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Tunisian priest foresees moderate sharia, urges trust in new leadership

CWN - October 28, 2011

The national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Tunisia is urging the nation’s tiny Christian minority to have confidence in the nation’s new leadership. The Renaissance Party (Ennahda)--Tunisia’s major Islamic party--claimed victory in the nation’s first democratic election since its 1956 independence from France

“The Ennahdha party leaders have made very interesting statements, which we want to believe in,” said Father Jawad Alamat. “They said, for example, that religious minorities will be respected, as well as freedom of worship and that they will keep an open door towards the West. The promise to keep everything that Tunisia has gained as personal rights is very important, rather, they will be improved. Let us give them confidence.”

“When you start talking about the sharia law, we must not immediately think of countries where it is applied in the most conservative and restrictive way,” he added. “We must not be afraid of these values of Islam, because they represent a need arising from the research of one’s own identity. One should listen to our Muslim friends who say that within the sharia there are values that make culture.”

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  • Posted by: Salome - Oct. 28, 2011 7:15 AM ET USA

    Moderate sharia = Christians can only repair their places of worship, or replace them or build new ones after going through miles of government red tape, and then as long as nobody suddenly declares a mosque to be set up next door. Strict sharia = Christians can't do any of these things at all.

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