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Libya: prelate says sharia can be ‘positive contribution’

October 28, 2011

Reacting to the announcement by the leader of Libya’s transitional government that sharia will be the “basic source” of law in post-Qadaffi Libya, the apostolic vicar of Tripoli said that sharia can be a “positive contribution” to national unity.

“Libya has a tradition of a balanced Islam,” said Bishop Giovanni Martinelli of Tripoli. “I interpret the reference to the sharia law as the will to write a constitution that is to serve mankind through the religious principles of Islam. In this sense it can be a positive contribution to building the unity of the country.”


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  • Posted by: Defender - Oct. 30, 2011 12:29 PM ET USA

    It is amazing to see the reaction of Catholic bishops in areas under (changing) Islamic law. The northern tier of Africa is becoming more like the arabs in Israel and the reaction of Catholic prelates are the same: look closely at the statements they make and it's obvious that cultural identity comes first - not religion. A lot of wishful thinking won't make what's coming go away.

  • Posted by: shrink - Oct. 28, 2011 7:32 AM ET USA

    Do the "religious principles of Islam" include the "free exercise" of religion? Perhaps Martinelli can ask the Copts in Egypt.

  • Posted by: Salome - Oct. 28, 2011 7:12 AM ET USA

    My first reaction: Dhimmi. My second reaction: We must pray for him, and for all Christians in Libya. He's scared, and probably has good reason to be.