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Sharia to Become the ‘Main Source of Law’ in Post-Revolutionary Libya


"We will not accept any extremist ideology."

Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the chairman of the National Transitional Council, has a message for Libyans: Fear not, Sharia law is on the way.

There's no telling how this prospect, which is a horrifying one for nations that see Islamic law as both repressive and un-democratic, will take shape. After all, Sharia's interpretation and legal structure can differ greatly depending on a nation's interpretation of Islam.

As the war-tattered country seeks stability, it's leaders will be deliberating to find the best path forward. In a speech on Monday evening in Tripoli's Martyrs' Square, Jalil told a large audience:

"We are seeking to establish a state government by law and welfare -- and Sharia, Islamic law, should be the main source of law."

"We must be united and not divided. We must condemn hatred and envy," he said. Al Jazera claims that Jalil's reinforcement that Sharia is going to be instituted may be rooted in an effort to brush off criticism, as some have dubbed Libya's new leadership as liberal and secular -- charges that could hurt leaders' prospects of setting up a viable governing structure.

In a statement that seems to temper resulting fears from the Sharia pledge, Jalil continued:

"We will not accept any extremist ideology, on the right or the left. We are a Muslim people, for a moderate Islam, and will stay on this road."

In his speech, the leader surprised those in attendance when he rebuked revolutionary forces for seeking vengeance on Gaddafi and his loyalists. In addition to railing against extremism, Jalil urged fighters to spare women and children.

The Guardian has more regarding the nation's internal leadership struggles:

Agostino Miozzo, an Italian doctor and veteran of humanitarian emergencies who is the EU's international crisis manager, emphasised that the leaders of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) were determined to resist international pressure and to decide the fate of their country themselves.

"Tripoli seems to be moving fast towards normality, but they [the NTC] need time to fight the internal political struggle," Agostino said, after spending more than a week in Tripoli establishing contact with the new rulers. "We have no idea of the southern part of the country. That will be most problematic in the coming months. This part is totally out of control."

Below, watch a news report that provides translated portions of Jalil's speech calling for a "civil state" in Libya (via Al Jazeera):

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