Now that Moammar Gadhafi is pretty-much out of the picture in Libya, what will happen to the Al-Gadhafi International Prize for Human Rights? Known as Gadhafi’s Nobel, the award put $250,000 USD in the hands of folks sympathetic to the Libyan strongman and his ideas.
Among the winners? The Latin American socialist quartet of Evo Morales (who won twice!), Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro and Daniel Ortega. No big surprise that their countries have so far failed to recognize the rebel winners in Libya.
Also, Islam convert and Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy.
But also lots of kids: the children of Palestine won in 1990, of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1993, and of Iraq in 1999.
And the libraries of Timbuktu in 2007.
The list of winners is easy to make fun of but it’s also incredibly eclectic: Nelson Mandela won the first prize; Melba Hernandez, one of the two women who accompanied the rebels from the start of the Cuban Revolution and has remained an active member of its corps, won before Castro; Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria, a Coptic Christian religious leader who advocates dialogue among Christians; Australian aboriginal leader Dorren McNally; and Recep Tayyip Edogan, the current Turkish leader, who introduced various democratic reforms, including giving the European Court of Human Rights final say over Turkey’s own courts.
There are also a good number of Arab and African intellectuals, mostly secular and socialist, on the list.
Notably absent are Arab politicians and Americans.
Except, of course, for Chicago’s own Rev. Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam. Still standing behind Gadhafi -- the online version of Final Call, the Nation of Islam newspaper, is still claiming a Gadhafi victory -- Farrakhan has received about $8 million from Gadhafi above and beyond the prize monies.
You know it’s gotta be a sad day down at 73rd and Stony Island.