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Libya Institutes Sharia Law

The Libyan Assembly has voted to make Sharia law the basis for all legislative and judicial decisions in that country, including the barbaric criminal code. It sure is a good thing we brought freedom to those folks, isn’t it? The freedom to live in a theocracy, of course.

Libya’s national assembly has voted in favor of making sharia law the basis of all legislative decisions in the county, meaning the Islamic legal framework will inform all future banking, criminal and financial cases.

“Islamic law is the source of legislation in Libya,” stated the General National Congress in a statement released shortly after the vote was held. “All state institutions need to comply with this,” it said.

The process by which the new sharia law system would be implemented was not immediately clear, but a special committee will review all existing laws to ensure their compliance with Islamic law, according to Reuters. The move came shortly before a separate vote to establish a 60-person committee which will be responsible for drafting the country’s new constitution.

Sharia law – the moral code and religious law of Islam – is dissimilar to Western ‘codified’ law in that its moral and legal guidelines are looser. Its rulings are based on the Koran, the sayings of the Prophet Mohammad and Muslim traditions. In its strictest form, it is perceived to be the divine will of God.

I doubt that life was much better under Qaddafi, who was a deranged dictator. But this can’t be a healthy development for either the people of Libya or the surrounding countries.

Comments

  1. laurentweppe says

    I doubt that life was much better under Qaddafi

    The Sharia Law was already in place under Qaddafi. Today we find people to pretend that Qaddafi or Assad are paragons of secularism protecting the world from muslim extremism, mirroing the liars of yesterday who loved to pretend that people like Jaruzelski and Ceausescu were paragons of secularism protecting the world against christian extremism.

  2. sigurd jorsalfar says

    Strange. I can’t find any mention of this at all on any of those ‘progressive’ web sites that were always telling me back in 2011 that it was perfectly OK for Obama to bomb Libya without any congressional approval, because it was all about teh freedom. I guess they’ve moved on to bigger, more important issues, and just don’t have time to worry their beautiful minds about this.

  3. laurentweppe says

    it was perfectly OK for Obama to bomb Libya without any congressional approval, because it was all about teh freedom

    It was about stopping Qaddafi from genociding Cyrenaica to save his worthless skin and throne. Also, since islamists earn a lot of support by pointing to western powers’ indulgence if not outright support toward parasitic “secular” kleptocrats, taking the rebellion side was the smart thing to do on the long term: the less favorable the western world is toward pseudo-secular petty tyrants, the less efficient the fundie propaganda becomes.

    Also, Obama had Congress’ approval: it’s just that congressmen were to fucking cowardly to aknowledge it in public and were very happy to let Obama take part of the conflict without vote.

  4. sigurd jorsalfar says

    @laurentweppe – it was about putting out of power a guy who doesn’t play by America’s rules. Everything else was the pretext, not the reason, for US actions. Little thought was given to what would replace him, because that wasn’t the concern.

    “Tacit” congressional approval isn’t the kind of congressional approval envisioned under the US constitution, though I agree that almost no one in congress had much of anything to say against the bombing. Don’t forget, Obama’s position at the time wasn’t that he had tacit approval, but that he didn’t need approval at all.

  5. John Pieret says

    sigurd jorsalfar:

    I can’t find any mention of this at all on any of those ‘progressive’ web sites that were always telling me back in 2011 that it was perfectly OK for Obama to bomb Libya without any congressional approval, because it was all about teh freedom.

    Your Google-fu sucks. It’s not hard at all to find concerns about the Lybian campaign and its aftermath on “progressive” sites. Here’s an example:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/10/24/1029691/-Libya-government-based-on-Sharia-law

    The issue at the time was whether we should, with little danger to our own people, intervene to prevent a government from using sophisticated militaty weapons to kill its own citizens. There are never easy answers to such questions. Bush certainly didn’t navigate them well in Iraq or Afghanistan either.

    The damnable fact is that, with or without American “help,” people won’t always choose “freedom.” Witness Egypt.

  6. busterggi says

    A right wing theocracy? That ought to make US conservatives thrilled as they’re trying so hard to do the same here.

  7. Michael Heath says

    Because the U.S. doesn’t sufficiently argue that a key to a successful democracy is that it be both liberal and secular, we allow vacuums to form that justifies democracies that enables the tyranny of the majority.

    While it’s easy and correct to point to conservative Christians as a primary opponent of noting these aspects of our country’s structure, Democrats also fail by not energetically promoting these facts, including our current president.

  8. says

    “@laurentweppe – it was about putting out of power a guy who doesn’t play by America’s rules. Everything else was the pretext, not the reason, for US actions.”

    Yeah, so….Reagan and Clinton never tried to fuck with Mallomar Quitedaffy?

  9. laurentweppe says

    Also, languages change. Usage varies

    Also, I’m french, but hey, Nathair, le jour où tu t’exprimeras dans ma langue maternelle mieux que moi dans la tienne, tu pourra te permettre de me reprendre

  10. iangould says

    “I doubt that life was much better under Qaddafi, who was a deranged dictator. But this can’t be a healthy development for either the people of Libya or the surrounding countries.”

