A key proposal by Tunisia’s ruling Islamist party to outlaw blasphemy in the new constitution, which stoked fears of creeping Islamisation, is to be dropped from the final text, Assembly speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar told AFP.
The agreement to drop the clause follows negotiations between the three parties in the ruling coalition and must still be approved by the committees drafting the constitution, which Jaafar said would be debated by parliament next month.
It comes after President Moncef Marzouki warned that militants pose a “great danger” to the Maghreb region, and following a wave of violent attacks — blamed on Salafists — on targets ranging from works of art to the US embassy.
“There will certainly be no criminalisation,” Jaafar, the 72-year-old speaker of the National Constituent Assembly, said in an exclusive interview.
Two things: First...just because Tunisia will not validate "blasphemy laws" officially, do you think that those who support them would give up enforcing them in their own sick, twisted and violent ways? No...of course not.“That is not because we have agreed to (allow) attacks on the sacred, but because the sacred is something very, very difficult to define. Its boundaries are blurred and one could interpret it in one way or another, in an exaggerated way,” he added.
Second, there was a reason that George Lucas chose Tunisia to represent the most desolate, desparate and drecrepit planet in the Star Wars galaxy. Having been there, I can tell you it was an inspired choice. The damn place is infested with intolerant and abusive Tusken Raiders (aka: sand people) and folks like Ennahdha leader Rached Ghannouchi who is dreaming of a Sharia world.