Libya: Muslim Brotherhood Set to Dominate Libya’s Political Future as Islamists Rally Demanding Sharia-Based Legislation
By Mahmoud Habboush – “(Reuters) – Hundreds of Libyan Islamists rallied on Friday to demand that Muslim sharia law inspire legislation in what organizers called a response to the emergence of secular political parties after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s dictatorship last year.
Assembled by Islamist political and religious groups, mostly young and bearded men holding up copies of the Koran demonstrated in squares in the capital Tripoli, the eastern city of Benghazi and in Sabha in the southern desert.
In Tripoli’s Algeria Square, Islamists burned copies of the ‘Green Book,’ Gaddafi’s eccentric handbook on politics, economics and everyday life, to underline that the Koran should be the country’s main source of legislation.
By contrast, a group of secularists who have staged a sit-in in the square for more than a month chanted: ‘We want a civil state.’
The Islamist demonstrators encompassed members of the conservative Muslim Brotherhood and harder-line Salafis, who both back strict versions of Islam, and relative moderates who prefer a civil state simply inspired by sharia.
The protests offered a glimpse into Libya’s political future in which Islamist and secularist parties are expected to vie for seats in a national assembly scheduled to be elected in June to draft a constitution for the North African country.
Experts believe the Muslim Brotherhood is the most organized political force and could emerge as the leading political player in Libya after Gaddafi, who harshly suppressed Islamists during his 42 years in autocratic power.
Western powers are coming to accept that the advent of democracy in the Arab world means bringing Islamists to power. They have become the biggest election winners in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco over the past few months.” Read more.