Islamic law for Libya: Will we end up missing Gadhafi?

Libya's interim leader declares that the new Libya will be based on sharia law — and critics of the war are quick to say, "I told you so"

NCT Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil
(Image credit: REUTERS/Esam Al-Fetori)

The head of Libya's transitional government, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, announced on Sunday that post-Gadhafi Libya will be structured according to sharia law. "We are an Islamic state," he told a crowd in Benghazi. He then lifted a ban on polygamy, and declared that the charging of interest on loans would be forbidden, in accordance with sharia. Jalil had said before that Islamic traditions would be respected in the new Libya, but his latest pronouncement was more radical than expected. Will the U.S. and Europe actually come to regret helping Libya's rebels destroy the regime of Moammar Gadhafi?

The new regime might be worse than Gadhafi: This confirms the main concern conservatives had about joining the air war against Gadhafi, says John Hinderaker at Power Line. The cold truth is we still don't know "whether the regime that follows Gadhafi's will be an improvement." It's "deeply ironic" that liberals who reveled in America's post-Saddam difficulties in Iraq can't see that we face the same uncertainty in Libya.

"Observations on the death of Gadhafi"

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Clearly, we have not advanced the cause of freedom: Here we go again, says Jonathan Turley at his blog. As happened in Afghanistan and Iraq, we've helped install a government in Libya that "rejects notions of separation of church (or mosque) and state." Libya's new government "will by definition disenfranchise religious minorities" and women. "I am not sure we can afford any more successes in our foreign policies."

"New Libyan leader pledges to impose Sharia law on the country"

Don't be so pessimistic: "What outsiders may not appreciate is that Libya is a very conservative Muslim country," says Jeffrey Kofman at ABC News. Alcohol is forbidden, and virtually all women wear the hijab. But after playing a key role in the revolution, women are going to demand basic freedoms. All the rebels want democracy — the challenge will be crafting a constitution that respects religious traditions and basic rights, such as free speech, at the same time.

"The sweet taste of freedom: Libya moves forward"

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