By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 2 October:
Some dozen or so GNC members staged a short walkout this morning, Tuesday, at the GNC sitting . . .[restrict]in protest at GNC head Mohammed Magarief’s statement that Libya should be a ‘secular’ state.
In an interview on the margins of the General Assembly meeting in New York published in London-based newspaper Al-Hayat on Monday, Magarief seemed to give an unequivocal reply to the question.
In answer to repeated questions about the role of Sharia Islam in Libya’s forthcoming constitution, he repeatedly confirmed that Libya should be a ‘secular’ state where religious figures did not interfere in the political running of the state, and where the laws of the state did not clash with Islam.
Following publication of the interview, questions were being asked yesterday as to what would be the reaction to Magarief’s pronouncements by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Justice and Construction (J&C) party once he returned to Libya from New York.
Today that reaction was clear.
Majda al-Falah, GNC and J&C party member confirmed today that her party walked out this morning in protest at “the President’s (Magarief of the GNC) remarks of a secular state”.
Later on in the morning session a heated debate regarding the remarks by Magarief regarding secularism took place.
A number of GNC members were demanding that the GNC head clarify if these were personal remarks or was he speaking in his role as the head of the GNC.
Others were demanding that Magarief either withdrew his remarks or apologised.
It is believed that Magarief will make a statement later in the day regarding the matter. [/restrict]