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Sufi sites in Libya under attack

Sufis and other religious minorities in Libya are under constant threat of attack by extremist Salafists.
People inspect the damage done to a Sufi shrine, the tomb of Sidi Mohamed Landoulsi, after an explosion in the Tajoura neighbourhood on the outskirts of Tripoli, March 28, 2013. An explosion damaged the shrine early in the morning on Thursday, according to a witness. REUTERS/Stringer (LIBYA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST RELIGION) - GM1E93S1S7K01

Attacks on Sufi Islamic sites in Libya have left the religious group feeling targeted, as instability in parts of the fragile nation continues following the 2011 revolution that deposed longtime autocrat Moammar Gadhafi. Sufis often come under criticism from hard-line Salafi Muslims, who oppose their interpretation of Islam for supposedly not comporting with "true" Islam.

“Successive interim authorities since the 2011 uprising and across Libya have failed to protect Libya’s Sufi religious sites from attacks and destruction by extremist militias,” Eric Goldstein, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, noted in an HRW press release on Dec. 7. “The unpunished attacks on Sufi mosques are endangering one of Libya’s historic minority communities.”

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