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AFRICA > First Islamist party emerges in Libya

TRIPOLI - Agence France-Presse

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A Libyan woman walks past a caricature of Gadhafi in Benghazi.

A Libyan woman walks past a caricature of Gadhafi in Benghazi.

A group of Libyan Muslim scholars have formed the nation’s first legal Islamist party with a view to rebuilding Libya based on Islamic sharia law, a statement from the new political entity said Jan. 9.

The Party of Reform and Development (PRD) was formed Jan. 7 in the eastern city of Benghazi and is chaired by former Muslim Brotherhood member Khaled al-Wershefani. Members of Muslim Brotherhood attended the party’s inauguration, but the statement said it “did not depend on any particular party,” referring to the Brotherhood.

The PRD is an “Islamist party committed to the principles of Islamic sharia” and aims to work for establishing a state based on institutions, the statement said. “We aim to focus on national unity and build a Libyan state which is modern, civilized and developed and which does not exclude or marginalize anyone,” Wershefani said. But he added that the party would refuse to deal with any group which “contradicts sharia,” referring to the secular and liberal factions in Libya.

January/11/2012

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