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June 2013

A violent, radical Islamist tide is posing a ‘threat to post-Arab Spring Libya’, Dr Patrick Sookhdeo has warned.

The international director of charity Barnabas Fund said this had ‘menacing implications for Christians in North Africa and beyond’.

He pointed to reports earlier this year, in which a church building in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi was attacked by Islamist gunmen and, two weeks later, torched by unidentified assailants.

The building was the place of worship attended by dozens of expatriate Egyptian Christians, who allegedly had been detained and abused by Islamist militias for trying to convert Muslims. One of them died in custody.

Mr Sookhdeo said these distressing incidents are ‘ominous signs’ of the growing Islamist insurgency that is threatening the fragile security of Libya following the Arab Spring.

He said, ‘The Government appears powerless to dislodge them, and its authority is also proving ineffective in the south, where fighters and weapons have been flowing across the border. The violence has even spread to the capital, Tripoli, where the French embassy was bombed last month’.



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