It’s not clear what role Ansar Al-Sharia, the Islamist militia behind the Benghazi September 11 attack is playing in these outrages, but it has returned and is reasserting authority in the city.
Meanwhile a marketplace dispute between Coptic Christian and Muslim vendors resulted in mass arrests of the Christians on charges of proselytizing.
Security official Hussein Bin Hmeid declared, “We are a 100 percent Muslim country and this kind of action affects our national security.”
Libya is not a 100 percent Muslim country and Benghazi even contains a cathedral, but the assertion is predictive. With enough ethnic cleansing and harassment, Libya can be made into a 100 percent Muslim country. Similar tactics have been used to purge Christian populations across the Middle East and it may be possible that those tactics are coming to Libya.
Gunmen attacked an Egyptian Coptic church in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, assaulting two priests.
Libya’s small Christian community has expressed fears over Islamist extremism as the government struggles to impose its authority over armed groups which have refused to lay down their weapons since the 2011 war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi.
In December, an explosion at a building belonging to a Coptic church in Dafniya, close to the western city of Misrata, killed two Egyptian men and wounded two others.
The Libyan government, chock full of Islamists, isn’t imposing its authority on the Islamist militias. In some cases it’s working hand in glove with them.
The arrests of Christians combined with an attack on a church in Benghazi strongly suggest that a concerted effort is being made to drive Christians out of Benghazi.
Obama justified his Libyan War by claiming that he was protecting the people of Benghazi. But when will Obama stand up for the Christians of Benghazi?