This was only very briefly mentioned in Jerary’s article, but as soon as it was said I realized how strange it was that this exact point hadn’t been a focus in more of the readings we have done. Jerary makes the point that Italy’s critical mistake was trying to bring Christianity and European-style civilization to Libya, because Libya was an Islamic, Arabic nation and was so fundamentally different from those ideologies that it could not be converted. The European lifestyle was not compatible with Islamic tradition.
The reason for this is that, more than most other religions, Islam is more than just a religion. It is very much a way of life, and in many African and Middle Eastern countries, it is engrained in the foundation of the entire nation – its laws, its culture, its values, and its compatibility with other ways of life. Because Islamic influence in Libya was so strong, Italy was weakened by its commitment to imposing a new set of ideals on them.