The troubles in Syria continue, and they will continue whilst there continues to be an international stand-off. I note that there are more and more top generals and army personnel in particular who are defecting and seeking refuge in Turkey. The situation between Turkey and Syria continues to be “on alert”. Please note: my objection to Bashar al-Assad and his regime remains because he has been attacking his own people, actually he attacks those who do not belong to his tribe. I continue to monitor this situation, and pray that the situation will not ignite into a world conflagration.
Now to Libya, and at this point in time, it appears that Mr. Jibril’s moderate party has gained the upper hand. This means a defeat for the more hardline Islamists in Libya. Whilst Jibril is a moderate, he has declared that Libya will remain with Sharia Law. We should not be surprised that this will be the case because Libya has ruled this way for a very long time.
When this was stated by Jibril last year, I noted a lot of hand wringing from people who actually have had no real clue about the history of Libya. I noted at the time that the reality of the statement has more to do with the laws and the court system, especially in regard to commerce because Libya had adopted a French commerce code, than anything else. Libyan society is already based upon Sharia, and it will remain that way. The question remains, will it make much difference in the way that women in Libya currently dress? Will women be better off under this new rule? From what I have seen, Libyan women have a far greater say in their country than they do in Saudi Arabia and some of the other ME countries. However, there is still a lot of discrimination against them that is based within Islam itself.
I do note that the result in Libya is quite different from either Egypt or Tunisia where Muslim Brotherhood had gained the upper hand. The Muslim Brotherhood were competing for positions in the elected parliament but with Jibril’s party gaining the upper hand, it means that their influence is being limited. The same is true for those who belong to the party that is more or less aligned to Al Qaeda. This is more of a defeat for Belhaj and his party than it is for the others. On the other hand, let’s keep in mind that this is the first time that these people have been allowed to form parties. Under the rule of Gadhafi they were not allowed to belong to a political party. This is a first step in a democracy of sorts. It might not fit our own perception of democracy, but it is a step in that direction.