DARNAH, Libya — Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi first took up arms nearly 20 years
ago to try to bring Islamic law to Libya. He studied under the Taliban
in Afghanistan, and during last year’s uprising he led a local militia
council here in a city famous as a cradle of Islamic jihad.
But now Mr. Hasadi has refashioned himself as an eager politician running for local office, looking to the ballot box to promote his Islamic values. “There is no reason for weapons now,” he said. “Words are our weapons. Politics needs politics. It doesn’t need force.”
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