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

    Video Pop Icon Prince Quietly Helped Afghan Orphans for Years

    He sent thousands of dollars to help an aid group rebuild a training center for orphan boy and girl scouts in Kabul, but kept his involvement secret

    Mali, a Way Station for Syrians Headed to Europe

    Another door may be closing for Syrians fleeing the conflict in their country, this time in Africa

    Britain’s Muslims See London Mayor Race as Victory

    Mere running of 45-year-old former government minister and son of Pakistani immigrants Sadiq Khan seen by many as turning point

    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.
    Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labori
    X
    May 05, 2016 6:44 PM
    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labor

    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.8691
    JPY
    USD
    106.57
    GBP
    USD
    0.6891
    CAD
    USD
    1.2750
    INR
    USD
    66.589

    Rates may not be current.