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Appeasing Islamists? Libya Drops Ban on Religious Parties


Last week, Libya's transitional government issued a ban on religiously-based political parties. Now, just days after the initial decision -- one that infuriated Islamist groups -- was made, officials have decided to backtrack. AFP has more regarding the decision to, once again, allow religiously-rooted political parties:

Libya's ruling National Transitional Council on Wednesday dropped a controversial ban against parties organised along religious, regional, tribal or ethnic lines.

Members of the NTC judicial committee on Wednesday read out an amended version of its law governing the formation of political parties, making no mention of the ban.

Originally, The Blaze reported that in the wake of Muammar Gaddafi’s death and ever-changing political constructs, the Libyan government had issued the landmark ban. But pressures from Muslim political groups likely played into the decision to reverse course.

(Related: Libyan Gov’t Set to Infuriate Islamists With Ban on Political Parties Based on Religion, Tribe or Ethnicity)

Following the initial announcement, furor broke out, as a new Islamist party led by the Muslim Brotherhood (clearly one that would have been forbidden under the ban), the Freedom and Development Party, is expected to be the front-runner to gain impending political power. Right away, the group signaled that, if needed, it would be willing to fight the restriction.

According to Reuters, NTC spokesman Mohammed al-Harizy was the individual who initially announced the new law. One week later, it seems it will be stricken from the books.

Libya is expected to write a new constitution, at which point Islamic law’s role will be fully known, following the upcoming elections (slated to occur by June 19). The Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists are expected to flourish in Libya, as they have in Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco.

(H/T: AFP via Yahoo!)

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