Libyan Comic Con Raided by Armed Militants for ‘Attack on Islam and Fascination with Foreigners’
A comic convention was deemed blasphemous in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, where an Islamist paramilitary group shut down a gathering of superhero fans for "inciting violence," detaining and reportedly beating some 20 participants.
The second Libyan Comic Con opened in Tripoli on Thursday, bringing together local comic book lovers and cosplayers who dressed up as their favorite heroes. The party, however, was crashed on Friday by the so-called RADA Special Deterrence Forces (SDF) paramilitary group, which raided the event, detained some 20 people and seized computers and other equipment.
“They arrested over 20 people. Organizers, participants and visitors. Anyone who was wearing a badge, including visitors, were arrested – thinking they were organizers because they wore a badge,” an organizer told the Libya Herald online daily, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The militants told the detainees, according to the anonymous organizer, that they had committed an impressive number of crimes against public morals, which included agnosticism, atheism, masonic ideas, believing in Halloween, distorting the minds of youth and even abandoning Islam altogether.
The SDF militants said they were "rescuing" the youth from Comic Con, an event they called "destructive" and “foreign” to Islam and Libya. “This sort of festival imported from abroad exploits the weakness in their religious faith and their fascination with foreign cultures,” the SDF statement read.