Sunday, 4 December 2011

Bye Bye Egypt

Advocates of strict Shariaa law
Islamist hardliners in Egypt, buoyed by their electoral success, are causing anxiety among liberals as they present their conservative vision for the country 10 months after its revolution.

The focus of much of the anguish among liberals is Hazem Abu Ismail, an independent candidate for the presidency who follows the ultra-conservative Salafi brand of Islam dominant in Saudi Arabia.

The main political party grouping together Salafi candidates, Al-Nur, is projected to sweep up to 20 percent of the vote from this week's elections, making them the surprise success in the first phase of multi-stage polls.

Ismail, in a television interview broadcast on Thursday, declared that all Muslim women wanted to be veiled and that unmarried young men and women should not be seen together in public.

Mixed sex workplaces were "unacceptable," he said, while the production and public consumption of alcohol should be banned.

Pointing to the expected strong showing of Islamist parties in tourist areas around the Red Sea popular with Western holidaymakers, he said voters had chosen them "to preserve their honour."

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Oh and not to forget  Tunisia

TUNIS - Thousands of Islamist supporters descended on central Tunis Saturday to confront demonstrators rallying against extremism and corruption as lawmakers draft a new constitution for Tunisia.

Separated by barriers and police, Islamists shouted insults at liberals other outside the Bardo Palace where the constitution is being compiled after a vote that saw Islamist Ennahda party win most seats on the drafting body.

The Islamists waved Ennahda flags but also the black banners of the hardline Salafist Hiz Tahrir, which has not been legalised in the North African country.

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