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-New Libya: Tilting Toward Radical Islamist Law?

by Dr. D ~ October 24th, 2011

Libya visit - PM addresses crowd in Benghazi

         (Image by French P M’s Office via Flickr)

Col. Gaddafi is gone, now we will see if all of the efforts in the West to seal his doom were worth it.

The first thing the new transitional leader, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, chose to do was to proclaim that Islamic Sharia law would be the basis for governance in new Libya.

His first act was the immediate lifting of Gaddafi’s ban on polygamy. The second was to proclaim a new banking regulation which would ban the charging of interest. According to Abdul-Jalil:

"Interest creates disease and hatred among people."

Both measures reflect a more radical adherence to Sharia than before under Gaddafi. Polygamy is allowed and the charging of interest isn’t under Islamic sharia law.

Notice that no provisions for democratic elections were rolled out at this time.

Response: Is the new Libyan government going to be an even more radical Islamist regime than Gaddafi’s? I am afraid that it might be the case. Already the new governments in Tunisia and Egypt have taken a turn for the worse. An ‘Islamist revival’ seems to be the clearest results of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ rather than any real democratic reforms.

It had long been rumored that radical Islamist elements including members of al Qaeda were a strong part of the rebel opposition to Gaddafi. Nevertheless Western governments including the USA supported the rebel effort using NATO forces in the process.

Christian organizations were hoping that the new Libyan government would bring more ‘freedom of religion’ into the country and loosen restrictions against Christianity but with this beginning that expectation may be unrealistic.

Here are links to previous posts where I voiced my concerns that the rebels might be trying to usher in an even more radical Islamist regime:

-Libyan Rebel Commander Admits to Some al Qaeda Links in His Forces 

-Muslim Religious Leaders Behind Uprising in Libya? 

-What is behind the Middle East Turmoil? An Islamist Revival

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