Middle East Quarterly
A Qadhdhafi Sampler
He Reflects on Christianity and Judaism
N'DJAMENA, Chad -- Libyan leader Mu`ammar al-Qadhdhafi blasted Jews and Christians Friday, accusing them of hating Muslims and insulting the Prophet Muhammad. In a sermon at Friday prayer services attended by more than 10,000 worshipers, including nine other African heads of state, Qadhdhafi said Christians and Jews regarded Muslims as terrorists and racists.
"Is there a Christian or a Jew named Muhammad?" Qadhdhafi rhetorically asked the crowd gathered in the central square of Chad's capital. "No there is not," he said, adding that millions of Muslims were called Jesus or Moses. "Who is the fanatic, us or them? Who is the side that hates, us or them?" Hassane Guedallah, Associated Press, May 1, 1998
He Offers Clinton Legal Help
CAIRO -- President Clinton got an offer of help Friday in handling his domestic problems from an unlikely source: Mu`ammar al-Qadhdhafi. The Libyan leader offered to send a lawyer to help Clinton deal with the fallout arising from his relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
"I have no bad intentions towards (Clinton), and I was willing to send him a lawyer to defend him," Qadhdhafi said in an interview with the Qatari television channel Al-Jazeera. He said Clinton is a victim of a Jewish and Zionist conspiracy. Associated Press, August 28, 1998.
He Travels in Style
CAIRO -- Hours before his meeting with the Egyptian president, workers were busy erecting a 50-square-meter tent for the Libyan leader Mu`ammar Qadhdhafi on the grounds of the Kubba Palace, a lavish presidential guest house in the Heliopolis suburb of northern Cairo.
Qadhdhafi arrived Friday at the Egyptian border post of Salum and spent the night in a tent in the desert before driving up to Cairo.
Qadhdhafi's tent is a white one, different from his favorite predominant green color, a motif in Libya. Its floor was covered with a red carpet while the inner part of the canvas was covered with multi-colored Islamic-style geometric patterns. State-of-the art communications tools, like all sorts of phones and fax machines, computers and television screens were also set up inside the tent along with comfortable but simple furniture.
According to several observers in Libya, Qadhdhafi has a real passion for tents -- and the desert -- which reflects "his revolutionary spirit, his desire to break taboos, his simplicity and his modesty."
Agence France Presse, March 7, 1999
He Designs a "Rocket" Car
TRIPOLI -- Libya unveiled a sleek new car with the looks of something out of a James Bond movie on Monday, describing it as the brainchild of the country's leader Mu`mmar Qadhdhafi and the safest car on earth.
The "State of the Masses Rocket," (Sarukh al-Jamahiriya ), a five-seater saloon in a metallic Libyan revolutionary green with tinted windows, was shown to the world's press who were in town for a Qadhdhafi-sponsored special summit of the Organization of African Unity. The car has the aerodynamic lines of conventional models but the front and rear ends are rocket-shaped. It was unveiled during celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the revolution that brought Qadhdhafi to power.
Dukhali al-Magharyal, chairman of the Libyan Arab Domestic Investment company which produced the prototype, billed it as a first in automotive history, saying it was developed from safety ideas conceived by Qadhdhafi. The company planned to set up a factory next month in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, to start production. "The leader really spent so many hours of his valuable time thinking to find a solution, an effective solution. It is the safest car produced anywhere, any place in the world," Magharyal said. "Sarukh al-Jamahiriya, a vehicle designed around the need to protect the passengers and itself... is sure to cause a revolution in automotive design," a company statement said.
Reuters, Sept. 6, 1999
He Solves the Arab-Israeli conflict
The Libyan Leader Colonel Mu`ammar al-Qadhdhafi assured that "there is no future for Israel" in the Arab environment, and recommended that the Israelis "establish a state in Alaska" in the United States. He said, in a meeting with Arab thinkers carried live on Libyan and Dubai television, that "Palestine will be the grave of the Jews," and compared the Israelis with a "people trying to build a house of clay in an ocean of anger," in other words, the Arab people. He added that "if the Israelis don't like the flies [in the Middle East] they can go to Alaska and establish a state … and I will be the first to visit them and offer support to them."
Al-Hayat, January 4, 2000
He Meditates on the Meaning of Clothes
AMMAN – Libyan leader Mu`ammar al-Qadhdhafi has told a group of Jordanian women that clothes are the "work of Satan" and denounced the restrictions imposed by Islam on the way women dress.
Sitting on a sofa under a beige-coloured tent, the Libyan leader shared with his guests his views of what went wrong in the dress code from the time that Adam and Eve covered up their private parts with fig leaves.
"Satan is the one who suggested to Adam and Eve to cover up with leaves after he succeeded in having God throw them out of the Garden of Eden," said the flamboyant Libyan leader, flanked by three female body guards. "Clothes are the work of Satan. He invented them and we should not give them too much thought," Qadhdhafi told the women, who included an Islamist militant, a poet and members of local non-government organisations.
Qadhdhafi's female guests showed their appreciation by applauding the Libyan leader several times during his expose which included a liberal view of what he considered restrictions imposed by Islam on the female dress code.
Agence France Presse, Monday October 9. 2000