Word on the street is Barack Obama’s extra-constitutional (and might I say, hypocritical) entrance into Libya has paid off as dictator, murderer, and all-around shady character Muammar al-Qaddafi’s regime all but completely collapsed as rebels have taken control of Tripoli and other major cities. Just listen to the glowing report from President Obama:
“The future of Libya is in the hands of its people. The celebrations that we’ve seen in the streets of Libya shows that the pursuit of human dignity is far stronger than any dictator.”
Libya’s future is in the hands of the Libyan people, alright, but the “pursuit of human dignity” is no big winner here.
To be clear, Muammar al-Qaddafi’s reign over Libya has certainly been one of tyranny and atrocious human rights violations. Despite his laughable creation of the Al-Qaddafi International Prize for Human Rights (no, seriously, there is such a thing), his regime has been one of terrible violence. He has attempted to silence uprisings and protests by simply gunning down the participants. Rape has been used as a silencer among women. Tell-tale signs of a garden-variety dictatorship are ever present: limited freedom of speech and press, and obvious limitations on freedom of assembly and association.
Yesterday the rebel group issued a so-called “constitution” in which they outlined the plans for a new government. According to Part 1, Article 1, “Islam is the Religion of the State, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).”
In the United States, our Constitution (and therefore our government) is based on something called Natural Law. This simply means that we are born with certain inherent rights (i.e. life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness) and the sole purpose of government is (at least, it was) to protect those inherent rights.
This is what we think of when we hear about revolutions occurring around the world. We tend to automatically assume that this means the victorious, formally oppressed people will soon be enjoying life simply dripping with individual rights and boundless freedom.
Sadly, this is not likely to be the case in Libya. Or Syria (if they are ever successful in ousting Bashar al-Assad). Or Egypt. Or any other “Arab Spring” nation. By indicating that their government will be based upon the precepts of Shar’ia Law, they have simply replaced one form of terror with another. The human rights violations will continue in full force, except this time they will be “validated” by the Qur’an.
Shar’ia, meaning, “the way,” is a set of precepts upon which the jurisprudence of an Islamic nation is based. It comes from the teachings of the Muslim faith, and infiltrates every aspect of an Islamic Republic. Taken from the book Reliance of the Traveller, The Sacred Manual of Islamic Law and posted on the site StopShariaNow, below are the basic tenants of Shar’ia:
Requirement of women to obtain permission from husbands for daily freedoms;
Beating of disobedient woman and girls
Execution of homosexuals
Engagement of polygamy and forced child marriages
Requirement of the testimony of four male witnesses to prove rape (NOTE: if said witnesses cannot be produced, the woman is charged with adultery.)
Stoning of adulteresses
Lashing of adulterers
Amputation of body for criminal offenses
Female genital mutilation
Capital punishment for those who slander or insult Islam
Execution of apostates (those that leave the religion of Islam)
Inferior status for all non-Muslims, known as Dhimmitude
Concept of Taquiyya: A Muslim may lie or deceive others to advance the cause of Islam
“Justice” is carried out swiftly and violently. Take, for example, the case of the 18-year-old Afghani girl who, in an attempt to escape her abusive husband, was caught, brought before a so-called “trial” under the prescription of Islamic law, and was punished for her behavior:
She had been condemned by the Taliban and dealt the brutal sentence, as relatives held her down and cut off her ears and nose. She was later left for dead but found her way to one of the shelters the Afghan government now wants to close.
For Bibi’s full story, please click here. (WARNING: GRAPHIC)
“OH no, but that was the Taliban,” you might say, “They are extreme, and this does not represent the freedom-seeking Libyan rebel force.”
That certainly sounds hopeful, except for the undeniable fact that al-Qaeda has been a noted presence in the Libyan rebel force. You know, that group that just happens to fall in line with 47 other organizations that the U.S. State Department identifies as formal terrorist groups. In the words of the Libyan rebel commander himself:
Mr. al-Hasidi insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,” but added that the “members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader”.
Moving on: For those who get to read the entire constitution as laid out by the rebels, a few key portions regarding equality among Libyan citizens (including women) may stand out as contradictory to the precepts of Shar’ia law I mentioned previously. While this appears well and good, a closer examination of Shar’ia Law as is laid forth throughout Islamic religious documents such as the Qur’an and the Hadith paints a different picture. For the promises within the rebel constitution to be kept, Shar’ia Law cannot be carried out as it has traditionally been done according to the fundamentals of the religion. It’s as simple as that.
As cynical as I may sound, I truly wish the best for the Libyan people who have spent so many years under the oppressive hand of their dictator. I write this post simply to warn those of us who may be to quick to celebrate the “victories” for freedom of these revolutions. I cannot express enough how incredibly important it is to learn and understand what Shar’ia Law represents and to remain attentive to its advances around the world.
“So what?” you might say, “That’s a millon miles away.”
You might find this story interesting:
“In 2008, a New Jersey judge ruled Shariah permitted a Moroccan man to rape his Muslim wife, despite state law making it a crime. The New Jersey Appeals Court overturned that decision and remanded the case, finally allowing the woman to get a restraining order against her husband while she sought a divorce. The appeals court decision said neither Shariah law, giving a husband physical authority over his wife, nor Muslim beliefs on the role of women provided the man an exemption from criminal intent under U.S. statutes.”
Still think it doesn’t matter?