Islam not to be basis of new Tunisian constitution

AP News
Posted: Mar 26, 2012 9:33 AM
Islam not to be basis of new Tunisian constitution

A top official in Tunisia's ruling Islamist Ennahda Party says Islamic law will not be enshrined in the country's new constitution, preserving the North African nation's civil state.

Tunisia has witnessed competing protests by thousands of secularists and Islamists recently over the role of Islamic law in the new constitution.

Ziad Doulatli of Ennahda Party said Monday the first article of the constitution would remain same as it had under the country's secular dictators.

Islamists had wanted a line added saying that Shariah, Islamic law, would be the basis of the country's legislation.

Many Muslim countries, including Egypt, stipulate a central role for Shariah.

Leftists and liberals in Tunisia had feared that the ruling Ennahda would attempt to Islamize the country.