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Islam Expert says Al Qaida Conspicuous in its Absence

Creighton University history professor John Calvert, Ph.D., an expert on social protest and political resistance movements in the modern Middle East, says he is surprised the revolution in Libya took off the way it did.

Calvert says many of the same conditions that lead to demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt exist in Libya, where despite the oil wealth, the country’s unemployment figure stands around 30 percent. However, Calvert says, "Al Qaida is conspicuous in its absence in all of this... These demonstrations have not taken place in the name of Islam."

Calvert is the Fr. Henry W. Casper S.J., Associate Professor of History at Creighton. He is the author of the recently published Sayyid Qutb and the Origins of Radical Islamism