News / Economy

Libya Says Aims to Run Economy, Banking Under Islamic Law

FILE - A man walks past a Nike shop on Venice Street in Benghazi, Libya, Nov. 7, 2013.FILE - A man walks past a Nike shop on Venice Street in Benghazi, Libya, Nov. 7, 2013.
x
FILE - A man walks past a Nike shop on Venice Street in Benghazi, Libya, Nov. 7, 2013.
FILE - A man walks past a Nike shop on Venice Street in Benghazi, Libya, Nov. 7, 2013.
Reuters
Libya will transform its banking and economic system to comply fully with Islamic law that bans interest payments, the economy minister and other officials said on Monday, but they gave scant details on how the plans would be implemented.
 
Under Moammar Gadhafi, who was overthrown in 2011, the growth of Islamic banking was not encouraged and four state-controlled institutions dominated the relatively undeveloped financial sector of the OPEC oil producer.
 
Two years after Gadhafi's ouster, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan's government says it wants to attract foreign investment and develop the non-oil sector of the economy but is struggling to assert its authority against heavily-armed tribesmen and militias, and parts of the country remain outside its control.
 
It has also been weakened by political wrangling with Islamists who dominate the parliament, the General National Congress (GNC), which strongly backs the plans to introduce Islamic law into the economy.
 
Economy Minister Mustafa Abu Fanas said experts would now study how best to apply Islamic Sharia law in the economy.
 
“Regarding a starting date, this will need studies ... to see how and when we will transform,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a conference organized by his ministry to explore ways to introduce Islamic law.
 
“I can't give an exact start date,” Fanas said.
 
‘Strong economy’
 
When asked whether banks could retain conventional business models, he said: “Many researchers say there could be a gradual transformation by the Islamic and other banks towards an Islamic system, but in the long-term it is in our interest to have it ... to build up a strong economy.”
 
Some banking officials, technocrats and liberals privately fear a hasty transformation might add to the political turmoil in Libya, where militias use weapons seized in the 2011 uprising to lay siege to ministries or oil facilities to press their financial and political demands.
 
Fanas said the GNC had given the government time to ban interest payments, with the change to be in force by the start of 2015.
 
Salah Makhzoum, deputy head of the GNC, told the conference that Libya would be joining a growing international trend as more and more states turned to Islamic law following banking crises in the United States and Europe.
 
“The world is moving towards an Islamic economy,” he said.
 
Libya has about 16 mostly conventional banks, which have few ties with the outside world, a legacy of its long isolation under Gadhafi.
 
As well as banning interest payments, Islamic law also forbids investment in the gambling industry and in firms producing alcoholic drinks or pornography.
 
Fanas said Libya had become too dependent on its oil sector and said the government wanted to boost investment to upgrade infrastructure including hospitals and universities. It is also overhauling a foreign investment law from the Gadhafi era.

You May Like

Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

Iraqi Kurdish Leader: Protect Syrian City

Islamic State fighters are besieging Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, after seizing at least 21 surrounding villages in a major assault against city on Syria's northern border with Turkey More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
January 06, 2014 10:02 PM
yeah... that will do it... Islamic deemookrassy... more blood libation...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7768
JPY
USD
108.84
GBP
USD
0.6124
CAD
USD
1.0999
INR
USD
61.042

Rates may not be current.