Libya’s Grand Mufti advocates gender segregation in educational establishments

Will Libyan women go back to era of Harem?

TRIPOLI - In an open letter to the President of the General National Congress, the Prime Minister, other members of Congress and the government as well as militia leaders and civil society organsiations, Libya’s Grand Mufti, Sheikh Sadiq Al-Ghariani has called for gender segregation at universities and in offices.
He said that free mixing of the sexes in educational and financial establishments as well as at universities, government offices, companies and hospitals was immoral and called on the authorities to bring an end to it.
“It is a well known fact that frequent mixing with men at the place of work and at schools/universities for long hours, makes it rather impossible for one to lower his/her gaze and protect ones chastity,” he wrote.
In the letter, published on Wednesday by the Fatwa office (Dar Al-Ifta), Ghariani said that he had received complaints about “the deterioration of morals and the widespread phenomena of the free mixing between sexes, with no restrictions or regulations, in all state institutions”.
He also spoke about “the wide-scale spread of alcohol and drugs, to the point where these substances are seen sold on most street corners, at low costs, almost being given free”. These, he pointed out, were in complete violation of Islamic law (Sharia).
“We all witnessed what has happened in the past weeks when many people had alcohol poisoning which claimed many young peoples’ lives and rendered many others sick or permanently disabled,” he wrote.
Ghariani said he was responding to a growing number of complaints made to Dar Al-Ifta by ordinary Libyans. Most people, he said, “were calling for the application of Sharia Law” and everyone in what was a Muslim country expected “special priority to be given to Islamic moral values in a manner that would preserve the nation’s Islamic identity and faith and to take this matter seriously before it incurs the wrath of God”.
Following publication of the letter, it was reported that the Grand Mufti had held a meeting with members several Congressional Committees in which he spoke about a number of issues. These included the need for a national database to end fraudulent claims and as well as illegal immigration from across the country’s southern borders, delays in payments of medical bills and student grants to Libyans abroad, the need to adopt the Political Isolation Law, the role of the media, judicial reform and the need to end interest payments.