Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is well known for his bizarre exploits, from demanding Bedouin-style housing in Central Park to verbally carpet-bombing the UN General Assembly. Now he's shifted his focus from New York to a new target: Switzerland. Salah Sarrar of Reuters reports that Gaddafi, while unleashing on the November Swiss minaret ban (which the Atlantic Wire covered here and here), called for jihad against permanently-neutral Switzerland:
Any Muslim in any part of the world who works with Switzerland is an apostate, is against (the Prophet) Mohammad, God and the Koran," Gaddafi said during a meeting in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi to mark the Prophet's birthday...The masses of Muslims must go to all airports in the Islamic world and prevent any Swiss plane landing, to all harbors and prevent any Swiss ships docking, inspect all shops and markets to stop any Swiss goods being sold," Gaddafi said
Josh Keating at Foreign Policy is fairly sure the minaret ban was just the last straw for Gaddafi for Switzerland:
For those not keeping score at home, this feud began when Qaddafi's son Hannibal was arrested for assault and dad expelled Swiss diplomats from the country in response. Qaddafi has also submitted a proposal to the UN general assembly to have the country abolished. Libya also recently arrested two Swiss businessmen.
Steven L. Taylor at Poliblog also notes that Libya’s move came after Switzerland allegedly blacklisted 188 high-ranking Libyans, denying them entry permits. The Swiss ban is said to include Mr Gaddafi and his family. "Rhetorically, Gaddafi can also point to the Swiss vote banning minaret construction," writes Taylor, "but this is clearly a bit more personal."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.