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Libyan Cleric Issues Fatwa on U.N. Document Regarding Women's Rights

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He does not like equal status for men and women, which the document contains.

Mufti al-Sadiq al-Ghiryani, Libya's supreme religious cleric, has issued a fatwa (religious edict) against a new United Nations document on women's rights claiming it defies shariah law. 

The document is to be signed by nations at the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women this month, according to the Associated Press.

The cleric's bone of contention is that Islamic law favors witnesses for a divorce while the U.N. document mandates judicial involvement. Also a source of ire for the mufti is a provision in the U.N. document related to matters of inheritance, whereby it states that women are equal to men.

While Al-Ghiryani says his concern is that it places the full burden on women to equally share in household expenses, it is perhaps more likely that his concern lay in granting equal status for women.  

Another verboten item that has upset the cleric relates to wording on sexual freedoms and the rights of children born out of wedlock, the AP reports.

With the wave of al-Qaeda operatives filling the vacuum left by Moammar Gadhafi's ouster, it is likely that advancing the cause of women's rights in Libya will become an increasingly uphill battle moving forward.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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