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Libya’s Choices

110525 Libyan women torn between regime, rebel...

Image by Magharebia via Flickr

There has been serious uproar in Libya and in the Western world this week, as interim leader Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, chairman of the Transitional National Council, announced that Libya’s new Government would follow Sharia Law…a harsh form of religious law which is entirely inconsistent with democracy, and highly unfavorable to women.

It seems inconcievable to us that Muammar Quaddafi would be defeated by brave freedom fighters only for them to voluntarily submit to an archaic system of chopping off of hands and repressing women.

What exactly is Sharia Law? According to Wikipedia:   A code of conduct or religious law of Islam. Most Muslims believe sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia

I think that most people who read this blog know that I am not anti-Islam. I have many Muslim friends and they are all honoring to women. Education is highly valued, the Muslim women I know are loved and treated respectfully by their husbands. These women are very intelligent and speak their minds!

In Sharia law as I understand it, women are officially inferior, they are even blamed when they are raped. Sharia imposes punishments that are barbaric and intolerable in “civilized” countries such as honor killings, and stoning to death.

These tenets of Sharia Law seem inconsistent with the claim that Islam is a Peaceful religion. There is much violence contained in Sharia Law towards people who practice it. It is very difficult for outsiders to understand. It is not consistent with the claim that Women are honored in Islam.

What are we missing?

You can read more about Sharia in the ariticle below:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/peter-worthington/sharia-law_b_1030508.html

It seems to be a mistake in this Twenty-first Century, in a progressive area of the world like North Africa, to forbid Libya’s women from taking part in forming their country’s future.

This same interim leader said in an interview with the pan-Arab news channel Al Jazeera, he is requesting that NATO continue its air patrol until the end of the year because there remain some Quadaffi loyalists in country.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/27/world/middleeast/libya-leader-wants-nato-presence-through-2011.html

So, this inconsistency is interesting, but the country is not yet one week old. I say, give it time, though Tunisia, the bright hope of the Arab spring just had it’s vote and the Islamists won. It is anybody’s guess whether Sharia law will follow.

So, do we fear Sharia Law as the outcome of the Arab Spring? I don’t think so! I think that the perpetrators of Freedom had more than repression in mind when they began to rebel against 40 plus years of harsh dictators. But they will not become subservient to America either.

One idea would be to look to Indonesia, the largest Muslim Nation in the World, for an example of a workable democracy. The concept of Indonesian style democracy has been worked out after a dictator (Sukarno) was forced out of office. Indonesia used the principle of picking and choosing what was good from the world’s governments. As years have gone by the people have learned how to govern themselves effectively.

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2 Responses

  1. It is really helpful to have your take on this issue since you have had so much first hand experience.

    How are you and your family? How many grandchildren and whose are they?

    We have 8: Ruth Anna and Mark’s 5 plus Joel and Melanie’s 3.
    Nathan and Christie take care of us 🙂

    Love,
    Barbara

    • Hi Barbara!
      How nice to hear from you!
      We have three little grandboys! Juliana and Scott have them and they are 4 1/2, 3 and 1 1/2. Catherine and Andy don’t have children yet due to Catherine’s ongoing head pain. Mayo wasn’t able to diagnose it, no one has. But, it get’s better in Indonesia and disappears completely the longer they are there. They’ve been accepted by Navs to go to minister to the kids and grandkids of the people we worked with! Very exciting and honoring to us! However, the have to stay here in the cold to do fundraising. Wish there were some way they could fund raise in Indonesia!
      Adi isn’t married yet…Appreciate prayers.
      Love,
      Mary

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