Home > Interviews, LIBYA > What kind of Islam is in Libya? – INTERVIEW

What kind of Islam is in Libya? – INTERVIEW

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Laaska News  Sept. 15,2011
Kudashkina Ekaterina               Audio
© Flickr.com/samlavi/cc-by     
Interview with Professor Leonid Syukkiyainen, one of the leading Russian expert in Islam and Islamic law.

Dr. Syukkiyainen, as soon as people say Sharia law, the immediate association is something like stoning women. Is it a correct perception? Is stoning part of the Sharia law?

Yes, it is, but it is not absolutely obligatory norms, so we have a lot of countries where even the criminal Islamic law doesn’t mean the stoning or any other cruel punishments, criminal punishments. As for Libya previously even the criminal law was implemented not to such an extent as stoning in Libya, so it depends on the situation, we have some countries such as for example Egypt or maybe Syria or maybe Morocco and even Tunisia where some Sharia norms were implemented but it didn’t hurt the European consciousness and the European legal culture.

Do I get it right that the mere fact that the government is planning to introduce Sharia norms doesn’t indicate that those are the Islamists who are coming to power in that country?

It depends on the nature of the state power which will be governing Libya in future. Now it is very difficult to predict what will be the situation in the future in Libya, but I think that taking into account the relationship between the new power in Libya with some western countries and western aid, so I don’t think that the new authorities in Libya will take any steps in the legal sphere which will be contradicting the legal positions of, maybe political positions and estimations, of the so-called European or western legal modes.

As far as I understand, the majority of the population in Libya belongs to one or another nomadic tribe. What kind of Islam is there in Libya?

The main question is not about the different modes of Islam, but the main question is about the relationship between local customs which are far from the genuine Sharia norms, and between the Islamic Sharia. So this is the main question for North Africa in general, and Libya in particular, the contradictions between these two or maybe even three sides, one of them is the Islamic Sharia, the second one is the European legislation, or European legal heritage, and the third one is the local customs.

And how does that combination work?

This combination works during centuries, they are combating each other, and at the same time they are cooperating between them, it is the political task of the new political problem for new authorities, how to combine these three parts of the legal system in order to have an effective political system adopted by the local population and not contradicting European legal positions. We have some experience in some other countries, Arab countries, which have just, maybe, succeeded to have this kind of a legal system, for example, Egypt, Egyptian one, maybe Kuwaiti one, maybe Qatari one and some other.

Laaska News.