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What is our Common Objective?

The fact that Gaddafi is responsible for so much of what is happening to us can never be denied. Gaddafi is a sick and a savage dictator. The crimes he committed and responsible for against our people and our beloved country will never be forgotten. One day he will be put on trial (live or dead) for the whole world to witness the extent of his crimes.

Whether true or not, for Gaddafi to be a Jew is not the issue and should never be. The people who believe in conspiracy theories and blame them for their failures are not and will not solve any of our or their problems. It is time for all to realise the true world we live in. It is also time to start thinking and behaving rationally and to try to look back at least fifty years (not just thirty two) and be realistic about where did we really fail. Libya and its people today are in a miserable state of affairs and just to say that we are all not responsible for its fate will only aggravate the situation and make it worse.

I think the two most important objectives for us Libyans today are:

- To Live in Peace and freedom, and
- To advance our people and country in order to be respected and admired among the nations of the world.

So how do we go about achieving these objectives?

Is it by fighting among ourselves about who deserves to be the next ruler?

Or is it by insisting all or most of those who are or were active in the opposition are traitors just because they failed to get rid of Gaddafi?

Or is it by excluding any one who does not agree with the Islamic dogma and doctrine or the agenda of the different groups that exist in or outside Libya?

Or ... is it by respecting every Libyan as an individual who has the absolute right to believe in come what may as long as he or she pose no (visible) harm to their fellow citizens?

Do we really want to replace the dictatorship of Gaddafi with that of another dictator or group of people, whether religious or secular?

We all know that amongst us are those who only care about themselves and not Libya and will be prepared to go to extreme lengths (including apparent religious piety and devoutness) to convince us otherwise.

Libya has produced in the past and will keep producing great men and women.

The fact that some Libyans have proved to be not up to the responsibility we have entrusted into them, should never discourage us from believing in our ability as a nation to produce men and women with great potential of leadership and ability, who are selfless and noble towards the national cause. And Libya indeed did produce these patriotic people in the past. Some of them were religious others were not. Does it matter, off course not. They all loved Libya, and Libya will remember and honor them whether dead or alive sooner or later.

But what we have to be careful of is to allow another dictator to climb up our shoulders. It is a collective responsibility and all of us must play our roles, however little. Together we will be able to reclaim our country back for its rightful people. Who else can we rely on: America or Britain; or is it Ben Ali or Mubarak?

So why do we keep insisting at the things that divide rather than unite us?

When the Ikhwan or the other Islamic groups exclude the non-religious Libyans from being active members of our society, will that strengthen or weaken us! Will that unite or divide us! And absolutely: the same applies to the seculars.

What is our common objective! We must explore the ways and means, which will allow us to ignore our trivial differences and concentrate on our national ideal. When are we going to learn how to prioritise our goals?

Is what Libya really needs today is an Islamic state? Will an Islamic state solve our problems like magic or will it divide us even more!

I think if these facts were realised twenty years ago, we would not be where we are today! Of course I can hear some Islamists shouting at me that time is immaterial and it is Allah's will that will prevail!

I say to all the opposition groups and the prominent opposition leaders, it is time to move on. New generations have grown up and are prepared to share the responsibility, only if the old generation could realise that they cannot hold our national cause hostage to their differences and disagreements. They have tried and have not succeeded, and there should be no shame in that. To the contrary, these are the people who championed the national concern on behalf of all Libyans and will be remembered as the pioneers of our struggle to save our country. But at the same time, if they really want to be respected and appreciated they must bequeath their experience and knowledge to the newer generation of upcoming Libyans and help them understand how to avoid the pitfalls that marred the last twenty years of the Libyan opposition. Or, is it that every generation has to start from scratch and the whole cycle will have to repeat itself again and again.

Another big issue I want mention is how we treat our Libyan women. They are and should be an integral part of our national struggle. So far, very little attention has been given to this important matter. I will expand further next time on this topic after reading your feedback.

Oxfordian Libyan

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