Tuesday, 5 November 2013
Libya: Religious authority condemns federalism
The federalists received a blow from the religious establishment this week when the Association of Libyan Scholars issued a fatwa castigating federalism as 'haram' (religiously prohibited). The association made sure to point out that it was not condemning federalism as a concept, but rather that they were prohibiting it on religious grounds because of the damage that it might do to the country. The head of the association, Omar Mouloud, commented that “federalism would take Libya backwards.”
Given that ruling something as haram makes it permissible to kill anyone who engages in it, the association also clarified that the “banning of federalism does not permit bloodletting.”
Meanwhile the Grand Mufti, Sheikh Sadiq Al-Ghariani, also laid into the federalists, accusing the announcement of the new Cyrenaica government as being tantamount to the declaration of a state within a state. He also warned that the country could not sustain any more division.
While the Islamists have long made clear their aversion to federalism, such condemnation coming from respected Islamic scholars, does further damage to the federalists' cause in the eyes of many Libyans.
For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.
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