The international feminist sisterhood has been getting its knickers in a twist this week after Libya’s new acting President Mustufa Abdul-Jalil, used his Liberation Day speech to back the reintroduction of Sharia law and the removal of Ghadafi-era restrictions on polygamy.
While this legal development isn’t wholly surprising in an overtly Muslim country, it has created a reality check for the Coalition of nations who helped Libyans to topple Ghadafi, as the Governments of a number of those countries have policies that are opposed to polygamy, even when their laws may be more tolerant.
This plays against the background of the deaths of perhaps 50,000 men in the war of liberation, and the consequent increase in widows and orphans, which neatly matches the Koran’s basis for implementing polygamy in Islam in the first place. Polygamy is the historic societal mechanism that stands ready to handle this sort of problem, an acknowledgement that the family is the first welfare state, and for many still preferable to the version preferred by Big Government.
What should Libya do – implement the historic beliefs and freedoms of the people, or saddle themselves with a Socialist welfare system that even developed countries struggle to afford?