Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New Libyan constitution draft: not exactly a beacon of Jeffersonian democracy

For those who think a constitution is what we in the West believe it to be, you may be in for a rude awakening.  Virtually every Islamic/Muslim country has within it's constitution, usually as one of the first articles, that Islam is the official religion of the state, and sharia law the only recognized legal system allowed.  With Islam and sharia enshrined, any other article, whether voting, legislation, free speech or human rights are exclusively based on sharia.  

Oh what fun we will have when sharia is enshrined as the only law in the land.

From  August 22 by Lachlan Markay

Libyan Draft Constitution: Sharia is ‘Principal Source of Legislation’

The dust has not yet settled over the Libyan capital of Tripoli since rebels took control over the weekend. But already, a draft constitutional charter for the transitional state has appeared online (embedded below). It is just a draft, mind you, and gauging its authenticity at this point is difficult. There is also no way to know whether this draft or something similar will emerge as the final governing document for a new Libyan regime.
As both the Morning Bell and Washington in a Flash noted today, Heritage Fellow Jim Phillips recently pointed out that Islamist forces “appear to make up a small but not insignificant part of the opposition coalition,” and must be prevented “from hijacking Libya’s future.” Parts of the draft Constitution allay those fears, while others exacerbate them.
Much of the document describes political institutions that will sound familiar to citizens of Western liberal democracies, including rule of law, freedom of speech and religious practice, and a multi-party electoral system.
But despite the Lockean tenor of much of the constitution, the inescapable clause lies right in Part 1, Article 1: “Islam is the Religion of the State, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).” Under this constitution, in other words, Islam is law. That makes other phrases such as “there shall be no crime or penalty except by virtue of the law” and “Judges shall be independent, subject to no other authority but law and conscience” a bit more ominous.

See the entire draft of the interim constitution here.  

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