Over 3,000 Libyans in Benghazi rallied on Saturday to demand that Sharia law be the main source of the country’s legislation, Al Arabiya reported.
“The protesters are calling for the Sharia law as the source to be clearly stated in the constitution, Ghaith al-Fakhri, a Libyan Islamist told the AFP.
The Islamists gathered on the central square in Benghazi, a stronghold city of Libya’s revolution, waved copies of the Koran and chanted Islamic slogans.
Apart from Benghazi, hundreds of people staged a rally on the Tripoli’s main Algeria Square in a protest against secular laws, Al Arabiya said.
They burned copies of the “Green Book,” a handbook on politics, economics and everyday life, written by the late Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi who was killed in October near his hometown of Sirte after being captured by then opposition forces.
“We want to run our life according to Islamic principles, be it the economy, politics or our relations with other countries,” Abdul Basit Ghuwaila, a preacher at a Tripoli mosque told Al Arabiya. “Most people think Islam is just about harsh penalties.”
The Islamists were opposed by a group of protesters who participate in a month-long sit-in for a secular state.
“We all want Sharia, but not the one they’re talking about, the one that rejects women,” said Nour al-Zintani, a female participant of the sit-in. “We want a moderate Islam that gives women their rights.”
Libya saw almost ten months of fierce fighting before the National Transitional Council (NTC) established control over the country's territory.
In late October the NTC head, Mustafa Abdel Jalil said that the Islamic Sharia law will be the basis for the laws in the newly liberated Libya and any existing laws that contradict it will be abolished.