Tunisian Islamist party says religion, politics are one
7/8/2012 10:00:03 PM -
TUNIS (AFP) - Tunisia's ultra-conservative Salafist Reform Front, which advocates Islamic law, or sharia, met for the first time on Sunday and urged the authorities to renounce the separation of politics and religion.
Mohamed Khouja, head of the Islamist movement made legal in March, told AFP the call was being made to the constituent assembly "that sharia be inscribed as the sole source of legislation" in Tunisia.
Foued Ben Salah, a member of the party's political bureau, said: "Separating religion and politics is a major mistake, since politics is the management of people's affairs."
Some 300 members of the Reform Front met in the capital to hear officials put forward their programme that aims to turn Tunisia into an Islamic state.
Khouja said of rioting that engulfed several parts of the country on June 11 and 12, in which one person was killed and more than 100 wounded, that those who took part should participate in political life.
"Many young people have not found anyone who listens to them," he said.
"We understand them, and that is why we are trying to attract and enroll them" in the Reform Front, so they can help "to construct the new Tunisia."
The constituent assembly, the interim body tasked with drafting a new constitution and preparing fresh elections, is dominated by a tripartite coalition of the Islamist Ennahda and two centre-left parties, the Congress for the Republic and Ettakatol.
In March, Ennahda (Renaissance), the country's main political grouping, said sharia would not be inscribed in Tunisian basic law, much to the relief of its coalition partners.