From this article on CNN:
From within Libya’s most secure jail a new challenge to al Qaeda is emerging.
Leaders of one of the world’s most effective jihadist organizations, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), have written a new “code” for jihad. The LIFG says it now views the armed struggle it waged against Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s regime for two decades as illegal under Islamic law.
The new code, a 417-page religious document entitled “Corrective Studies” is the result of more than two years of intense and secret talks between the leaders of the LIFG and Libyan security officials.
The code’s most direct challenge to al Qaeda is this: “Jihad has ethics and morals because it is for God. That means it is forbidden to kill women, children, elderly people, priests, messengers, traders and the like. Betrayal is prohibited and it is vital to keep promises and treat prisoners of war in a good way. Standing by those ethics is what distinguishes Muslims’ jihad from the wars of other nations.”
This is a big development. As you may or may not know, there is no world leader in Islam and the religion is very, very diverse (for further reading I recommend The Many Faces of Political Islam: Religion and Politics in the Muslim World). The existence of this “code,” as it’s being called, and that it is being backed by Islamic leaders and scholars all over the world is a step in the direction for ALL sides coming to a better understanding of the role of jihad in Islam, and how it is being presented in current world conflicts.