Saturday, October 13, 2012

No Blasphemy Law For Tunisia's New Constitution

Tunisia might be ruled by a majority Islamist parliament now, but they're not getting they're blasphemy law written into the new constitution, at least for now. That's one for the good guys.

Mustapha Ben Jaafar, the speaker of the National Constituent Assembly said:

“There will certainly be no criminalization."

“That is not because we have agreed to (allow) attacks on the sacred, but because the sacred is something very, very difficult to define.”

That means no long prison terms for someone accused of blasphemy. Or death, if you happen to live in Pakistan.

However, you can bet the Islamists will continue to attempt to Islamize Tunisia, a once secular country under dictator Ben Ali, but the secularists will fight back. In fact, the media and secularists have been instrumental in ensuring that the blasphemy clause does not make it into the constitution. Surprisingly, Ennahda has agreed to it. Surprising, because it has strongly advocated a global ban on blaspheming, ramped up after the violent protests in response to the anti-Islam film.

Jaafar, whose leftist party Ettakatol is part of the ruling coalition said:

“Sometimes we hold talks within the troika (three-party ruling coalition) and we feel that they (Ennahda) are prepared to let their opinions develop, to move the lines a bit.”

Jaafar, a strong proponent of freedom of expression said:

“There is a fundamental achievement of the revolution that should never be called into question, and that no one should be able to challenge, which is the freedom of expression and of the press.”

I wish them luck fending off the creeping Islamization of their country.

No comments: