Is a Sharia-Law-Based Libya a Betrayal of the Arab Spring?

The interim leader announces that post-Qadhafi Libya will have an Islamic bent.

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Days after Muammar Qadhafi's capture and death, Libya's interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil, head of the Transitional National Council, announced that the new country would be ruled in accordance to Sharia law, the Muslim legal code found in the Koran. He announced that any current law that contradicted the Koran would be nullified. In a speech to a Benghazi crowd celebrating Libya's newly gained liberation, Jibril said, "This revolution was blessed by God to achieve victory…And we must go on the right path." He pledged to stop divorce and interest rates on loans, among other things prohibited by Islam. He also said post-Qadhafi Libya "will not disallow polygamy"—according to the Koran, men can take up to four wives.

[See photos of unrest in Libya.]

The remarks surprised many onlookers concerned about the rise of Islamic extremism in the region. For one, the protests in Libya and throughout the Arab Spring in general were propelled by the ideas of secular democracy. Furthermore, Sharia law is often associated with more radical brands of Islam, though Jalil himself is considered a moderate. At the very least, the world watches closely as Libya attempts to form a new government in the chaos since the fall of Tripoli and the disposal of Qadhafi, a tyrant who ruled the country for over 40 years.

What do you think? Is a Libya based on Sharia law a contradiction of the Arab Spring? Take the poll and comment below.

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