Tunisia’s Islamist-led government rejects laws to enforce religion
Al-Arabiya / Tom Heneghan
06-Nov-2011 (one comment)

Tunisia’s Islamist-led government will focus on democracy, human rights and a free-market economy in planned changes to the constitution, effectively leaving religion out of the text it will draw up, party leaders said.

The government, due to be announced next week, will not introduce sharia or other Islamic concepts to alter the secular nature of the constitution in force when Tunisia’s Arab Spring revolution ousted autocrat Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in January.

“We are against trying to impose a particular way of life,” Ennahda leader Rachid Ghannouchi, 70, a lifelong Islamist activist jailed and exiled under previous regimes, told Reuters.


Iran Model Rejected

by FG on

Iran's badly outdated model invites Arabs to "enjoy" every abuse they've complained about in their own governments....and even worse. Unsurprisingly it finds no takers.


Suddenly Arabs have much to gain by revolution. Previously they had only two real choices (authoritarian secular rulers or totalitarian Islamist ones) so why bother? The first option enjoyed one edge--a bit more personal and cultural freedom. Secular liberals might dream of western style societies instead, but most religious muslims feared the idea. Erdogan's achievement in Turkey was a solution acceptable to both and lacking the despicable traits of either dictatorships.


However, the Turkish model would be inconceivable without trends of the last few decades. As Arabs were deeply exposed to the the West either by living there or via family members and acquintences who did, many would develope a taste for political, social and artistic freedoms others enjoyed.


The last source of exposure was modern education and modern technology (computers, the internet, satellite television) that can't be avoided by any nation hoping to function efficiently in the modern world. It comes with unavoidable cultural and political repercussions. Exposure to the ourside world had similar effects on Breshnev's Russia in the 1980s. In the Arab case, that exposure is ten times greater, accelerating the rate of change accordingly.