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Plans for Sharia-based law in Libya unveiled

Libya’s interim rulers have begun laying out their plans for their two-year transition to democracy – and said that Islamic Sharia law would be the “basic source” of legislation.

Libyans celebrate at Saha Kish Square in Benghazi, Libya, yesterday
Libyans celebrate at Saha Kish Square in Benghazi, Libya, yesterday
Image: AP Photo/Francois Mori

NOW THAT LIBYA has been declared liberated, its two-year transition to democracy has begun.

Its interim rulers have outlined some of their plans for the country, and have said that Islamic Sharia law will be the “basic source” of all law.

The head of the National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, said that people should “only embrace honesty, patience and mercy” during the declaration ceremony in Benghazi, the birthplace of the uprising.

He said that Sharia law would be the basic source of legislation, and that existing laws that contradict the teachings of Islam would be nullified.

He outlined several changes to align with Islamic law, including putting caps on interest for bank loans and lifting restrictions on the number of wives Libyan men can take. The Muslim holy book, the Quran, allows men up to four wives.

The Telegraph states that he said Libya would ban the charging of interest, as interest “creates disease and hatred among people”.

A number of countries like the United Arab Emirates have banks that work under Sharia law, which charge fees rather than interest on loans.

Using Sharia as the main source of legislation is stipulated in the constiution of Egypt, but Egyptian laws remain largely secular as Sharia does not cover all aspects of modern life.

In Libya, leaders have said a new interim government is to be formed within a month, following by elections for a constitutional assembly within eight months.

This would be followed a year later by elections for a parliament and president.

Meanwhile, the US and Britain have called for an investigation into how Gaddafi died, while leaders of the NATO campaign that helped secure victory also want to investigate if the former leader was executed by his captors.

- Additional reporting by Associated Press

Read: NTC declares to the world that Libya is liberated>

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