Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the Government of National Unity’s HQ in Tripoli on Tuesday to demand the prime minister dismiss the head of the General Authority for Endowments and Islamic Affairs, Mohammad al-Abani.
Al-Abani follows the Madkhali group, a religious, ideological movement that originated in Saudi Arabia.
Since the collapse of Gadafi’s rule, the Madkhalis, seen by many as a stooge for the Saudi government, have aligned themselves with every Saudian-backed government or warlord in Libya.
Under the law, the religious endowment authority oversees the needs of mosques and appoints Imams, preachers, and Quran teachers.
Hanan Abdullah, a teacher who joined the protest on Tuesday, told The Libya Observer that she came to denounce the practices of Mohammed al-Abani, “who is using his control over mosques to promote an extremist ideology.”
“We denounce his continued assaults against the Fatwa House, the Grand Mufti, and his colleagues who represent the Malikia school followed throughout the country and the Maghreb region as a whole.”
The authority is also facing a slew of corruption allegations as it oversees the collection and distribution of Zaka -an obligatory annual amount that a Muslim gives in charity- and manages the religious endowment revenues.
The protesters demanded an investigation into reports of the Audit Bureau in 2021 that documented a suspicious transaction between al-Abani’s office and a clothing company at a value of 700,000 dinars with no evidence confirming the reception of goods.