Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Tunisia: Islamist Bigots Refuse Freedom of Conscience.

with 18 comments

Amira: Democrat at the Heart of Tunisian Politics.

There was a brilliant article on the Nouvel Obsevateur site yesterday, describing the role of 29 year old  Amira Yahyaoui in helping frame the new Tunisian Constitution. They call it, “La première Constitution démocratique du monde arabe.”

The text of this interview by   is on the Nouvel Observateur link above.

But naturally the Islamists have objected to some key clauses in the Constitution.

We learn today,

A coalition of religious groups have criticized the draft of the constitution currently being adopted by the National Constituent Assembly (NCA), claiming that some of the articles so far approved violate the fundamentals of Islam.

The organizations released a statement Saturday which was posted on the Facebook page of the Tunisian Front of Islamic Organizations on Tuesday. The statement is signed by several groups, including the Association of Rhetoric and Forensic Science of Sfax.

A group of imams and Islamic associations brought the message to the NCA’s headquarters in Bardo Tuesday, expressing their disapproval of the constitution and specifically the current draft of Article 6, which was approved by a majority vote in the assembly.

The statement calls on NCA members to edit Article 6 and delete its ‘’freedom of conscience’’ clause. The statement claims this language would pave the way for “satanism” and “homosexuality.”

They demanded that the assembly drop a clause banning “takfir,” a word that means accusing someone of being a nonbeliever. The statement says this issue was not studied thoroughly and was introduced only to satisfy some deputies.

The groups also denounced the influence of secular NCA members on the drafting of the constitution and claimed that religious scholars were not consulted about the sections addressing religion.

They also criticized what they deemed attempts to vilify ‘Shariaa Laws.’

The statement concluded by asserting that NCA members have a historic responsibility to pass a constitution compatible with Islam. Tunisia Live.


Written by Andrew Coates

January 16, 2014 at 12:06 pm

18 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Of course, in Egypt we see where your brand of secular liberalism gets don’t we? It begets mass murder and the imposition of military despotism when the election doesn’t go their way.

    Liberals and secularists only want freedom of conscience on their narrow terms, and woe betide anyone who doesn’t conform!

    What makes the liberals and secularists far worse than the Islamists is that they/you ram down the throats of everyone your high fallutin secular and liberal ideals, even while you send out the troops to massacre the supporters of the elected government!

    Socialism In One Bedroom

    January 16, 2014 at 7:00 pm

  2. So, liberal democracy (not that the Generals of Egypt are such a thing anyway, more of a military dictatorship) is worse than theocratic rule. I’d don’t think any of the founding fathers and mothers of Socialism (not even Stalin if you want to include him) would agree with that interpretation.

    Sue R

    January 16, 2014 at 11:25 pm

  3. Well said Sue R.


    January 17, 2014 at 2:03 am

  4. For reasons that are beyond comprehension you call yourself a socialist, though confined to a bedroom.

    Perhaps you could indicate where I supported the Egyptian military?

    On the wider issues: would you would prefer to live under Sharia Law than under secular law?

    No tolerance for the intolerable!

    Andrew Coates

    January 17, 2014 at 11:18 am

  5. And of course to the liberals and secularists, ‘liberal democracy’ = military junta overthrowing the elected government and killing it’s supporters, just as long as they are killing and overthrowing in their interests!

    Was it Marx who said, behind every bourgeois concern lies bourgeois interest?

    Liberals only think in liberal terms, they cannot escape from seeing the world through their idealistic eyes. So what is good for Berkshire is good for Kandahar! If the tribesman in the Yemen doesn’t follow the ideology of the accountant in Didcot then he is a evil fool who must be taught the correct path, on pain of death!

    Materialism really never comes into it – you know imperialism, colonialism, uneven development etc etc etc etc etc etc etc.

    Marx would be spinning in his grave!

    Socialism In One Bedroom

    January 17, 2014 at 11:31 am

  6. Even while killing the supporters of the elected government and installing a murderous and corrupt military junta can the liberals and secularists take the high moral ground! Only them I tell you!

    I don’t view the world through liberal eyes, judging the tribesman in the Yemen the by the standards of the accountant in Didcot! I reject the idealism of liberals and construct the argument on materialism.

    The decents are liberals to a man, and have abandoned a materialistic conception.

    Socialism In One Bedroom

    January 17, 2014 at 11:36 am

  7. What can you say Sue to someone who thinks that “liberal democracy=military rule”?

    Andrew Coates

    January 17, 2014 at 12:57 pm

  8. In Egypt this is exactly what it means.

    To break this donw for you –

    The Liberals and Secularists called in the military junta after they lost the election. The will of the people, i.e. democracy, meant nothing to these people. As soon as they didn’t get their way, it was murder and intimidate the opposition. The sickening thing is that while this murdering of democracy was going on the liberals and secularists, via ther talking heads in the media, were busy pontificating about democracy and spouting their high fallutin morality.

    What can you say to someone who justifies ‘liberal democracy’ on these grounds?

    Deep down ‘liberal democracy’ is the rule of one class over another, in certain circumstances, military thuggery is the most effective way of maintaining this rule. Especially so outside the imperialist centre.

