By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 2o November 2014:
Sharia must be the source of the law in Libya, declared General National Congress (GNC) . . .[restrict]head Nuri Abu Sahmain at a meeting of Islamic scholars and imams this week.
At the General Gathering of Islamic Scholars and Imams, held in Tripoli this week, Abu Sahmain addressed the crowd, saying that the battle for Islam to be the religion of Libya and Sharia to be the source of the law is not only a battle to be won in the courts, but also in the hearts and minds of the people.
The duty of the imams, sheikhs, scholars and other religious leaders it to instruct the people and build support among the people for Sharia as the basis of all law.
“We are Muslims–we are not Shiites or denominations or different religions. We are one religion, which is the moderate Islam—not one extreme or the other. You who preach and have responsibility in the mosques have to open the door of discussion with the people on the ground. You have to teach the definitions and the terms and clarify the meanings,” exhorted Sahmain.
Sahmain also again accused Khalifa Hafter’s army of trying to bring back elements of the former regime and supporters of the “tyranny” that the “blood of the martyrs was shed” to rid the country of.
Those attending the gathering released a final statement that accused Hafter and his militias of war crimes and “genocide”, as well as kidnapping, torture, false imprisonment, and destruction of personal property. They called on the international community to quickly bring justice and berated the international community for being so slow to recognize the Supreme Court ruling which ruled that the House of Representatives (HoR) is illegitimate.
At the same time, they stressed that many have been too quick to label their enemies “infidels” in the current conflict. They warned against this, saying that by calling someone an infidel it makes the killing of that person justified in the Islamic religion. This has led to much bloodshed under false pretenses.
They urged teaching of the true Islam and an end to all exaggeration and twisting of the teachings of the Quran and the Hadith. They also exhorted the people to only follow religious leaders that stay within the borders of the true teachings.
Meanwhile, a row has developed among a group of scholars and imams in the east. Omar Mowlood, the head of the Eastern League of Scholars and Imams, based in Beida, issue a statement of support for the GNC. In his statement he said that the House of Representatives (HoR) does not have legitimacy.
This has angered many in the league because, they say, Mowlood was not speaking on behalf of the majority of the league’s members. They issued their own statement demanding he apologise and retract his statement. If he does not, they threatened, they will no longer follow him.
While the Eastern League has said that their role, as scholars and imams, is not to add fuel to the fighting in Libya, but to call the different sides together for dialogue, they also affirmed that the current war being waged by the Libyan National Army is legal because it is being waged against terrorism. This terrorism, they said, has become a world epidemic.
The Libyan National Army is also, they said, fighting against an enemy that is “hiding behind religion” and using religion to cause strife and break the nation apart.
Furthermore, the Eastern League has said that the only legitimate authority in Libya is the nationally elected HoR. They urged the sheikhs and people of influence to support the HoR and the National Army.
They also called on the Awqaf and the Dar Al-Ifta to be politically unbiased. Their office, said the league, is to serve the people, not to go against their political choices.