Monday, January 06, 2014
Tunisians reject Islam as source of law
Islamists suffered a setback on Saturday when the Tunisian parliament voted to reject Islam as the main source of law in the future Tunisian constitution. However, in a compromise formula, Islam remains the state religion. Harissa reports:
The Tunisian Constituent Assembly, where the Islamist Ennahda retains a majority, adopted on Saturday the first two articles of the future Constitution, rejecting Islam as a source of law but retaining it as the country's religion, according to a compromise with the opposition.
"Tunisia is a free, independent and sovereign state. Islam is its religion, Arabic is its language and the Republic its form of government. It is not possible to amend this article," reads Article 1, adopted by 146 votes out of 149.
MPs also approved Article 2: this is also unamendable. This provides for the establishment of a "civil state based on citizenship, the will of the people and the rule of law."
Since the 'Arab spring' of 2012, Ennahda has backed the wording of Article 1, already enshrined in the Constitution of 1959. This waives the introduction of sharia (Islamic law) in the Basic Law.
The chamber rejected two amendments, one proposing Islam and the other the Holy Quran and Sunnah (all words of the Prophet, his actions and judgments) as the "main source of legislation".
Read article in full (French)