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Celebrations of Mawlid, the Prophet’s birthday, set for Thursday

Already short-staffed and hard-pressed hospitals will be bracing themselves to deal with those injured, mostly by fireworks, during Thursday’s celebration of Mawlid Al-Nabi, the Prophet’s birthday.

Fireworks were generally banned under Qaddafi. Thus, ever since the Revolution, the chance to play with pyrotechnics at this time of year has never been missed. The horrific result is Accident and Emergency departments flooded not just with serious burns injuries but with shattered hands and faces from exploding fireworks. Many of the victims are young. However, in 2014 fireworks began to be thrown at passers-by, even into motorcars driving through celebrating crowds. The tossing of small bangers at unsuspecting pedestrians became commonplace.

The head of Tripoli’s Dar Al-Islam Sheikh Sadik Al-Ghariani has regularly condemned the marking of the Prophet’s birthday, issuing fatwas saying they were inappropriate because the date was never deemed a celebration by the four main schools of Islamic thought.  In 2014 he warned that Mawlid contained “many taboos” and that the celebration was a 12th-century invention of the Fatimids, who were Shiite.

Each year, Ghariani’s fatwa has been largely ignored. However today’s early morning attack on a Sufi mosque in Tripoli coupled with the Rada Deterrence Forces crackdown earlier this month on the Comic Con festivities in the capital suggest that this year there may be attempts to rein in the celebrations in Tripoli.

However in the east, the Beida government of Abdullah Thinni has declared Thursday a national holiday.



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