Salafists’ use of violence to impose their ideas and opinions would abolish the democracy the state is seeking to establish.
To these religious groups that want to impose their lifestyle and behaviour under the banner of the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice, I say that prevention of evil is the prerogative of the state exclusively. No one is entitled to “promote virtue and prevent vice” on his own.
Salafists pose a threat to rationality by dealing literally with the text as it appears to them, without being thorough. They deny the ability of Islam to regenerate and also deny Islam’s ability to accommodate reality; they would impose a return to the third century.
Rather than developing their minds and coming to grips with the progress of life, they are demanding the rejection of reality and a return to previous eras. This is a crazy request.
They impose on people their take on faith and engage in arguments that are in fact mazes dating back centuries.
They imposed on us the veil and a dress we are not familiar with, and a character foreign to our country. I ask them if there is a religious dress in Islam. Did the prophet change the way he used to dress? Isn’t part of the tolerance of Islam not to impose a special mode of dress on countries that it conquered?
We want women to be active in the community, while the salafists are forcing them to wear the niqab and stay home. They take their children out of scientific colleges and enrol them instead in religious schools.
Are we as an Islamic nation going to advance only through Islamic law? I tell them that your beds and your food are made by the West; you are not a source of pride for Islam. They did nothing for Islam except disperse the Umma.
Among those who seek to impose Islamic law on the public are perverted youth who served time in prison. Now they believe that militancy in religion will wipe out their pasts as sinners. Their thinking is superficial because they did not learn the basis of Islam. Superficiality strengthens their ignorance. They do not read, do not think and do not accept those who disagree with their opinions. Instead they treat them as heretics.
It is time for Tunisians to pay more attention to this phenomenon and for the authorities to act decisively and apply laws against all offenders. The state must be based on moderate tenets that respect differences within society.
As time goes by, signs of religiosity become more apparent… more
In all states where the winds of the Arab Spring… more
Random acts of violence seeking to impose a different order… more