Sirtefied IV: What Institution-Building?

Libya was declared liberated yesterday, at the same time that it was declared by interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil that Shariah would be Libya’s principal law:

Any law that violates Shariah is null and void legally.

Within the limits of my understanding of Shariah law, it would appear that it is incompatible with a Charter of Rights, a Bill of Rights or any document by which individual rights transcend any form of state intervention, particularly with respect to the protection of minority rights. Within the limits of my understanding of Shariah law, I believe that such behaviours as adultery and homosexuality are regarded as capital crimes, punishable by death, via public stoning, hanging or beheading. A recent example of the application of Shariah law may be found in Saudi Arabia, which I find particularly painful to reference, in view of Saudi friendships:

Is this the Shariah future of Libya?

As seems typical of those who posit from afar but are not prepared to unequivocally condemn (those in the United Nations seem to be masters at this), one notes a certain European Union “foreign policy chief” Catherine Ashton stating that Libya’s introduction of Shariah law “must respect human rights and democratic principles”. Within the limits of my understanding of Shariah law, human rights, particularly minority rights, as well as democratic principles, are fundamentally incompatible with a legal system based on deistic infallibility.

Earlier this month, Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird was in Libya, committing Canada to contributing $10 million to help Libya neutralize its weapons of mass destruction. The United States has committed an identical amount. Minister Baird was accompanied by “key players in Canada’s infrastructure, technology and natural resources sectors, and non-governmental organizations… (who) hope to help with Libya’s reconstruction.”

My recollection is that there are billions in frozen Gadhafi funds from around the world that are now in the process of being transferred to the “interim government” in Libya. Given the uncertainties as to what Libya’s future and future form of government might be, while at the same time acknowledging that the interim government is far from being impoverished…perhaps a renewed and enhanced focus on nation-building in Haiti, and other emerging democracies, makes more sense at this time?

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About brucelarochelle

http://www.lmslawyers.com/bruce-la-rochelle
This entry was posted in Haiti, Libya, Political Change. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Sirtefied IV: What Institution-Building?

  1. The Libyan leaders swear to hold democratic elections within the year. Suppose they vote in a government that supports Sharia law. The Tunisians voted in a fundamentalist government. We in the West may not approve of Sharia law, but it is a conundrum for us. We want them to proceed democratically, through free elections, but we don’t want them to feel so free as to vote for what we do not approve. Perhaps that is why the West feels comfortable supporting autocratic governments as long as they are sensible enough to mouth the right words when we are around.

    It would be best if we could just let others be responsible for themselves. If we didn’t interfere with them, maybe they would leave us alone, too. If we did that, then Gadhafi might still be in power! It’s a conundrum! Either way we get what we didn’t want, but by interfering, it has cost us a lot more, not to approve the results.

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