    Libyan law was already based on Sharia under Gaddafi.

    The actual implementation was left to local People’s Committees who carried out floggings, stonings, amputations etc without any semblance of fair trials or judicial review.

    “Based on sharia” tells us almost nothing since essentially every Muslim country claims it’s legal system is “based on sharia”.

  11. Nathair says

    @9 Actually weird has been a verb for quite a long time, just not used that way: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/weird#Verb Also, languages change. Usage varies.

    That was pop culture reference invoked not by “weird” but by “genociding”.

    Grow up.

    Bite me.

    le jour où tu t’exprimeras dans ma langue maternelle mieux que moi dans la tienne, tu pourra te permettre de me reprendre

    Fair enough.

  12. laurentweppe says

    “Based on sharia” tells us almost nothing

    “Based of Sharia” means the same as “Christian Morality”: that is, what said morality is worth depends entirely on which christian is talking about his or her morality

  13. says

    Shorter Ed: Because the new Libyan government is something less than a secular liberal democracy, we should not have intervened to stop a murderous dictator from killing tens of thousands of people and consolidating his power with an iron grip, or from allowing those people their right to self-determination.

    If you want to put together a broad utilitarian argument for why our intervention didn’t make things better for the Libyan people, then go for it (that’s not a rhetorical statement; I mean it sincerely, make the argument). But from where I stand, a judicial system that is repressive by Western standards is woefully insufficient to make that case. Especially given what was in place before.

  14. sundoga says

    Got to agree with Area Man. Not to mention: YES, we DID give them the freedom to live under a theocracy, if that is what they choose to do.

  15. Michael Heath says

    sundoga:

    YES, we DID give them the freedom to live under a theocracy, if that is what they choose to do.
    [italics in original]

    Citation requested that all Libyans are advocating for Sharia law.

    We knew at our founding that majorities will often practice tyranny. Here in the U.S. we still observe “state’s rights” advocates who seek to leverage government to infringe upon the rights of some in their state; because their polling shows the majority in their respective states are up for such discrimination.

    So pointing out that a majority of Libyans seek Sharia as Ed does here isn’t all that surprising. Your claiming that a majority speaks for all misses the last two hundred-plus years of examples that liberal democracies have a shot at meeting a just governance standard, but not simple majoritarian forms of government which do not represent all the people in its jurisdiction. Government typically can’t speak for all its people, that’s an essential premise for a liberal democracy.

  16. Nick Gotts says

    Because the U.S. doesn’t sufficiently argue that a key to a successful democracy is that it be both liberal and secular, we allow vacuums to form that justifies democracies that enables the tyranny of the majority. – Michael Heath@8

    What makes you think that Libyans, or indeed anyone outside the USA, would or indeed should take any notice of what “the U.S.” argues is a key to a successeful democracy? Maybe Americans should try taking a peek at those beams* in their own collective eye first?

    *PATRIOT Act, mass surveillance, Citizens United, legislative gridlock, institutionalised gerrymandering, party duopoly, powerful proto-fascist movement…

  17. Nick Gotts says

    “Based on sharia” tells us almost nothing – iangould

    Quite so. There are far more solid grounds for doubting whether the NATO-facilitated overthrow of Gaddafi was of net benefit to those most affected*: Libya is a chaos of competing militias, a wave of racist persecution of black Libyans resulted, and the displacement of fighters and weapons led to the capture of northern Mali by Islamist extremists.

    *I admit I thought it would be such a net benefit – not because I had any illusions about the imperialist motivations for it, but because I overestimated what intervention without ground forces could achieve: I thought the most bombing could do was prevent the recapture of Benghazi and likely resultant massacres, and possibly force Gaddafi to negotiate with rebel forces.

  18. says

    …it was about putting out of power a guy who doesn’t play by America’s rules. Everything else was the pretext, not the reason, for US actions.

    Actually, Qaddafi WAS playing by US rules, to a far greater extent than he was in the ’80s, when the rebellion started. Looks like someone’s incoherent fake-leftist rhetoric is a few decades out of date.

  19. iangould says

    Libya’s Berbers, who no longer face prison for speaking their language in public or teaching it to their children, probably think there’s been a net improvement.

  20. says

    It was about stopping Qaddafi from genociding Cyrenaica…

    This is not a change or evolution in the English language — it’s just a clumsy, lazy sentence that sounds stupid.

  21. sundoga says

    “Citation requested that all Libyans are advocating for Sharia law. ”

    Since I never claimed any such thing…

    Yes, we’re talking about a government. Therefore, it doesn’t necessarily represent every viewpoint. So what? This is the council entruted with choosing their direction, future and policy by the majority of the populace. Did the contnental Congress give more then lip service to the pro-British segment of the population? How much did the second Constitutional Convention listen to the state autonomists, when all was said and done?
    The majority of Libyans apparently want this to happen. That is more than sufficient justification.

