Prelude in the Jamahiriyya
in Understanding Political Islam
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The four-decade-long Libyan regime set up by Muammar Gaddafi, beyond its founding myth of the “Jamahiriyyan power of the masses,” represented the archetype of the Nasserist nationalist authoritarian, anti-Islamist type of rhetoric and governance. In Libya, the reactive nature of the self-assertion of political Islam could not, however, rely upon the counter-example of a more or less brutal “deculturation” brought about by proactive secularization—such as the process led by Tunisia’s “Supreme Combatant,” President Habib Bourguiba.


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