Thanks to Barack Obama. “Sharia begins in Libya,” by Essam Mohamed for Magharebia, January 14:
As part of its recent adoption of Sharia, the Libyan government announced a rough timetable for the implementation of Islamic banking and finance.
“It is our duty to apply Sharia,” Economy Minister Mustafa Abufanas said last week during a 2-day Islamic finance conference in Tripoli.
“We will start this year,” Press Solidarity quoted the minister as saying Monday (January 6th) at the Corinthia Hotel.
The move comes a month after the General National Congress (GNC) voted unanimously that Islamic law would be the source of legislation in Libya.
All state institutions are obligated to abide by the decision.
“Sharia is the source of legislation in Libya while all other provisions that violate it are void,” GNC spokesman Omar Humaidan said after the law was passed December 4th.
But news of the implementation of Sharia in Libya is raising some concerns among citizens.
“Libyans are generally religiously moderate and do not encourage extremism,” former health minister Fatima Hamroush said.
What’s that, Dr. Hamroush? Sharia has something to do with “extremism”? What are you, some kind of Islamophobe?
But while Libyans “are not opposed to a constitution and laws in line with sharia”, Dr Hamroush said, “they do not accept the politicisation of religion, or its use for political gains”.
“This is what the sons and daughters of Libya fear the most”¦ that a group of radicals take ownership of the country,” she told Magharebia.
“The application of Sharia, as per the understanding of militant extremists, will certainly lead to the denial of women’s rights, since their interpretation of religion follows their whims and instincts,” the former minister added.
Libyans say it is not so much the idea of Sharia as the foundation for legislation as it is the possible misuse.
Even though women’s rights are protected under international law, “fatwas and religious advocates of militancy have impacted public policies on the treatment of women”, said Nozha Mansouri, a lecturer at Omar al-Mukhtar University in Benghazi.
“There is no fear of the real Islam, the tolerant and pure, which is based on co-operation and tolerance among human beings. However, the sharia of the graduates of Kandahar and Afghanistan does not represent me,” noted Ahlam Ben Tabon, a Tripoli civil society activist.
That’s interesting. Where is that tolerant and pure Islam implemented in the world today? The problem is that Ahlam Ben Tabon and millions of others like him have a sense that Sharia in the form in which it is elucidated by all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence is draconian, inhumane, and oppressive. But contrary to his statement, there is no form of Sharia that doesn’t contain the stonings, amputations, and all the rest. What he wants is a partial Sharia state — a state in which some Islamic laws hold sway but the most inhumane are discarded in favor of laws adopted from Western juridical models. In other words, he wants the kind of system that prevailed in the Middle East and North Africa for decades, until the “Arab Spring.”
Benghazi high school teacher Nusseibeh Salem pointed out: “Islam is no longer one but many – the Islam of the Muslim Brotherhood, salafi Islam, moderate Islam, obscurantist Islam, etc, and Libya’s future depends on legislation by whichever stream reaches power.”
Here again, in terms of what is taught in the texts and teachings of Islam, as well as by the ulama of various countries, is not “moderate.” When Muslims moderate those teachings, the result is just less Islam, as prevailed in Kemalist Turkey, not a genuine Qur’an-based moderate Islam.
“Abuses could follow the triumph of obscurantist Islam, but equity is possible if moderation wins,” Salem adds.
Good luck, Salem.