Earlier today, Libyan rebels took over Col. Mohammar Qaddafi’s compound in the middle of the capital city of Tripoli.
Fighters poured into the area by the hundreds, carting off boxes of ammunition and firing weapons in the air in celebration. Several young men placed a head seized from a statue of Qaddafi under their feet and kicked it. One happily lifted it above his head while his comrades danced and yelled joyfully around him.
A rebel exited the Qaddafi house wearing the dictator’s hat and other artifacts while saying that he had been waiting for this moment for 42 years. Even as they’ve taken Triploi, Qaddafi loyalists continued the fighting on the city’s edges. The fight is likely to move towards Qaddafi’s home city of Sirte.
There has been no sign of Qaffafi so while the rebels control the capital, the leadership of the country is much in question.
The real concern is what will rise in place of the iron fist rule of Mohammar. There are elements of the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Queda and Iranian militia mixed in the rebel groups each with their own agenda and future intent for Libya.
A draft constitution for Libya as it recovers from the way may be contentious. The new document stresses that all laws be based on Sharia Law.
Islam is the Religion of the State, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).
While making headlines around the world, Sharia or Islamic law is nothing new in Libya. In the early ’70s Qaddafi himself introduced sharia back into Libyan government. Immodest forms of entertainment were shut down and Qaddafi banned non-conforming styles of dress.
The Transitional National Council (TNC), Libya’s interim anti-Gaddafi government, has been the only somewhat legitimate political face of the rebels. On 5 March 2011, the TNC declared itself to be the “only legitimate body representing the people of Libya and the Libyan state”. More than 40 countries have recognized the body, led by Mahmoud Jibril, as the interim government during the transition to whatever Libya’s future may bring. A state department spokesperson stated that the TNC rejects all forms of extremism and the Obama administration seems to be taking them at their word.
It is impossible to know what will rise from the overthrow of the Qaddafi regime, if that is in fact what has happened.