First Published: 2013-11-14

Libya bows down to jihadist group by making legislation more Islamic
Ansar al-Sharia says only Islamic law can boost security in increasingly lawless country.
Middle East Online

Project of Caliphate at work

BENGHAZI (Libya) - Libya is seeking to revise existing legislation to make it conform more to Islamic sharia law, a justice ministry document shows.

The text announces the establishment of a "committee charged with revising current legislation and to propose amendments that would not contradict the fundamental rules and regulations of Islamic law".

It said the 16-strong committee would be nominated by the supreme court and the Mufti, a religious expert on sharia.

The committee, which would be chaired by a judge, would also include professors from Islamic universities, according to the document.

Legislation amended by the committee would then be presented before Libya's top legislative authority the General National Congress for adoption.

One law imposing strict restrictions on polygamy, that was instituted by the regime of dictator Moamer Gathafi who was toppled and killed in 2011, was abolished after the revolution.

The justice ministry's plan would appear to be aimed at satisfying the demands of Salafist, or extremist Sunni Muslim, groups in the violence-wracked North African nation.

On Tuesday, Ansar al-Sharia, Libya's top jihadist group that has been blamed for unrest including a deadly attack on a US mission, said only Islamic law can boost security in the increasingly lawless country.

The heavily armed group of ex-rebels is based in Benghazi, cradle of the 2011 uprising.

Ansar al-Sharia said it does not recognise state institutions, including the security services, accusing them of apostasy and of being "taghuts", or evil forces at the service of tyranny.

Former rebels have become a thorn in the side of the government, which is struggling to impose its authority.

On Monday, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan pledged to beef up security forces to combat unrest, particularly in Benghazi.

Sharia law is just one of a number of key issues -- including the status of women and minorities -- that will have to be addressed in Libya's future constitution.

Conservative Islam is deeply rooted in Libya, and analysts believe the new constitution will have to draw strongly on sharia while also steering clear of extremism.

 

France, US clash with Iran over changing nuclear accord

Saudi Arabia claims killing of Yemen rebel leader

EU to Russia, Iran: Bring Syria to peace talks

Iraq's Shiites split ahead of crucial vote

Iraq’s ex-football stars from sports to politics

Turkey opposition journalists demand acquittal in terror trial

UN says Syria blocking humanitarian aid to Douma

OPCW experts visit second site of alleged Douma gas attack

Israeli policeman gets 9 months jail for killing Palestinian

US court rules for Arab Bank in precedent-setting case

Lebanese candidates pay hefty price for media coverage

Madani’s resignation sheds light on Iranian power play

Kuwait expels Filipino ambassador over treatment of workers

Syria aid donations for 2018 fall short of amount hoped

Growing anti-war sentiment in the US Congress could spell trouble for Trump

Liverpool’s Salah wins Israeli defence minister’s plaudits

Body of assassinated Palestinian driven through Malaysian capital

'Gap in perceptions' threatens wider Middle East war

UNESCO picks Morocco for project on prevention of violent extremism

Syrian regime retakes region near Damascus from rebels

Mogherini: Iran deal 'needs to be preserved'

Syria rebels prepare as Assad sets sights on next target

Iran's Rouhani questions 'right' to seek new nuclear deal

Trump, Macron call for 'new' nuclear deal with Iran

Syria's Idlib 'big new challenge' for international community

UNRWA chief says Palestinian aid $200 million short since Trump cuts

Bad memories resurface at Raqa’s mass grave

Turkey newspaper chief slams journalist terror trial

Setback for Yemen rebels after strike takes out leader

Saudi issues Islamic sukuk sale to finance deficit

Yarmuk, an epicentre of Syria's bloody conflict

Egypt’s Eurobond succeeds but risks remain

Egypt former anti-corruption chief gets five years jail

Philippines apologises to Kuwait over 'maid rescues'

Iran urges EU not to pay Trump ‘ransom’ over nuclear deal

UAE to finance project to rebuild Mosul's Grand al-Nuri Mosque

EU, UN begin major conference for Syria aid

New tensions rise between old rivals Turkey and Greece

Rouhani warns Trump against betraying nuclear deal

10 killed in Toronto “deliberate” van attack

Nine people killed in Toronto van attack

Yemen Huthi political leader killed in coalition raid

Syria security chief refuses Lebanon court appearance

Air raid kills dozens at Yemen wedding

Algeria draws Europe’s ire by cutting imports, boosting trade with China