Libya dispels fears over adopting Islamic rule

Libya’s interim leader yesterday sought to dispel fears that the North African nation would adopt hardline Islamic rule, a day after he declared Sharia the primary source for future legislation.

“I would like to assure the international community that we as Libyans are Muslims but moderate Muslims,” Mustafa Abdul Jalil said at a news conference in the eastern city of Benghazi.

On Sunday, Abdul Jalil announced that a free Libya would base its laws on Sharia, at a ceremony during which the country was declared “liberated” following the killing of Muammar Gaddafi.

Ziad Akl, a researcher in Libyan affairs at the Cairo-based Al Ahram Strategic Studies Centre, said Libya is unique because it is divided ethnically and culturally and tribalism is still very integral to the system which lends itself to division and political conflict. By mentioning the country would be dependent upon its Islamic identity, Abdul Jalil was trying to unite Libyans under one banner.

“Islamic agenda does not necessarily mean an extremist one,” Akl explained.

He ruled out that Libya would follow in Iran’s footsteps and fall under an Islamic regime, mainly because there isn’t sufficient Islamic mobilisation in Libya.

(Source: Gulf News)

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