Given the governance history of Arab states, conservative columnist Cal Thomas questions whether a post-Moammar Gadhafi Libya can attain a stated goal of a free society.
Thomas writes in Townhall.com
that an annual State Department report on human-rights practices in Arab states “consistently finds all are ruled by variations of dictatorial regimes that oppress their people, deny basic freedoms of press, speech, due process, and are intolerant of any faith other than Islam, punishing converts to other faiths (a capital offense in some Islamic nations) and anyone who shares other faiths with their people.”
That said, Thomas wrote, what is the guarantee that the new state of Libya, post-Moammar Gadhafi, will move up the ranks in the report’s so-called “freedom score?”
A draft Libyan constitution includes wording about women having “all opportunities which shall allow her to participate entirely and actively in political, economic and social spheres,” Thomas reported. Another clause states there shall be a “guarantee for non-Muslims the freedom of practicing religious rights and shall guarantee respect for their systems of personal status.”
But Thomas points out a conflict with the following constitutional clause: “Islam is the religion of the State and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).”
“It is no jump to an unwarranted conclusion to say if Sharia law is the objective . . . as expressed in its draft constitution, none of the other high-sounding principles are likely to be achieved, much less guaranteed,” he wrote.
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