September 23, 1997 by Jordan Bruins
Islam is the state religion. Libya has been under the rule of Ottoman Turks, Italy, and under French-British administration. Its formal name is the Popular Socialist Libyan Arab Jamahiriya which means “state of the masses”. To the north lies the Mediterranean Sea, Egypt and Sudan to the east, Tunisia & Algeria to the west and Chad and Niger to the south. Tripoli is the capital and is the largest city next to Benghazi, both of which are on the Mediterranean Sea. A vast region of desert covers more than 90% of the land mass. The desert area to the south makes up a portion of the famous Sahara desert and the highest point is Bette Peak at 2,286m on the border with Chad. There is not a single river running through Libya so water must be obtained shallow wells. There is hardly any natural vegetation in Libya except for some northern regions on the Mediterranean. Libya gets an average annual precipitation of less than 2 inches. Temperatures get quite hot and can sometimes reach well over 86?F or 30?C in July. The population is about 5,100,000 and the land area is 1,759,540 sq. km. Libya has international disputes at the moment with Chad,and boundary disputes with Tunisia, Niger and Algeria.
The major and virtually only religion present in Libya is Islam and the language spoke their is Arabic. Islam is a major world religion and is defined as the religion of those who follow Muhammad. It has spread over nearly all of Mideast and North Africa. Adherents of Islam are referred to as Muslims.
The government type is more less a dictatorship led by the head of state Muammar al-Qadhafi. Libya contains 25 municipalities. The role of Islam in everyday life in Libya is very important. Qadhafi is a highly traditional and orthodox Muslim who has repeatedly expressed his wishes to restore it to its proper place in the life of the people of Libya. He wants to restore Libya to the way it was before it had been under the rule of other countries by mirroring the Libyan legal system after the Quran, and by the banning of impure practices and dress.
Qadhafi also believes in the value of the Quran as a moral and political guide for his people. He showed himself to be very fundamentalist by closing bars and nightclubs, and by banning any entertainment deemed provocative like strip-clubs and so forth. He also put forth a series of legal penalties such as suffering the amputation of a hand or foot for armed robbery and whippings for breaking the fast of Ramadan and 80 lashes for men and women found guilty of fornication. The revolutionary government showed repeatedly its desire to establish Libya as a leader of the Islamic world. He is also on a personal mission to free Africa of Christianity. Religion today in Libya is everywhere, Libya represents the other extreme of religious instruction compared the governments view in the U.S. and Canada where even prayer in school in absent.