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Associated Press: “It was totally different from what they said jihad would be like,” said the man, Ghaith, who asked to be identified by his first name only for fear of being killed.
AP: Tunisia’s main secular opposition party was claiming victory on Monday over once-dominant Islamists in the country’s historic parliamentary elections.
CNN: “Tunisia’s national assembly approved the country’s landmark new constitution — its first since the ouster of longtime president Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali three years ago.” | More from Religion Clause.
The Tunis Times: “The debate over the role of religion in the constitution has ignited an ideologically-heated dispute between the secularists and the Islamists. Ultimately, the two sides of the conflict, whether public or parliamentary, argued that Article 6 – the heart of this debate- should be worded otherwise to maintain balance. The article guarantees freedom of belief and conscience and the free exercise of religion and bans apostasy and incitement on violence.”
Religion Clause Blog: Tunisia’s National Assembly began voting Friday, article-by-article, on the country’s proposed new constitution. (AFP 1/3). On Saturday, by a vote of 146-3 it adopted Article I which reads: “Tunisia is a free, independent and sovereign state. Islam is its religion, Arabic is its language, and it is a republic. It is not possible to amend this article.”
AP: During the debate over the weekend, Habib Ellouze, a hardline lawmaker from the Islamist Ennahda party called left-wing deputy Mongi Rahoui an “enemy of Islam.”
VOANews.com: Tunisia’s prime minister designate has unveiled a new Islamist-led coalition government following last-minute talks aimed at averting a major political crisis.
Spiegel Online: The murder of opposition politician Chokri Belaïd was also an assault on Tunisia’s emerging democracy. It has exposed the chasm between Islamists and secularists, and threatens to plunge the nation at the forefront of the Arab Revolution into chaos.
AP: Five days of riots last week in a town in Tunisia’s impoverished interior wounded hundreds of people and deepened the rift between the two most powerful forces in this North African country: the moderate Islamist ruling party and the main labor union.
Reuters: Tunisia’s Islamist-led government will not allow puritanical Salafis to enforce their vision on a country grappling with the role of Islam in a once rigidly secular society, the prime minister said on Tuesday.
NY Times: On the Friday after Tunisia’s president fell, Mohamed al-Khelif mounted the pulpit of this city’s historic Grand Mosque to deliver a full-throttle attack on the country’s corrupt culture, to condemn its close ties with the West and to demand that a new constitution implement Shariah, or Islamic law.
Embassies attacked, clashes in London, Sudan, Yeman, Tunisia, Jordan, Egypt, Kashmir as Islamic protests expand
BBC: Protesters in Khartoum entered the US compound, while the German and UK embassies were also attacked. The US compound in Tunis was also breached by protesters, who started a fire in the car park as police fired shots. There were further clashes in Yemen and Egypt. One person in Lebanon has died.
Al Arabiya: The head of a Tunisian Islamist organization called this week for his country to legalize polygamy as part of a post-revolution initiative to cancel all laws that contradict Islamic principles.
Al Arabiya: Tunisian Salafis are stoking fears of a rising Islamist tide after the hardliners disrupted a string of cultural events they deemed un-Islamic, culminating in an attack that left five people wounded.
Boston Globe: In the birthplace of the Arab Spring, the transition from dictatorship to democracy has been mostly smoother than in neighboring countries, with no power-hungry military or armed militias to stifle the process. But as a moderate Islamist party rules with the help of secular forces, an unexpected threat has emerged: the increasing boldness of ultraconservative Muslims known loosely as Salafis, who want to turn this North African country of 10 million into a strict Islamic state.
AP: Tunisia’s ruling Islamists emphasized their commitment to a civil, democratic state – as opposed to one under hardline religious rule – as they opened on Thursday their first party congress since taking power.
Religion Clause Blog: Reuters yesterday reported from Tunisia on the impact of a June 10 incident in which Islamists broke into the Printemps des Arts fair being held at Abdeliya Palace in Tunis and destroyed a few pieces of artwork to protest art they deemed insulting to Islam.
Google News (AP): A Tunisian appeals court upheld Monday the 7-year sentence for a man convicted of blasphemy for posting cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad on Facebook.
AP: Tunisia’s leaders on Wednesday condemned extremists after days of riots by radical Islamists left one man dead, injured 62 security personnel and led to more than 160 arrests.
Chicago Tribune: Larayedh said the violence appeared organized and some of it may have been inspired by a recent statement from al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, rather than simply an art exhibition.
