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Libyan activists team up with Al-Azhar to tackle extremism

A group of Libyan activists are working alongside Egypt’s Al-Azhar to protect religious clerics defending moderate Islam in Libya from extremist attacks.

Whenever Ahmad Fathi received threatening messages on his phone warning him to stop condemning Salafi militants in his sermons, he never listened. Extremists couldn’t intimidate the young sheikh from Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city, until they phoned him from an unknown number in April 2015.

“The caller said that militants were waiting for me in my house,” Fathi, now 27, told Al-Monitor. “I was afraid. When I arrived home, I was told to leave Libya and never come back. I packed my belongings and quickly boarded the next bus to Cairo.”

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