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-Tunisia: Turning Towards Radical Islam?

by Dr. D ~ August 14th, 2012

Symbol of Islamic Feminism, Muslim Feminism th...

(Symbol of Islamic Feminism: Wikipedia)

Arab Spring started last year in Tunisia which is ironic since it was one of the most liberal Muslim countries at the time. The Western media celebrated the protests as a turning toward Western style democracy and freedom.

Now in the midst of defining a new constitution for the country there are two stories just this week which indicate that our own fears, predictions, and misgivings about Arab Spring are unfortunately shown to be far more accurate as the country now seems to be sliding towards radical Islam and sharia law.

-First story: “Ruling Islamic supremacist party files bill to criminalize blasphemy

The ruling party is initiating a new ‘blasphemy’ law that would result in two year jail sentences and 4 years for repeat offenders. It takes away free speech when it comes to religion and particularly when it comes to Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran.

Christians are constantly getting jailed and worse in countries which have similar laws. For example in Pakistan, lots of Christian business and property owners have been arrested on claims of ‘blasphemy’ initiated by business rivals or enemies. The threshold of proof in usually very low in these cases. It only takes the testimony of one Muslim to get a Christian tossed in jail.

-Second story: “Thousands rally in Tunisia for women’s rights

From the article:

TUNIS (Reuters) – Thousands of Tunisians rallied on Monday to protest against what they see as a push by the Islamist-led government for constitutional changes that would degrade women’s status in one of the Arab world’s most liberal nations.

The protest, by some 6,000 mostly Tunisian women, is the latest twist in a row over the role of Islam in a constitution being drawn up by a new assembly.

Response: So there you have it, an update on the current developments in Tunisia. Unfortunately the Tunisians used their hard fought voting rights to elect a more radical Islamist government. Some are just now waking up to the fact that they have voted for less freedom under sharia law instead of the greater freedoms and democracy which thousands protested for last year?

Tunisia was a country where women already had greater freedoms than in most Muslim countries now it seems to be going the other way? It will be interesting to see how the new government responds to the protests. Also, minority religions like Christianity had greater freedoms there to practice their faith than in many Muslim countries but ‘blasphemy’ laws would definitely signal a change for the worse.                *Top

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