At the end of August, the great minds at Think Progress were horrified at the prospect that Libya, if Gadhafi lost power, would end up being an Islamist nation utilizing Sharia Law as the foundation for its political and legal system. More to the point, Think Progress was feigning horror at those on the political right who referenced a blog from The Heritage Foundation that highlighted a draft constitution, and made the case for this possibility. From the blog: (emphasis mine)
Much of the document describes political institutions that will sound familiar to citizens of Western liberal democracies, including rule of law, freedom of speech and religious practice, and a multi-party electoral system.
But despite the Lockean tenor of much of the constitution, the inescapable clause lies right in Part 1, Article 1: “Islam is the Religion of the State, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).” Under this constitution, in other words, Islam is law. That makes other phrases such as “there shall be no crime or penalty except by virtue of the law” and “Judges shall be independent, subject to no other authority but law and conscience” a bit more ominous.
Think Progress thought this was such a good way to go after the political right (in attempt to demonize them as scare-mongers and anti-Muslim) that they made a video attacking FOX News reporting the draft constitution, and highlighting Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as the voice of reason:
The clip involves numerous interviews on FOX programs, where McCain spends time praising the interim government, including a statement that these are people “…he knows well.” In one segment during an interview with Steve Doocy on FOX AND FRIENDS, McCain sounded very sure about the situation with the Constitution in Libya:
Doocy: They can be talking about Sharia Law as the basis of their new constitution, and so what we might wind up with over there is something closer to a radical islamic government. And that’s not what we want.
McCain: Well, first of all, that’s not going to happen, and this business
Doocy: I hope you’re right.
McCain: about a constitution, I mean Sharia Law. They made a statement last March where they specifically stated that it is their mission that the rights of women and the equality of women are insured.
Two days after the Heritage blog came out, BigPeace.com contributor Clare Lopez stated: (emphasis mine)
By dealing preferentially with the Muslim Brotherhood and other shariah-adherents in both Egypt and Syria, U.S. leadership is enabling the substitution of secular tyranny with Islamic tyranny in both places. If the U.S. does the same thing in Libya and fails to provide strong, visible support to the genuine democrats, liberals, and reformers that do still exist in Libya, the outcome there will not be the one dreamy-eyed groupies of the Arab Spring envisioned, but another new regime, founded on Islamic law, that is hostile to American interests and those of our remaining friends and allies
And just days after the killing of Gadhafi by rebel forces, reports have surfaced that, indeed, Libya will use Sharia Law as its foundation. As reported by The Times of India:
Islamic sharia law will prevail in Libya and any existing laws that contradict this will be repealed, National Transitional Council leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil said on Monday. “As an Islamic country, we have adopted Sharia as the principal law….As an example is the law on divorce and marriage … This law is contrary to Sharia and it has been scrapped.”
For those keeping score: +1 for FOX News, +1 for BigPeace.com, -1 for Sen. McCain, -1 for Think Progress. The big losers, however, are the people of Libya who will now go from bad to unthinkably worse. -2 for President Obama, for leading from behind, and, as Lopez described, for failing to provide the “strong, visible support” needed to bring about a better result for the Libyans, and the world.