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Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the chairman of the National Transitional Council, has a message for Libyans: Fear not, Sharia law is on the way.

In a broadcast on the Arabic cable channel al-Jazeera, he assured a cheering crowd that the new rulers of Libya are neither secular nor liberal, but will establish an Islamic republic.

In this speech delivered Monday evening in Tripoli’s Martyrs’ Square, Jalil proclaimed:

“We are seeking to establish a state government by law and welfare — and Sharia, Islamic law, should be the main source of law.”

“We must be united and not divided. We must condemn hatred and envy,” he said. Al Jazera claims that Jalil’s reinforcement that Sharia is going to be instituted may be rooted in an effort to brush off criticism, as some have dubbed Libya’s new leadership as liberal and secular — charges that could hurt leaders’ prospects of setting up a viable governing structure.

However, he also declared that Libya would not be an extremist state, either:

“We will not accept any extremist ideology, on the right or the left. We are a Muslim people, for a moderate Islam, and will stay on this road.”

Agostino Miozzo, an Italian doctor and veteran of humanitarian emergencies who is the EU’s international crisis manager, told the British newspaper the Guardian that the leaders of transitional council were determined to resist international pressure and to decide the fate of their country themselves. According to the Guardian:

“Tripoli seems to be moving fast towards normality, but they need time to fight the internal political struggle,” Agostino said, after spending more than a week in Tripoli establishing contact with the new rulers. “We have no idea of the southern part of the country. That will be most problematic in the coming months. This part is totally out of control.”

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