Religion: Libya and Polygamy

Source/Credit: The Times LogoThursday, November 3, 2011 , by-R-Fsadni

Almost two weeks ago, the official liberation of Libya was celebrated in Benghazi. The speech given by the country’s interim leader, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, has since gained international notoriety. The attention it got was justified but, unfortunately, it was also marred by misreporting. Meanwhile, some of the interesting aspects of the aftermath in Libya – from social satire to meaningful media silence – seem to have zipped under the Western media’s radar.

Among the wired-up youth, (Mustafa Abdul Jalil’s) speech served to open up a vein of gender-based joshing and satire

First, the facts.

In his Benghazi speech, Mr Abdul Jalil stated that, in the new Libya, the Sharia (Islamic law) would be the main source for the country’s legislation. He had already said this five weeks earlier, before a massed crowd in Tripoli. Then, he had gone on to speak of Libya’s “middle-ground Islam” and of women as ministers of government. In Tripoli, the notion of “source” suggested room for considerable 21st century contextual reinterpretation.

In Benghazi, however, the idea of the Sharia as a source of law was given different examples. Mr Abdul Jalil said that banking practices involving the charging of interest would need to be abolished. And that marriage law would need to be realigned with the Sharia. “Source” here suggested the basis of detailed legal drafting.

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Categories: Law and Religion, Libya

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