The West: the swords of Islam

Revolution Won, Top Libyan Official Vows a New and More Pious State:

The leader of Libya’s transitional government declared to thousands of revelers in a crowded square here on Sunday that Libya’s revolution had ended, setting the country on the path to elections, and he vowed that the new government would be based on Islamic tenets.

The sea of flag-waving citizens reacted with shouts of “God is great;” minutes earlier, they had sung the bouncy Italianate national anthem used before Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi came to power. The song has been revived to help celebrate the downfall of the dictator, who was killed on Thursday.

“We are an Islamic country,” Mr. Abdel-Jalil, the chairman of the Transitional National Council, said as the sun descended. “We take the Islamic religion as the core of our new government. The constitution will be based on our Islamic religion.” He also promised that Islamic banks would be established in the new Libya.

The emphasis on Islam in the short speech — he began by thanking God and declaring God “the greatest — appeared to be an answer of sorts to the speculation about how much of a role religion might play here.

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