Recent reports suggest that Libya is poised to become the third Islamic state established in the last decade with the help of the United States. On August 26 The New American reported that a draft constitution released by the Libyan Transitional National Council (TNC), the rebel group that has taken charge since the ouster of Col. Moammar Gadhafi, declares: “Islam is the religion of the state and the principal source of legislation is Islamic jurisprudence (sharia).” This wording is very similar to the post-U.S. invasion constitutions of Iraq and Afghanistan.
There are, apparently, those in Libya not convinced that the TNC is serious about its commitment to Islam. The Washington Times’ Bill Gertz writes:
U.S. officials said spy agencies are stepping up surveillance of Islamist-oriented elements among Libyan rebels. A government report circulated Tuesday said extremists were observed “strategizing” on Internet forums about how to set up an Islamist state in Libya after the regime of Col. Gadhafi is defeated.
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Photo: Libyan women attend Muslims weekly Friday prayers in Benghazi, Libya, April 22, 2011, the same day that U.S. Sen. John McCain praised Libya's rebels as his "heroes" in a visit to their capital: AP Images