Libyan Leader Stages Strange Conversion Soiree

File this under WTF. From the New York Times:

The 200 women who answered a Rome modeling agency’s advertisement for tall, attractive party guests thought they would be attending an elegant soirĂ©e on Sunday. They were — only the host turned out to be the Libyan leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, and instead of hors d’oeuvres he offered them copies of the Koran and urged them to convert to Islam.

Colonel Qaddafi, by the by, was in Rome for the World Summit on Food Security of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. While Qaddafi was trying to convince young Italian cuties of his political and religious philosophies over glasses of wine and fancy apps, international leaders were pledging to substantially increase aid to agriculture in developing nations, where the majority of the world’s 1 billion hungry people live.
Be warned Italian supermodels, according to ANSA News Agency, Colonel Qaddafi is cooking up similar bizzaro schemes with other groups of women through out the week.

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32 Comments

  1. DeafBrownTrash
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Totally sounds like something from the Onion. As a Muslim, I find this really embarrassing and gross.

  2. Gretel
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Completely bizarre. I mean, I can understand that he’s happy with his religion and wants to spread it, but giving models copies of the Koran? What? I’m surprised Berlusconi hasn’t done the same thing with the Bible!

  3. paper tiger
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    I’m pretty ignorant about the history of Col Qaddafi, but damn that prank really made me laugh. :]

  4. kungfulola
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Um, he was trying to convert them to Islam over glasses of wine? I hope they meant “grape juice”.

  5. DeafBrownTrash
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    well, technically alcohol is haram (forbidden) in Islam, but a lot of Muslims, including I, drink it.

  6. dhistory
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Hilarious!
    A creep with a sense of humor? or just completely deluded?

  7. Terrils
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Not a prank at all – keep in mind if he can convert a bunch of young hotties to islam he can marry them all. ;-)

  8. battle angel alita
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    “Not a prank at all – keep in mind if he can convert a bunch of young hotties to islam he can marry them all. ;-)
    heh really, and whys that? because muslim men go around claiming and marrying dozens of women eh?
    and yes this story is horrifying-but also hes an idiot i mean on top of everything you want to convrt women to islam over WINE? the term “practise what you preach” comes to mind.

  9. NapoleonInRags
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Qaddafi is an unrepentant dictator responsible for the Locherbie bombing. So I don’t particularly find his actions ‘hilarious’.
    His cynical deployment of Islam in recent years is a transparent attempt to capitalize on the popularity of populist ideologies and has little to do with any personal faith on his part.
    All that aside, it is really frustrating to see the ignorant stereotypes about Muslims being thrown around in these comments. Thanks to DeafBrownTrash for stepping in here. Is it particularly difficult to understand that any religion with billions of adherents will be characterized by a large degree of heterogeneity.

  10. MisukoB
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    This whole thing just turns my stomach. I find nothing “fun” about this at all.
    And it feels like the usual virgin/whore dichotomy shaming to me.

  11. davenj
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    He’s done worse.
    Sure, this is wrong, and out of place, but so is blowing up an airliner over Scotland. At least this wasn’t violent. I hope he sticks to cooking up schemes like this as opposed to his past actions. Maybe he’ll even have less time to suppress dissidents in Libya, but I wouldn’t count on that.

  12. attentat
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    He has. Minus the Bible part.

  13. Momo Mcgee
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Um I read Libyan Leader real fast and saw “Lilly Ledbetter” and got very confused…

  14. Momo Mcgee
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Um I read Libyan Leader real fast and saw “Lilly Ledbetter” and got very confused…

  15. GREGORYABUTLER10031
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi is a very silly man.
    It’s sad that he’s run one of the largest countries in Africa – and one of the world’s largest oil exporting nations – for over 40 years.
    And he’s not a dumb guy – he graduated from the British Military Academy at Sandhurst.
    Also, for the record, nobody got any wine, or anything else. In the New York Times article, and the AP wire service piece, some of the models were quoted complaining bitterly because, as one put it “he didn’t even give us a glass of water!” during the 2 hour long event.
    Col. al-Qaddafi does have a thing for making public appearances surrounded by young women, for years all of the police officers on his bodyguard detail have been female.
    I’m not sure what that’s about, and I’m not sure anybody in Libya, other than the Colonel himself, know either!

