Some people cannot comprehend that it is possible to have a Muslim government that has at its base Sharia law, but is in fact a moderate government. Instead of being happy for the Libyan people because they have managed to overthrow the tyrant and terrorist Moammar Gadhafi, there is a persistent comment about the fact that the outcome will be a government based upon Sharia. My response to this is: so what, Libya is a Muslim country!!
Whilst I am not a person who is pro-Muslim, I do understand that in those countries where Islam is the majority, it is to be expected that the government will be based upon some form of Sharia law. It is only to be expected. The real issue should be whether or not the new government that is to be formed will end up being hardline or whether it will be truly moderate.
In this respect, the signal happens to be that the people who formed the NTC are desirous of forming a moderate Islamic government. The good signals that came from Mr. Jalil happened to be the words “we are of a moderate Islam” and there were warnings to those hardliners regarding any idea of them taking control of the country!! The NTC itself is pro-West. These are people who have lived in western countries such as England and the USA, and who have had sufficient experience in democracy to understand the benefits. They are also people who are entrepreneurial, which means that they have a penchant for capitalism. What they want is the direct opposite to the Socialism under Daffy Duck.
What can we expect to see in Libya? First of all, Sharia law does not automatically mean that women will be compelled to wear the burqa. That is a hardline position that one sees in Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Afghanistan under the rule of the Taliban. The women already wear some form of head dress, and what they wear is obviously quite sufficient for most people in Libya. I cannot see that changing unless the hardliners end up gaining power. On the other hand, what I can see is the influence of tribalism, where in one part of the country there might be a traditional type of dress for women where they are more fully covered, and that will very likely stay in place.
Second, I do not forsee much change in the attitude towards Christians in Libya. There are some Catholics in Libya, which was evident during the initial stages of the revolution. The Archbishop of Tripoli made a fool of himself, but at this point in time, unless there is an obvious reason for the new government taking an anti-Christian stance, I cannot forsee any change in the status quo.
Third, Libya already embraces Sharia Law. In other words, nothing will change with the incoming government because Sharia is already the basis of law in Libya. However, there is room for changes that could modernize the adaptation of Sharia Law in Libya.
As a woman I remain opposed to various aspects of Sharia Law, including the value of a woman’s testimony in the witness box. I will again use the example of Eman al-Obeidi, the woman who was raped by members of the military who were at a checkpoint in the Zawiyah district. Some of the guards involved were members of the Gadhafi clain.. oops no wonder the Baghdad Bob of Libya claimed that Eman was a prostitute and then made up a lot of lies about her, even though she is a lawyer!! Eman was extremely brave in confronting what had happened and by letting the world know about her rape. Under Sharia Law, and in Libya, she could be executed as an adulteress even though she was the rape victim!! The men who raped her chose to press charges against her because she “impugned their reputation”. This is a troubling aspect of Sharia Law. It is also an aspect that needs to change. Eman’s case was not the only one in Libya, and in one case a father killed his three daughters because they had been raped.
I am not going to condemn the father of these girls because he chose an honour killing to try and get rid of the “shame”. Rather, I believe that people should listen instead to the local sheik who stated that such a reaction was wrong, and that women who had been raped by the Daffy goons should be held up as heroines, because of their bravery. It is to be hoped that there are more people with the forward thinking of that sheik, rather than those who believe that their female family members have brought shame upon the family. My point is that it is a very hard task to turn people around when they have been brought up to see shame when no shame should be felt.
One can only hope that in the new Libya there will be some enlightenment and that such attitudes will be changed over time. If Libya remains a moderate nation, then there is every chance that Libya will not embrace the Ummah.
Let’s be realistic with regard to what might happen in Libya. The Libyans are not Shia, but they are an offshoot of the Sunni. They do not seem to have the mullahs like the GrandPoohBah Khamenei. This is of course, good news. During the conflict Benghazi accepted medical aid from Iran, and it seems for some people this was yet another sin. What those people do not comprehend is that Iran gave Daffy Duck weapons!! Medical aid is not proof that Benghazi will side with Iran. I doubt that they would side with Iran because of the ideological differences between the populations of both countries.
When I first began to find out more about Libya, I learned about the group known as the Sanusi. This was the sect founded by the great-grandfather of king Idris. The sect itself is based upon the Sunni, with influences of the Wahibi as well as the Sufi. Under Daffy Duck those who had remained as Sanusi were punished, with their zawiyahs being closed down. It has to be remembered that Daffy Duck was not loathe to fire upon and destroy Libya’s mosques. It is no wonder that people with such a mixed outlook could come together in order to fight against a very evil man.