Libya’s Grand Mufti, Sheikh Sadeq al-Ghariani, has called on the government to ban Libyan women from marrying foreigners, Egypt’s state news agency MENA reported Wednesday.
He states that no Libyan women should be permitted to enter into marriage with a foreign man even if they are Muslims or Arabs.
Al-Ghariani says that he received several complaints that Shiite and Druze men from Iran and Syria are “taking advantage of the loose security grip in Libya and the chaotic situation in the public administration.” He cites this as justification for his call.
Sunni Muslim states, like Libya, tend to be sensitive to the entrance of Shiism into their societies through various means such as marriage and tourism.
Earlier this month, for example, Egyptian Islamist preacher, Safwat Hijazi, voiced objection to a tourism agreement with Iran. He expressed fear that the Ayatollah’s regime in Tehran may send Shiite missionaries disguised as tourists.
Hijazi told Al Arabiya in an interview that since the Islamic Revolution, the Ayatollah’s regime in Tehran has sought to disseminate the Shiite doctrine outside their country, especially among the Sunnis.
In Libya, the Grand Mufti’s call, if implemented by the government, would likely be seen as another setback for women’s rights in the post-Qaddafi era.
In February, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court sanctioned polygamy after it abolished an old amendment that required men to have their first wife consent to them marrying a second one.