This week, the Tunisian parliamentary groups have each delivered their vision of the tenor of the Constitution which should provide the country. The debate held Tuesday, February 28 at the National Constituent Assembly on the subject, relayed by the Tunisian newspaper Assabah Arabic, saw different visions confront. Although still significant convergence on the nature of the state "civil and democratic, where the people are sovereign, the separation of powers, guarantee, and a return to despotism, forever prohibited."
Where disagreements remain, however, this is the place of Islam in the new Constitution. The Islamist movement Ennahdha, a majority in the Constituent National Assembly with 89 seats, advocates a constitution deeply imbued with the values of Islam. "The principles of the constitution must be based on three main references: the system of Islamic values, the Tunisian reformist legacy and achievements of humanity, without fanaticism, confinement or defeatism," argued Sahbi Atig, head of Parliamentary Group of Ennahdha.
"FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THOUGHT"
"Religion is not a private matter but a public and a lifestyle, one that seeks to isolate the Islamic political structure waiting to Islamic thought," continued Sahbi Atig, stating that "the State is not religious in our design, but civil, based on the principle of free choice, where the people are the source of legitimacy." The Ennahdha will work to develop "a Constitution respecting the fundamental rights of citizens, freedom of religion, thought, habit, and criminalizing all forms of torture," he said, in essence.
Other parliamentary groups go even further and claim a constitution fundamentally based on Islam. The People's Petition suggests that "Islam is the main source of legislation, given that the Koran preaches justice and shura [consultation] and prohibits the exploitation of the poor". This training without political affiliation declared, created by Hachmi Hamdi, a Tunisian expatriate in London today on suspicion of working covertly for the old regime, was the surprise in the elections on October 23 by getting third place.
Freedom and dignity, a parliamentary group of twelve members, consisting of small parties, advocates a constitution in line with sharia. "We want to be stipulated in the constitution that our language is Arabic, Islam, our religion, the Koran, the Sunna, and the unanimity of the fuqaha [jurists], our main sources of legislation," said Mohamed Nejib Hosni, representative of the group.
THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CALLS THE INTRODUCTION "TO SOCIAL RIGHTS"
The opposition represented by the Democratic Party - a broad coalition including the Democratic Progressive Party of Nejib Chebbi, and Afek Tunes - sees things differently. "The spirit of the constitution must learn from our history three thousand years, our original reference is our Arab-Muslim identity, and at the same time, our desire for openness, progress and inspiration to all civilizations, "argued Fadhel Moussa, representative of the group. He preached "respect for the foundations of the state civil rights and freedoms, including freedom of worship, and that of civil society, so that it is influential." He pleaded, moreover, for the introduction "of social and economic rights in the new constitution, like labor rights, decent housing, education, health ...".
Within the ruling coalition, the question of the role of Islam also divided. Among the allies of Ennahdha, if the Congress for the Republic stressed the need to respect the "Arab-Muslim identity," the group Ettakatol, that of chairman of the meeting, Mustapaha Ben Jaafar, pleads for him " a constitution capable of laying the foundations for a democratic and civic republican regime "and calls" to separate religion from politics. " "We will work to establish a republican calendar that has nothing to do with what is called the Islamic republics, or republics based on the military institutions. The state must protect people's identity, rooted in Arabism and its Islamic identity, and interaction with the values of modernity. A state that guarantees freedom of worship work to prevent the use of religion in political action, "argued Mouldi Riahi, for group Ettakatol.