Libya: Religion


For most of its past, Libya has been ruled under foreign control. Over their years, people like the Greeks, Romans, Vandals and Carthaginians have taken over Libya. It is no surprise that with all of the different influences that they have had in their country, one would stay with them and their people even after their country is under their own control. These people are the Arabs, bringing with them the strong and important religion of Islam. When the Arabs conquered Libya in the seventh century, they brought with them a great deal of their Islamic and Arabic language and culture (State Department Documents). However, this is a controversial issue in their country. Ninety-seven percent of Libya’s population is Sunni Muslim, but some believe that Islam is a negative aspect of the country and they should not be proud of their Muslim people. This thought or idea is terrible. Islamis a big part of this country, and without it a lot of what the country stands for and their values would be lost. Islam serves as a great religion in Libya.
           The affects that Islam has in Libya is a positive one of their people. Their government has taken action to help with some of the Koran’s ideas and has set laws that follow the Islamic system that makes the country safer (Islam in the Jamahiriya, For instance, they have made some laws that specifically follow Muslim faith such as outlawing alcoholic beverages and closing bars and night-clubs, which can greatly hurt their people as we see people being hurt out late in bars here in America. Also, provocative entertainment was banned, which just destroys a country’s credibility in having honest and worthy men (Islam in the Jamahiriya, The Head of State in Libya, Mu’ammar Abu Minyar al-Qadhafi, also known as “the Brotherly Leader and Guider of the Revolution,” devotes himself strongly to the Muslim faith. He believes that in a positive way, Islam should be restored on a universal level to assure men’s happiness (Islam in the Jamahiriya, He also believes that the Koran was given to man through an Arab prophet, Muhammad, and would be used to liberate mankind, reduce the amount of corruption, and allow country’s to have a general welfare (Islam in the Jamahiriya, Thus proving that Islam does not have a negative impact on Libya’s people.
Islam also has a great importance on the social atmosphere of the country. It has become their culture and a major part of who they are (State Department Documents).  The government does not make being Muslim a mandatory religion, and the freedom of religious rights and the guaranteed freedom of religion was written in their Constitutional Declaration of December 11, 1969 (Islam in the Jamahiriya, And though a choice of freedom is allowed in the country, Colonel Qadhafi proposes to revise the Libyan judicial system in conformity with Muslim law because that would help their people bring justice to their country (Islam in the Jamahiriya, “Islam is a synonym wuth man’s struggle for justice…” (Islam in the Jamahiriya, pg. 2). Many Americans have this view of Islam as a violent and angered religion that causes global terrorism, and associate Libya with that hatred (Who Carries Out Suicide Bombings, Conan). John Esposito writes, “After a five-year war against global terrorism, it is apparent that Muslim extremism and violence is growing” (Battle for Muslims’ Hears and Minds: The Road Not Yet Taken). But this is not true. Some associate Libya with Al-Qaeda, “… in Libya… these groups associate themselves with al-Qaeda at least on a sort of public relations level” (Who Carries Out Suicide Bombings, Conan). But again this would be like blaming all countries who associated with Germany for Hitler’s actions. The Culture Minister Datuk Sert Dr Rais Yatim claims that “Islam is not a violent religion. We wish to share the message with all that Islam is a beautiful and peaceful religion.”
Islam is a great religion full of culture and peacefulness that Libya is lucky to be influenced by. Around the world today, many countries feel that Libya is wrong for wanting to have a Muslim people. If those people were to really open their minds and see all that Libya has been through and how Islam has helped bring a gracefulness into the society, a lot of them would have to reconsider their views on Islam. The idea that it is violent and dangerous and all Muslims are terrorists is not only insane and a made-up fear, it is also just a way that people of other religions can promote their own religion. It is not fair that the Muslim population in the world have to suffer because of the rest of the world’s ignorance to their faith. Despite the fact that many people disagree that Libya should be a Muslim country, the people of Libya know that it is what is right for them.

Works Cited


Esposito, John L; Mogahed, Dalia. "BATTLE FOR MUSLIMS' HEARTS AND MINDS: THE ROAD NOT (YET) TAKEN." Middle East Policy. 1 2007. 27. eLibrary. Proquest CSA. NEW TRIER TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL. 22 May 2009. <>.

 "Who Carries Out Suicide Bombings." NEAL CONAN. NPR Talk of the Nation. 22 Jan 2008. Transcript. eLibrary. Proquest CSA. NEW TRIER TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL. 22 May 2009. <>.

 "King launches Kuala Lumpur as Islamic culture capital." New Straits Times. 06 May 2009. 04. eLibrary. Proquest CSA. NEW TRIER TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL. 22 May 2009. <>.

 State Department Documents / FIND. Background Notes : Libya (03/09). State Department Documents / FIND. 23 Mar 2009. eLibrary. Proquest CSA. NEW TRIER TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL. 22 May 2009. <>.

 "Islam in the Jamahiriya." Mathaba: Independent New Agency. 15 May 2009


LAST UPDATED on May 22nd, 2009.