Catholics Recall Gadhafis Brutality
An anti-Gadhafi fighter shouts, Allahu akbar (God is great), as he celebrates the death of the ousted Libyan leader in Sirte, Libya, 20 Oct. The Vatican said the death of strongman Moammar Gadhafi marked the end of a harsh and oppressive regime that was based on power instead of human dignity. (photo: CNS/Saad Shalash, Reuters)
25 Oct 2011 by Doreen Abi Raad
BEIRUT (CNS) — Catholic leaders said they
could not rejoice at the death of Libyan dictator Moammar
Gadhafi, but they recalled some of his more brutal
moments and speculated on the future of Christians in the
Gadhafi brutalized people for 42 years. He lived
by the sword and, therefore, its not surprising that he would die by the sword, said Habib Malik, associate professor of history at the Lebanese American University, Byblos campus.
The manner of his death was gruesome and, no
matter how evil a person might have been, such an ending
is never something to rejoice about; however, he is now
dead and his people are justifiably relieved and hopeful
about starting a new chapter in their history, he said.
Malik, a Lebanese Catholic, recalled Gadhafis
role at the outset of the Lebanese war in 1975.
He sent mercenaries and snipers to Beirut as well
as to Christian coastal towns, where they murdered scores
of innocent civilians, and he made many outrageous
statements at the time against Lebanons Christians, said
Malik, author of the 2010 book Islamism and the Future
of the Christians of the Middle East.
In addition to all this he was, of course,
responsible for the disappearance of Iman Moussa Sadr, a
prominent Lebanese Shiite cleric who vanished during a
1978 visit to Libya.
Maronite Father Camille Moubarak, president of
Sagesse University in Beirut and former dean of its faculty
of political science, said : Gadhafi is one of the leaders
who, in the beginning, was good for his people. When he
became bad after some years, the possibility of change
However, said Father Moubarak, world powers
were with Gadhafi. So after this, we can say that not just
Gadhafi alone was the dictator.
He said it is hard to tell what will happen because
of regional instability. He said Libya — and Syria, Yemen
and Egypt — could go from one dictator to another. As
time goes on, the people will accept any solution to get
out from the war, he added.
In times of instability, he said, bad people wield
power over the weak.
And who is the weak group in these countries?
The Christians. Thats why these kinds of wars are
dangerous for the Christians in these kinds of countries,
Archbishop Tommaso Caputo, apostolic nuncio to
Libya and Malta, told the Vatican-based Fides news
agency that in four years of traveling throughout Libya: I
have come to believe that the Libyan heart is nourished by
the desire of peace and harmony. This is what we hope for
Tags: Vatican Arab Spring Libya Moammar Gadhafi