Volume 4, Issue 1, 2016
Religion and Violence in Africa
Palwasha L. Kakar, Melissa Nozell
Engaging the Religious Sector for Peace and Justice in Libya
Analysis of Current Discourses
The paper will problematize the boundaries between “religious” discourse and “political” discourse as they are drawn in the midst of violent conflict and contestation in Libya, by exploring the historical context, current religious trends and influential religious leaders as identified in the interviews. This paper sheds significant light on the little understood relationship between violence, political contestation, and the religious sector in Libya, mapping community perceptions of religious actors’ relationship to violent conflict, interactions between political and religious phenomena, and the actual responses of major religious actors to external violence such as that perpetrated by the so-called Islamic State. As the voices of those interviewed throughout Libya as part of this study reveal, both the perception and reality of the relationship between what is political and religious are not easily parsed, and episodes of violence often highlight the complicated interconnectedness between these realms.