While I correctly predicted that a more democratic government in Muslim countries like Libya would result in increased Islamic radicalism, I could not have imagined it might spell the beginning of an Arab apartheid regime.
Today, the New York Times reported that rebel leaders are pleading with their fighters to “avoid taking revenge against ‘brother Libyans’.” Apparently, the rebels are imprisoning anyone they believe fought as a mercenary for Colonel Qaddafi. It turns out the only evidence rebels need is the color of one’s skin. In other words, if you look like a sub-Saharan African, you must be a mercenary.
It seems Libya will join the list of African countries like Sudan and Nigeria, which are plagued by ethnic tensions between North African Arabs and sub-Saharan Africans.
Rebels are now rounding up sub-Saharan African migrants in “fetid, sweltering pens for as long as two weeks on charges that their captors often acknowledge to be little more than suspicion.” One human rights researcher, who visited the facilities noted, “It is very clear to us that most of those detained were not soldiers and have never held a gun in their life.” In one case, the rebel were holding a prisoner on allegations of witchcraft.
As for increased Islamic radicalism, reporters observed rebel captors drilling prisoners “at gunpoint in rebel chants like ‘God is Great’ and ‘Free Libya!'”
They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
It is a lesson President Obama would do well to learn.