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October 24, 2011

New Libyan Ruler Proposes More-Radical-Than-Expected Islamic Law


I am beginning to note our current cadre of putative "experts" is surprised by "unexpected" news that our non-experts actually expected (and predicted).

Perhaps "expertise" now means "idiocy."

Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, the chairman of the National Transitional Council and de fact president, had already declared that Libyan laws in future would have Sharia, the Islamic code, as its "basic source".

But that formulation can be interpreted in many ways - it was also the basis of Egypt's largely secular constitution under President Hosni Mubarak, and remains so after his fall.

Mr Abdul-Jalil went further, specifically lifting immediately, by decree, one law from Col. Gaddafi's era that he said was in conflict with Sharia - that banning polygamy.

He would also ban banks from charging interest. So, boomtimes ahead for Libya.

Those two planks may not be especially threatening to the West, but they indicate an allegiance to a barbaric way of life and government (and warfare!) that will likely cause problems for us down the road.

I've had mixed feelings about these uprisings. Some say that tearing down despots is a necessary step in the process of political maturation.

Others say that such despots will be replaced by vicious thugs worse than before.

Here's the thing: I think both are right. I think that democracy, for this part of the world, will only come after a long series of violent spasms and failures. I think one purge will give way to the next. I think one tyrant will replace the next, and then share his fate.

I don't know if these can ever be decent societies. I doubt they can be. But if they are to be, the people of these lands are probably going to have to learn all the lessons of history that the West learned from ca. AD 1300 to the present. The Islamic world has been essentially frozen in the middle ages forever.

I suppose, if they were smart, they could skip over the long, violent process of discovering that a liberal (classic sense) democratic republic is the only system that really works, by studying our example, and applying the lessons our ancestors learned.

But of course they despise us, and despise democracy because they despise us, so they will endeavor to prove that "their" ways can work.

I think they will try virtually everything before attempting the model of the despised Western infidels.

So yeah, I think this is necessary, if they're ever going to get out of their barbaric rut. But that's all long term. Very long term.

In the short term, we get to watch them butcher each other, and of course occasionally butcher our own citizens.

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posted by Ace at 02:55 PM

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