The anti-Christian sentiment of Muslims in Libya has now reached a new, official level; the Libyan government has declared its new constitution will be based on Shariah law.
The Libyan General National Congress stated, “Islamic law is the source of legislation in Libya. All state institutions need to comply with this.”This is a change from the policy under former Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, who allowed Libya’s 300,000 Coptic Christians, 5% of its population, to openly practice their faith.
Reports assert that a special committee is examining current laws to make sure they comply with Shariah.Patrick Sookhdeo, international director for human rights group The Barnabus Fund, told FoxNews.com, “Christians and others in the Middle East have every right to want a free, autocratic society. NATO went to war in Libya on the basis of a full democracy. But what we have ended up with is a fractured government in which religious extremism of the worst kind has now taken over the government. The concern is that this conflict has produced the exact opposite of a democratic government.” Sookhdeo compared what is happening to Libya to what occurred in Egypt, where Mohammed Morsi’s Islamic government also tried to make Shariah the law of the land, adding, “They [Christians] will not have full citizenship.”
Libyan Christians have been targeted ever since Qaddafi was replaced in October 2011. Although reputedly all they did was carry images of the cross, four Egyptian missionaries were arrested in 2013 for proselytizing; a fifth Egyptian Christian, Ezzat Atallah, died in prison. A teacher of chemistry, Ronnie Smith, 33, of Texas, was shot to death in Benghazi on Dec. 5 while jogging; there were rumors he was killed because he spoke of his Christian faith with Muslims and his students. Smith was murdered after an Al Qaeda spokesman made a public statement ordering Libyans to attack U.S. interests everywhere.
It’s not just Egypt and Libya. In March 2012, Jeremiah Small, a teacher from Washington state who taught in Iraq, was murdered by one of his students who had said he would kill Small for his religious views. Just after that, another American teacher, Joel Shrum, was murdered in Yemen by members of the Supporters of Sharia, which stated that the murder was a response to the campaign of Christian proselytizing that the West has launched against Muslims.
The Supporters of Sharia also function in Libya.