    Socialism In One Bedroom

    January 17, 2014 at 4:06 pm

  9. I take it then that you do not support the Tunsian Front Populaire (all the main left parties), nor the trade union, the UGTT, who support secularist democracy?

    Andrew Coates

    January 17, 2014 at 5:13 pm

  10. Go on, trollbot, you’re ‘aving a laff, ain’t yer? We knows what you are doing in your bedroom all alone. Get out more, meet some real girls (or boys, if you prefer.).

    Sue R

    January 17, 2014 at 8:39 pm

  11. SueR,

    your comment reveals more about your low moral values than my personal situation, whatever that may be and is no concern of yours.

    I tend to support leftist movements, but those that represent the working class and peasant movements. Secularists and Liberals are more often than not represent middle classes those sections who are the recipients of patronage.

    Incidentally the’ decents’, to which you are a classic example, are usually hyper critical of communist movements in the developing nations, as they more often than not take a solid anti imperialist stance, and in the Arab world, a decidedly anti Israeli one!

    In Egypt the liberals and secularists have been exposed for what they are and what they represent.

    Socialism In One Bedroom

    January 18, 2014 at 2:50 pm

  12. So you do not support the UGTT (the main trade union federation) and the Tunisian left.

    Please make that clear.

    It would save an awful lot of trouble.

    Meanwhile the hard-line secular Parti de Gauche in France meets a delegation from the Tunisian Front Populaire,

    “Mardi 7 Janvier, le Parti de Gauche a accueilli une délégation du Front Populaire tunisien, constituée par Tarek Raissi, Abdelwahab Hammami, Naima Mehrez, ainsi que le porte-parole du Front Populaire Hamma Hammami. Résistant de la première heure sous l’ancienne dictature, plusieurs fois emprisonné et passé à tabac par les sbires de Ben Ali, Hamma Hammami a toujours défendu ses convictions communistes révolutionnaires.”

    See more at: http://www.lepartidegauche.fr/actualites/actualite/le-parti-gauche-recoit-une-delegation-front-populaire-26483#sthash.SLB374UK.dpuf

    Andrew Coates

    January 18, 2014 at 5:05 pm

  13. Islamic-based parties hardly have a great record in representing the working-class or peasant movements. In many cases their cadre is focused heavily on the petty-bourgeoisie or educated groups who specialise in theological study, and much of their funding comes from the typically proletarian states like Saudi Arabia and the Emirates. In Turkey the ‘reformed’ Islamic party is very friendly to business interests. Like ‘secularists’, Islamists also have a range of different political positions, ranging from the capitalist Turkish party to the ultra-reactionary Taliban.

    Igor Belanov

    January 18, 2014 at 5:06 pm

  14. If I have ‘low morals’, I must be a member of the ‘indecent left’. I really think you need to think more deeply about bourgois liberal democracy and the relation of the workers’ movement to it. As Andrew has asked you to make clear your attitude towards the main trade unions in Tunisia (and Egypt), perhaps you sould answer the question. Also, why adopt such a silly pen-name, if you don’t want ribald jokes? I take it you are some sort of Stalinist, and of-course the guiding principle of Stalinism is defence of the Soviet Union, or as it now is, Russia. When I said even Stalin supported liberal democracy, I had forgotten that when it suited him ie the Hitler-Stalin Pact, he didn’t.

    Sue R

    January 18, 2014 at 10:21 pm

  15. Incidentally, I looked up the issue of land grabs in Africa by various more developed powers. Firstly let me say, the Afraican people themselves should be developing their own country and benefitting from its resources. Secondly, how is that situation going to be arrived at when there is widespread corruption and tribalism. It’s all very well proclaim anti-imperialism, the question is ‘what are you going to do about it?’.

    Sue R

    January 18, 2014 at 11:01 pm

  16. The UGTT are seriously compromised by their actions during the struggle for democracy against Ben Ali, and even more so in its servile relation to his anti democratic regime. The UGTT effectively acted as sectarians against the class they claim to represent. That is very common among the petty bourgeois left! In Tunisia over 50% identify with Islamism and not even 5% with socialism, but who can blame people from sticking 2 fingers up to the petty bourgeois? The most annoying section of any society! The bottom line is that socialists have a great deal of work to do in order to win over the masses. They should be minded of past mistakes. They should close their ear to bourgeois liberals and radicals.

    Tunisia is another classic example of what ‘liberals’ and ‘secularists’ deliver when they don’t get their own way – tyranny! People are quickly realising that the only thing liberal democrats stand form is a form of class domination. Today they support elections, tomorrow they line people up against the wall! And what is most sickening they get on their high horses while doing it! Do as I say and not as I do is the motto of the liberals and secularists.

    Sue R – time for you to go and take a long hard look in the mirror but I wan’t no part of your dark, cold and bitter soul.

    Socialism In One Bedroom

    January 19, 2014 at 8:45 pm

  17. delete its ‘’freedom of conscience’’ clause. The statement claims this language would pave the way for “satanism” and “homosexuality.”

    A very interesting snapshot of the salafist’s ‘bucket list’ to be sure.

    Red Skippy

    January 20, 2014 at 8:57 pm

  18. […] Now he has received death threats. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: