Tunisia Rejects Sharia Law

Despite having an Islamist majority, Tunisia’s governing body rejected Sharia law during a vote Saturday and instead opted for civil law in its brand-new constitution. Islam has been established as the state religion, but the constitution promises freedom of conscious. Mosques and other places of worship are still off-limits for political activity, with Wafa party member Azed Badi saying without it, “satanists and idolaters” could “organize public events … to spread their beliefs.” Only 12 of the 146 proposed articles have been approved, leaving some concerned the assembly will not reach the January 14 deadline for the new constitution. The vote came 10 days ahead of the two-year anniversary of the coup that ousted dictator Zine El Abidine—and set in motion the Arab Spring.