  16. GREGORYABUTLER10031
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Don’t criticize the mote in somebody elses eye before you remove the beam from your own.
    Yes, the Libyan government was involved in the Lockerbie bombing.
    But, how many civilians has the US government killed over the years?
    If you boil it down to bodycounts, Col. al-Qaddafi’s government killed 291 people at Lockerbie – and that’s about the same number of folks that the Obama administration has killed with Predator drone bombings of Pakistani villages this year alone.
    If we add the Bush Administration’s bodycount – tens of thousands of civilians killed during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – and the 1,500 civilians the Israeli Army killed with American-made tanks and bombs in Gaza last Christmas – the total gets a lot higher.
    And then let’s add the 1.5 million Iraqis that Clinton’s embargo killed, and the thousands of Serbians and Kosovars killed in the NATO bombardment of Yugoslavia.
    And I could go on.
    So, from 1988 to date, Libya killed 291 civilians.
    And America killed close to 2 million
    So, I think you might want to get down from your high horse there!
    Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, in 1986, President Reagan bombed Col al-Qaddafi’s house, killing his 1 year old daughter!
    So let’s keep it real, shall we?

  17. GREGORYABUTLER10031
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    As I pointed out in an earlier comment – the Libyan government was involved in killing 291 civilians in Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988.
    Which is a horrible thing.
    But, in the 21 years from 1988 to date, the US government has killed somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 million civilians around the world (mostly in Iraq).
    Also, in 1986, the US Navy bombed Col. al-Qaddafi’s house, killing one of his children.
    So, who’s the terrorist state?

  18. cattrack2
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    So you’re claiming some sort of moral equivalence between the the deliberate targeting of civilians & the unfortunate, collateral damage associated with going after Al Qaeda in Pakistan??? I suppose we shouldn’t defend ourselves from terrorists??? And really we shouldn’t have intervened in Serbia to save the Kosovars? We should let genocide go by, huh?
    As far as the UN sanctions against Iraq are concerned, states have to have means to deter rogue regimes (and say what you will about the Iraq Wars you can’t argue about Saddam’s belligerence). The same sanctions undoubtedly led to deaths in Apartheid-era South Africa, and now in Zimbabwe. I suppose you were against those as well???

  19. Gopher
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    In the Middle East yeah they do. Some muslims take a literal translation to the koran just like some christians do. Its really not insulting. Check out Saudi Arabia, the men practice having many wives.

  20. Gopher
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    ” you can’t argue about Saddam’s belligerence”
    and his perversity in regards to how he treated women, children and men. I really dont care that he’s gone.

  21. Gopher
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    “heh really, and whys that? because muslim men go around claiming and marrying dozens of women eh?”
    Def the case in the middle east. Check Saudi Arabia out

  22. gadgetgal
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    It gets better – he wanted (apparently) to show them how inclusive Islam is for women, and yet women were turned back at the door for either dressing too revealingly or BEING TOO SHORT:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/16/gaddafi-women-islam-rome
    But we shouldn’t be surprised at this, really – did you see his speech at the UN?
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8272330.stm
    Apparently people left because of both the offensive comments and the fact that it was 94 minutes long! The interpreter collapsed after saying “I can’t take it anymore”:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6849070.ece
    Nothing he does ever surprises me!

  23. battle angel alita
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    ah yes your right about the middle east and their cultural practises however your comment
    “Some muslims take a literal translation to the koran just like some christians do”
    even is you did take the literal translation its doesnt say that.
    by the way saudi arabia is a *country* not a *religion*.

  24. battle angel alita
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    ah yes your right about the middle east and their cultural practises however your comment
    “Some muslims take a literal translation to the koran just like some christians do”
    even is you did take the literal translation its doesnt say that.
    by the way saudi arabia is a *country* not a *religion*.

  25. davenj
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    The one who targets civilians intentionally. Intentionally bombing a passenger airline with the goal of killing civilians has core differences to the loss of civilian life in wartime conflict.
    That doesn’t make the loss of civilian lives any more palatable, but it does strike a difference in the nature of the actions.
    As for asking who’s the terrorist state, I never brought up any state, just the Ol’ Colonel.
    As for Operation El Dorado Canyon, it was a questionable exercise, but in the context of a territorial dispute, and a reprisal for Libya bombing a nightclub in Berlin.

  26. Matt
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Where did you get that number? Are you including all civilian dead since the start of the Iraq conflict? The vast majority of them were killed in the context of an Iraqi civil war (which, though arguably precipitated by poor American administration, isn’t the same thing as America “killing” two million people).
    Also, given reports I’ve read about civilian deaths in Iraq, that still seems quite high. Where is that sourced?

