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NTC chief says Islamic law to prevail in Libya means BUSINESS

BENGHAZI, Libya - National Transitional Council leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil and key NTC officials on Sunday insisted Islamic sharia law will prevail in liberated Libya.

He also announced the introduction of Islamic banking in Libya in keeping with sharia which prohibits the earning of interest, or riba in Arabic, because it is considered a type of usury.

"There are good intentions to regulate all banking laws. We especially seek to establish Islamic banks that don't deal with interest and abolish all banking interests in the future according to Islamic tradition," he said.

"Riba (interest) creates disease and hatred among people," he added.

"As an Islamic country, we adopted sharia as the principal law," Abdel Jalil said at a huge ceremony in the eastern city of Benghazi during which Libya was declared a free and liberated country.

"Any law that violates sharia is null and void legally," he said.

He cited as an example the law on marriage which under slain strongman Moamer Kadhafi banned polygamy, which is permitted in Islam.

"As an example is the law of divorce and marriage ... This law is contrary to sharia and it is stopped," Abdel Jalil said.

Abdel Jalil, a fervent Muslim and former justice minister, began his speech by praising God.

"Thanks be to God, Thanks be to God," he said, before kneeling and touching his forehead to the ground as in prayer.

He also banned celebratory gunfire as forbidden under Islamic law. "Thanking God does not mean firing. It is forbidden by sharia because it can harm civilians," he said.

Several other NTC officials and leaders of the revolt who stood at the podium also made it clear that post-Kadhafi Libya will be an Islamic nation.