldozed, along with the entire University, by the former Gaddafi regime. His family would lead the Sanusiyah for another four generations, ending with the monarchy of King Idris that was deposed on Sept. 1, 1969. The encroaching powers of France, Italy, and the U.K., not to mention the Ottomans, would bring the Sanusiyah further south to the Kufra and Wadi regions. The movement would continue to spread rapidly until the Italian invasion in 1911, when it became part of the anti-colonial resistance identity in Libya and, conversely, part of the colonial demonization of Islam.
The Grand Sanusi’s grandson, Muhammed al-Mahdi, had perhaps the most compounded misfortune of being only a teenager when assuming power in the Sanusiyah, a powerful order that was reaching its pinnacle of expansion in precisely the same areas that Europe was then grabbing up resources and destroying markets with cheap goods. Add to this his name, which invoked unimaginable horror in the British and French, and it is clearly his period which began the evolution from Sanusi religious legitimacy, to increased Sanusi political and military identity which nurtured early notions of Libyan national identity. More than often, however, that identity was shaped for them:
(1901) “From a French source we learn that…a large number of letters have been found in Arabic from the famous Chief Senoussi…proving that this remarkable man was making strenuous efforts to combine the local tribes into an anti-European league for the purpose of establishing a powerful Mussulman Empire in the heart of Africa…he is still a force to be reckoned with, for his agents are spread over the whole of Northern and Central Africa, from Morocco to the Nile, and from the Mediterranean to Lake Chad.14
More common, however, were warnings of the following:
“It is indeed due to the fact that so many now regard the deceased head Sheik as the Mahdi”, wrote Baron Oppenheim to Chancellor Bulow in April of 1903, “that the Sanussi Order now again threatens to burst into the flames of fanaticism.”15
Note that the second quote is part of a Proto-Nazi scheme between the 2nd Reich and the Ottomans to incite Muslim subjects to wage jihad against Britain. Fairly diabolical until we remember T.E. Lawrence and his compatriot, Leo Royle:
“The bidding war for the Sanussi had now begun in earnest. While al-Sharif continued sending messages regularly to the British garrison at Sollum, by April 1915 the Porte had opened a reasonably reliable communications line to the Sanussi as well, by way of Athens”.16
Nor have Edward Said’s principles of Orientalism diminished over time: (if that is not antithetical to the term itself)
“Just as westerners today often view contemporary Islamist movements through the prism of their experience of al- Qaeda, so Europeans of the late 19th century tended to view the new Islamic movements of their day through the precedent set by the Mahdi of Sudan, whose prophecy-inspired uprising in the 1880s troubled the French, the British and the Ottomans. As a result a 'gospel of fear', with seemingly obligatory references to the Sudanese Mahdi, pervaded nearly all written assessments of the 'Senussi problem' at the time”.17
Whether think tanks are funded by military contractors or religious lobbies, agenda driven warmongering perennially poses the question of whether it was the threat or the dire warning which occurred first. Libyans no longer threaten colonial camel trade, but there are still those who see danger in Libya’s vast oil reserves, strategic position, and rich orthodox Islamic heritage with the spending power to spread it.
“The Scottish-American scholar and mentor to missionaries, Duncan Black Macdonald (1863-1943), accused the Sanusi of secretly amassing arms and building military strength in order to succeed where the Sudanese Mahdi had ultimately failed. Sooner or later Europe - in the first instance, England in Egypt and France in Algeria - will have to face the bursting of this storm', he warned.”18
1 A Travelers guide to North Africa
2 Libyan Politics: Tribe and Revolution, John Davis 1987 p25
3 The Sanusi of Cyrenaica, Evans-Pritchard 1949 p11
4 Sanusiyah, Ziadeh 1958 p37.
5 Sanusiyah, Ziadeh 1985 p37
6 The Sanusi of Cyrenaica, Evans-Pritchard 1949 p11
7 The Sanusi of Cyrenaica, Evans-Pritchard 1949 p12
8 Sanusiyah, Ziadeh 1985 p44
9 The Sanusi of Cyrenaica, Evans-Pritchard 1949 p13
10 Sanusiyah, Ziadeh 1985 p44
11 Sanusiyah, Ziadeh 1985 p45
12 The Sanusi of Cyrenaica, Evans-Pritchard 1949 p15
13 Exit the Colonel, Ethan Chorin 2012 p17
14 The Sanusi’s Little War, Russell McGuirk 2007 p23
15 The Berlin-Baghdad Express, Sean McMeekin, 2010 p263
16 The Berlin-Baghdad Express, Sean McMeekin 2010 p267
17 Localism and radicalization in North Africa: local factors and the development of political Islam in Morocco, Tunisia and Libya
18 Localism and radicalization in North Africa: local factors and the development of political Islam in Morocco, Tunisia and Libya