  22. iangould says

    “…a wave of racist persecution of black Libyans resulted, …”

    True but it’s worth noting that for all his Pan-Africanist posturings, Gaddafi was also responsible for several equally vicious racist pogrom directed at immigrants from subsaharan Africa

  23. freehand says

    sundoga: Got to agree with Area Man. Not to mention: YES, we DID give them the freedom to live under a theocracy, if that is what they choose to do.

    It does seem that much of America’s mischief in the last few decades has been intervening after a country achieves democracy, but chooses something we disapprove of. Not that we shouldn’t disapprove of theocracies, but we can’t force a people to pick “the right path”. Intervening has issues of its own; one being that when we call ourselves “lovers of democracy” other nations are dubious, with all the fallout that that entails.

    I’m rather dubious of that claim myself.

  24. Michael Heath says

    freehand writes:

    It does seem that much of America’s mischief in the last few decades has been intervening after a country achieves democracy, but chooses something we disapprove of.

    America’s just governance standard isn’t democracy, but instead liberal democracy. This is the very same category error sundoga’s repeatedly making in his posts.

  25. sundoga says

    No, I don’t think so. I also don’t give a good goddamn about America’s standards, and I doubt the Libyans do either.

  26. Ichthyic says

    So what? This is the council entruted with choosing their direction, future and policy by the majority of the populace.

    some people apparently never read John Stuart Mill in high school.

    here, let me help you with that.

    Like other tyrannies, the tyranny of the majority was at first, and is still vulgarly, held in dread, chiefly as operating through the acts of the public authorities. But reflecting persons perceived that when society is itself the tyrant — society collectively over the separate individuals who compose it — its means of tyrannising are not restricted to the acts which it may do by the hands of its political functionaries. Society can and does execute its own mandates; and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself. Protection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough; there needs protection also against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling, against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them; to fetter the development and, if possible, prevent the formation of any individuality not in harmony with its ways, and compel all characters to fashion themselves upon the model of its own. There is a limit to the legitimate interference of collective opinion with individual independence; and to find that limit, and maintain it against encroachment, is as indispensable to a good condition of human affairs as protection against political despotism

    p7, On Liberty. 1859

  27. sundoga says

    I’m well aware of the tyranny of the majority. But guess what? Most countries on earth do not give a damn about it. If you’re going to decry the Libyans for this, look first at Britain, Australia, Japan – all of which make the right mouth noises about such, but don’t actually do anything about it. And NO country, including the US, took it into account when they were creating their councils to CREATE their government systems.
    IF the Libyans create laws that discriminate against a minority, I’ll criticize that. But the criticism here seems more like “white man’s burden” objections.

  28. Michael Heath says

    sundoga writes:

    I’m well aware of the tyranny of the majority.

    You certainly haven’t demonstrated such.

    sundoga writes:

    Most countries on earth do not give a damn about it.

    Ahem; the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: http://goo.gl/lM2x

    sundoga writes:

    If you’re going to decry the Libyans for this, look first at Britain, Australia, Japan – all of which make the right mouth noises about such, but don’t actually do anything about it. And NO country, including the US, took it into account when they were creating their councils to CREATE their government systems.

    Wildly untrue. You seemed to have missed years of history. No country claims to have instituted a perfect liberal democracy, but the very countries you name here do protect many individual rights, even when the infringement upon those rights is favored by the majority.

    sundoga writes:

    IF the Libyans create laws that discriminate against a minority, I’ll criticize that.

    Uh, the topic of this blog post is the very thing you claim you’re prepared to criticize. Sheesh.

    sundoga writes:

    But the criticism here seems more like “white man’s burden” objections.

    And yet you failed to quote even one person’s text validating your claim, let alone a sufficient enough number to compellingly claim this is a general attribute of the contributors to this thread.

  29. sundoga says

    No, Michael, entirely true. Oh, all the countries I cited are quite liberal on religious matters, I’ll grant you. But if you get out of line, start saying things they don’t want you to say, anything they regard as “hate speech” – then you’re in serious trouble. And the “Universal Declaration” has all the strength and durability of a piece of tissue paper in a force five gale – wonderful words, no substance.

    “sundoga writes:

    IF the Libyans create laws that discriminate against a minority, I’ll criticize that.

    Uh, the topic of this blog post is the very thing you claim you’re prepared to criticize. Sheesh.”

    Now, perhaps you should try again, and this time actually READ THE DAMN ARTICLE. Because you’re dead wrong. This is a statement of policy. It discriminates against no one, attacks no one, harms no one. Down the line, this policy might lead to such discrimination. Or it might not. But either way, no, that is NOT the topic of this blog post.

    You want a quote? How about every word you’ve typed? Which can be boiled down to “We know better than the Libyans do about how to run their country.”

    Tell me Michael, which of us is saying “let them make their own decisions” and which “do it our way”?

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