‘Free Libya’s laws to be based on Sharia’

Libya`s interim leader declared sharia law would be the primary source for future legislation in the country.

Updated: Oct 24, 2011, 22:18 PM IST

Benghazi: Libya`s interim leader on Monday sought
to dispel fears that the North African nation would adopt
hardline Islamic rule, a day after he declared sharia law the
primary source for future legislation.

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

Abdel Jalil announced on Sunday that a free Libya would
base its laws on sharia, at a ceremony during which the
country was declared "liberated" following the capture and
killing of ousted despot Muammar Gaddafi.

The National Transitional Council chief stressed during
today`s media conference that sharia would be the source of
legislation but that this did not mean current laws in
contradiction of sharia would be summarily annulled or made

"My reference (on Sunday) doesn`t mean we will abolish or
annul any laws. When I mentioned the law on marriage and
divorce I just wanted to give an example (of laws in conflict
with sharia)."

"Because the (current) law does not authorise polygamy
except under precise conditions, if these conditions are not
met, then the law bars polygamy, whereas sharia, based on a
verse of the Koran, allows polygamy."

Yesterday he had cited as an example of conflict in
existing legislation the law on marriage which under Gaddafi
banned polygamy even though it is permitted in Islam.

He told reporters today that banking would also follow
Islamic principles and that the earning of interest, viewed as
usury in Islam, would be banned.

"This is a basic principle whether in the temporary or
permanent constitution," he said.

"Because there is a Koranic verse, that cannot be
negotiated or argued. And the Koran is the highest
constitution for all Muslims."