  27. wickedwench
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    “Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi is a very silly man.”
    Um, that kind of trivialization is bordering on offensive.

  28. NapoleonInRags
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Sorry buddy – no interest in ‘keeping it real’ with anyone arguing that I should show more respect for folks who blow up civilian airliners.

  29. allegra
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Huh? “Trivialization”? This kind of stunt IS silly. If not silly, then totally stupid – and sexist.
    “Well, I feel a bit obligated by my particular hard-line interpretation of my faith to proselytize, and I’m a wealthy powerful man, so I think I’ll surround myself with beautiful women while I proselytize because I have the wealth and power to do that and turn the ladiez into some sort of laughingstock spectacle.”
    Yeah. Sexist.

  30. allegra
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    So you’re claiming some sort of moral equivalence between the the deliberate targeting of civilians & the unfortunate, collateral damage associated with going after Al Qaeda in Pakistan???
    “Unfortunate collateral damage”? Um, yeah, is human life not human life? I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be referring to your children as “unfortunate collateral damage” if you had been the civilian in the middle of the occupation. Though I don’t know the civilian death toll of the current offensive in Pakistan, you’ve got to be kidding if you think the Iraq War consisted of “the U.S. defending itself against terrorists.” (1) There was no connection between 9/11 and Iraq. Iraq didn’t even have a terrorist PRESENCE before the U.S. occupation. We’re back in Afghanistan and Pakistan NOW because those were the countries with more terrorist presence in the first place. (2) You’re assuming there’s some sort of clear definition of “terrorism.” There isn’t. U.S. tactics (torture come to mind? imprisonment without trial?) could very much be interpreted as terrorism.
    The U.S. is pretty famous for hardly ever using its military for actual humanitarian purposes (like, oh, preventing genocide) unless pushed into it, like in WWII (after it had already stood by and watched millions of Jews gassed while allowing our companies to conduct trade with the Hitler regime). Tutsi in Rwanda? You’re SOL.
    The U.S. has put into power, financed, and supported some of the most brutal dictatorships in the world: try Pinochet. We HELPED PUT SADDAM INTO POWER. The U.S. doesn’t have the moral highground on pretty much anything, from torture to tolerance and diversity to “spreading democracy.”
    … states have to have means to deter rogue regimes …
    I guess we’d better get busy putting sanctions on pretty much EVERY COUNTRY IN THE FLOCKING WORLD, especially CHINA. Oh, wait, we won’t do that? Because we’re hypocrites who shoot our mouths off and hold other nations to standards we won’t hold ourselves to?

  31. allegra
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, I’m with you on that. I don’t know where all the patriotic “the REAL terrorists are those *other* Muslim folks *over there*” came from.

  32. lucierohan
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    “The U.S. has put into power, financed, and supported some of the most brutal dictatorships in the world: try Pinochet. We HELPED PUT SADDAM INTO POWER. The U.S. doesn’t have the moral highground on pretty much anything, from torture to tolerance and diversity to ‘spreading democracy.’”
    No one should argue with you on this. But as for the rest of your post:
    “The U.S. is pretty famous for hardly ever using its military for actual humanitarian purposes (like, oh, preventing genocide)”
    You said that you don’t like the U.S. using its might to promote democracy is other countries. Why is genocide in Rwanda an exception to that? And why SHOULD the members of the U.S. civilian army put their lives at risk for something that does not promote their own security? That’s not what they signed up for and it would be cruel for the Commander-in-Chief to expect that from them.
    “Um, yeah, is human life not human life? I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be referring to your children as “unfortunate collateral damage” if you had been the civilian in the middle of the occupation.”
    While I think “collateral damage,” is a dehumanizing, evasive term that shouldn’t be used (you should have to say, “this is going to kill innocent people”), the moral equivalency you’re drawing is dangerous, not humane. It’s almost inevitable that civilians will be killed during wartime, but they certainly shouldn’t be made into targets. Here’s a thought experiment to illustrate my point: Let’s say Obama releases a statement tomorrow that says “I’ll make sure that we cut in half the percentage of civilians we are currently killing accidentally. But all civilians that ARE killed from now on will be killed purposefully. We’ll line them up against a wall and shoot them. It lends us no strategic benefit. We’re just making a point.” Wouldn’t that seem a little more outrageous to you? I guess the point I’m trying to make, in a round-about way, is that if you make no distinctions, if you don’t think there can be any rules in war, then there WILL be no rules in war. And I just don’t want to see a world like that. As much as the one we’re in already sucks.

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