AsiaNews.it: The horrific video was released not by anti-Islamic groups, but by an Egyptian journalist, Tawfik Oshaka, condemning the Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood. Islamic extremism has a cruel image of Islam. But the seeds of violence are present in the Koran and the life of Muhammad. It is time for Muslims to unequivocally condemn this violence.
WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO accompanies the written report at the link below.
Raymond Ibrahim at Gatestone Institute: Liberal talk show host Tawfiq Okasha recently appeared on “Egypt Today” airing a video of Muslims slicing a young man’s head off for the crime of apostasy, in this case, the crime of converting to Christianity and refusing to renounce it.
AP on Google: Security forces will not hesitate to use lethal force to restore order, said Tunisia’s Interior Minister on Thursday, following a string of violent incidents around the country in recent weeks.
Christian Science Monitor: Islamist parties now dominate the constitution-writing process in post-revolution Egypt and Tunisia. If they can make Islam compatible with democracy, they will give hope to others in the Middle East still struggling in the unfinished Arab Spring.
EuroNews.com: Tunisian protesters reject calls for Islamic state”>EuroNews.com: Thousands of secular Tunisians marched in the capital on Tuesday, the country’s independence day, to show their rejection of growing calls by conservative Salafi Islamists to transform post-revolutionary Tunisia into an Islamic state.
Religion Clause Blog: In the wake of Tunisia’s Arab Spring revolution last year, the country’s Parliament is in the midst of drafting a new constitution.
AP: Every Friday, bearded men in shin-length robes demonstrate in Tunisia’s capital against perceived insults to Islam in a country once known for its aggressive secularism.
Ahram Online: After sweeping the first free elections in both countries, Islamists in Tunisia and Egypt reveal tendencies of more religion that previously admitted despite emphasis on working with the secularists
NYTimes.com: The insults were furious. “Infidel!” and “Apostate!” the religious protesters shouted at the two men who had come to the courthouse to show their support for a television director on trial on charges of blasphemy. Fists, then a head butt followed.
Reuters: Thousands of Tunisian Islamists and secularists staged parallel protests outside the interim parliament on Saturday in a dispute over how big a role Islam should play in society after the country’s “Arab Spring” revolution.
News from The Associated Press: A frontrunner to be Tunisia’s next prime minister has caused a political storm by referring to the country’s future as a “Caliphate,” a historic form of Islamic government.
Religion Clause: In Tunisia, Rachid Ghannouchi, head of the moderate Islamic Ennahda party that won 40% of the seats in Parliament in last month’s elections, says that the country’s new constitution will not make reference to Shariah or Islamic law.
Reuters: Radical Islamists have seized control of 150 to 200 mosques and prayer halls around Tunisia this year, a senior religious official said Wednesday.
Reuters: When hundreds of Tunisians drove through the capital sounding their horns and waving scarves this week to celebrate the election victory of an Islamist party, there was little jubilation in the Ennasr neighbourhood.
Christian Today: There are concerns that the freedom of Christians will be compromised in the new Tunisia after the runaway success of Islamists in the country’s first free elections.
Reuters: For Walid, Tunisia’s revolution is an opportunity to turn one of the Arab world’s most secular countries towards Islam. “We paid a heavy price for the revolution so we are not ready to let secularists and supporters of the Zionists control our destiny,” said the young man, with a beard and a long white robe, after prayers in the Omrane district of the capital.
Reuters: Police in Tunis used teargas on Sunday to disperse hundreds of Islamists attacking them with stones, knives and batons, the biggest clashes over religion in the Tunisian capital for several years.
The Washington Post: A Tunisian university dean says a group of people armed with swords and knives entered his school and threatened staff after they refused to enroll students wearing Islamic face veils.
Reuters: Tunisia’s new political order will show that Islam and democracy can co-exist just as they have in Turkey, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.
Expatica.com: France warned that it would not tolerate a “wave of Tunisian immigration” after Italy on Thursday granted humanitarian permits to thousands of Tunisians allowing them to travel around Europe.
NY Times: “The Tunisian revolution that overthrew decades of authoritarian rule has entered a delicate new phase in recent days over the role of Islam in politics.”
Reuters: “Islamists marched through central Tunis on Friday, demanding religious freedom, while police fired teargas at anti-government protesters who have camped out around the prime minister’s ”
The Daily Telegraph: “Tunisia’s underground Islamic movement has emerged at the forefront of nationwide protests against its leadership and appears set to emerge as the strongest political force in elections.”
The Sun: “The teacher is expecting six boys and six girls, according to reports. She conceived the tots following fertility treatment, after suffering a number of miscarriages.”