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

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8836
JPY
USD
118.88
GBP
USD
0.6451
CAD
USD
1.2469
INR
USD
61.751

Rates may not be current.