Protest calls for Islam-based Tunisia constitution

AP News
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Posted: Mar 16, 2012 5:31 PM
Protest calls for Islam-based Tunisia constitution

About 8,000 Islamists have demonstrated outside Tunisia's constitutional assembly calling for a charter based on Islamic law.

The crowd, mostly bearded men and heavily veiled women, called on Friday for the assembly charged with writing the country's new constitution to apply Islamic law to Tunisia, a country once known for its secular traditions.

Tunisians overthrew President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali one year ago and in October elected a constituent assembly to write a new constitution. Since the fall of Ben Ali, a very vocal minority of ultraconservative Muslims known as Salafis have emerged calling for greater piety in society.

A moderate Islamist party dominates the assembly but governs in alliance with secular parties.