Yesterday, a blog post at the Heritage Foundation pulled a quote from a draft constitution to suggest that the Libyan revolution may descend into a radical Islamic state supporting Sharia law. Rush Limbaugh, the Drudge Report, and several pundits and commentators on Fox News picked up the meme and ran with it. The task fell to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to try to talk everyone down.
We’ve produced this video compilation to tell the story. Watch it:
As Adam Serwer noted over at The American Prospect, references to Islamic law are common in national constitutions throughout the Middle East, including those of post-occupation Iraq and Afghanistan. While theocratic extremism is a real danger in the region, such references in a constitution hardly guarantee its enactment — and ensuring a functional civic order and the absence of political repression are much more important to preventing it.