Libya makes Sharia law basis for law and state institutions

Posted Dec 7, 2013 by Ken Hanly
The Libyan National Assembly voted to make Sharia Law the basis of all legislative decisions and the legal framework of the country.
The new post-Qaddafi Libyan flag.
The new post-Qaddafi Libyan flag.
The move is seen by some as an attempt to outflank more radical Islamic groups some of whom have called some members of the Assembly un-Islamic. As in Tunisia and Egypt, there has been conflict over the role of Islam in the new "democracies". In Egypt the debate ended in a coup by the army of the moderate Islamist government of Mohammed Morsi and echoes of the Mubarak regime with the banning of the Muslim Brotherhood in effect. However, in Libya the army is too weak to tackle the many militia groups.
Sharia Law is based upon moral and legal guidelines in the Koran, the sayings of Mohammed and Muslim tradition. A special committee will be set up to ensure that all existing legislation complies with Sharia Law. The decision could effect criminal law and financial statutes and regulations. Islamic financial laws prohibit interest and pure speculation.
The National Assembly or General National Congress(GNC) as it is called issued a statement: "Islamic law is the source of legislation in Libya, All state institutions need to comply with this."
The Muslim Brotherhood's Justice and Construction party is among the better organized political forces in Libya but the National Front Alliance takes a more liberal position. The GNC also voted to form a sixty member committee who will draft a new constitution.
Stephen Brown, who is a contributing editor to "Front Page Magazine" pointed out that although Sharia Law will be the source of legislation it will not itself become the law:
“It is simply going to be the source of legislation, there’s a real distinction there, Sharia law is not becoming the law of the country. So some of the parts are going to be left out or not going to be applied, probably beheadings and stoning, and that kind of thing, the stricter parts of it.” Other commentators found the development quite dangerous. Moeen Raoof, a defense consultant said: “It’s extremely disturbing and dangerous if they implement this,I remember the revolutionary Muammar Gaddafi warned about this sort of steps being taken especially by people in Benghazi. And now it seems they’ve got a strong hold over the so-called government and are imposing their version of Wahhabi laws on the country which was a secular state mostly, and was surrounded by secular states.” As the appended video showing celebrations just after Gadaffi was ousted reveals, the idea that Libya would adopt Sharia law was quite prominent from the first.