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.

 

Sudan clamps down on journalists covering bread protests

Egypt's Sisi says will stand for re-election

Turkey launches new strikes on Kurdish targets in Syria

Pence heads to Mideast despite Muslim, Christian anger

US to overtake Saudi as world’s second crude oil producer

Iraqi, Kurdish leaders hold talks on bitter regional dispute

Russia-led Syria peace congress to be held January 30

Assad regime says Syria a 'tourist' destination

Journalists arrested while reporting Sudan protests

Aid for millions of Palestinians hostage to politics

Lebanon thwarts holiday attacks using IS informant

Mortar fire wounds 14 in Syria mental hospital

Turkish military fires on Kurdish forces in Syria's Afrin

More than 32,000 Yemenis displaced in intensified fighting

UN warns of "lost generation" in South Sudan's grinding conflict

Saudi's refined oil exports offset crude curbs

Turkey's EU minister rejects any option other than full membership

Tribal feuds spread fear in Iraq's Basra

Turkey says not reassured by US comments on border force

UN chief wants to revive Syria gas attack probe

US has no intention to build border force in Syria

Lebanese intelligence service may be spying using smartphones worldwide

Egypt's Sisi sacks intelligence chief

Trump dashes Netanyahu’s hope to move US embassy to Jerusalem

Cyprus denies bail for Israeli organ trafficker

Rising Yemen currency sparks hopes of relief

Turkish ministries to investigate underage pregnancy cover-up

Iraq PM launches online appeal for election allies

Iran central bank sees claim for billions from German stock market blocked

Iraq signs deal with BP to develop Kirkuk oil fields

Israeli occupation forces raid Jenin, kill Palestinian

HRW chief says 'Nobody should be forcibly returned to Libya'

IS poses threat to Iraq one month after 'liberation'

Seven years since ousting dictator, Tunisians still protest

Iran says Trump jeopardising Airbus deals

China says Iranian oil tanker wreck located

Sudan arrests communist leader after protests

Syrian opposition joins condemnation of US 'border force'

Israeli judge detains teen until trial for viral ‘slap video’

Arab league slams US freeze of Palestinian funding

Dubai billionaire to sell 15 percent Damac stake

Britain to put women at heart of peace work in Iraq, Nigeria, South Sudan

Saudi to give Yemen government $2bn bailout

US withholds $65 million from UN agency for Palestinians

Saudi Arabia intercepts new Yemen rebel missile attack