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← Petition: Guarantee human rights in Tunisia’s new constitution

Petition: Guarantee human rights in Tunisia’s new constitution - Comments

Sjoerd Westenborg's Avatar Comment 1 by Sjoerd Westenborg

Signed. Don't see a clause about secularism though.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 16:30:46 UTC | #925403

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 2 by AtheistEgbert

Here is the problem: A constitution influenced or written externally to the people of a nation could be considered illegitimate, as it is up to the people themselves in creating a constitution. This would not be a problem so much if it was a Western nation, which had learned the lessons of the Enlightenment, but we're talking about the Arab world here.

And so this is the state of the NCA so far according to wikipedia:

On 10 December 2011, the assembly adopted a provisional constitution[7] (Law on the provisional organisation of public powers)[8] According to articles VIII and IX of the document, the requirements for the eligibility as president are exclusive Tunisian nationality (excluding citizens with dual nationality), having Tunisian parentage, religious affiliation to Islam, and an age of 35 years or more.[9] 141 delegates approved of the law, 37 voted against, and 39 abstained.

And so it's already game over for secularism. Remember we've discussed how vital it is that the principle of Secularism is upheld to protect individuals against religious persecution.

Much of the people influencing this small elite of Constitution writers are from the Ennahda Movement, a 'moderate' Islamic political party, which has the following policy:

The party wishes to revise the strong secular, Arab nationalist, and socialist principles that predominate among the other parties, and instead allow Islam into public life and be more accommodating to other viewpoints such as closer relations with the West and greater economic freedom. The party currently rejects radical Islamism as a form of governance appropriate for Tunisia; in a debate with a secular opponent Al-Ghannushi stated, “Why are we put in the same place as a model that is far from our thought, like the Taliban or the Saudi model, while there are other successful Islamic models that are close to us, like the Turkish, the Malaysian and the Indonesian models; models that combine Islam and modernity?

I consider any Islamic involvement in the state, especially Islam, as eventually leading towards a radical and fundamentalist Islamic society. I don't know of any stable and successful Islamic country that has progressed independently towards its own Enlightenment.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 18:59:20 UTC | #925441

foundationist's Avatar Comment 3 by foundationist

Comment 2 by AtheistEgbert :

I consider any Islamic involvement in the state, especially Islam, as eventually leading towards a radical and fundamentalist Islamic society. I don't know of any stable and successful Islamic country that has progressed independently towards its own Enlightenment.

Yes, that is a very worrying prospect, and I surely hope that the final draft of the constitution won't have any requirements of religious affiliation for holding a particular office, and if it did that would be a real evil that we should campaign against.

But I think every item on the list drafted by AI that's going to make it into the final costitution will be a step in the right direction, so let's hope for the best.

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 20:36:06 UTC | #925457

tadmjones's Avatar Comment 4 by tadmjones

Why would anyone endorse a petition such as this that calls for such antihumanist principles, social and economic rights? You do not see that these concepts do not apply to individuals? There can be no right to a thing or condition unless somehow you are able to force another to provide it. A petition of this sort shouyld emphasise the supreme importance of recognizing and protecting individual rights. So that humans are free to live their lives as they see fit, and not to empower some group to have power over them in order to force them to live to some collectivist dictate of nonsensical scheme or collective rights.

You guys are from europe huh?

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 21:09:16 UTC | #925462

ShinobiYaka's Avatar Comment 5 by ShinobiYaka

Comment 4 by tadmjones

“You guys are from Europe huh?”

You can tell? I did take the trouble to capitalise “Europe” for you, the Europeans can get a bit cranky about things like that, but yes you do make a valid point, for instance the American Constitution is four pages (4,543 words) and that includes the signatures, the European Constitution on the other hand is 855 pages (156,447-words) I think the American constitution would fit on eleven pages of the same size, now what does that tell us?

In relation to the original post, personally I think that the form and content of the Constitution of Tunisia is a matter for Tunisians surely? I only hope they make a better job of it than that ship of fools in Brussels, or maybe there are some here who think we should write the Tunisian Constitution for them, you know just in case they include something we don’t like or get the spelling wrong, or maybe we could insert amendments we would like to see included in “their” Constitution?

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 22:32:19 UTC | #925480

mmurray's Avatar Comment 6 by mmurray

Comment 5 by ShinobiYaka :

In relation to the original post, personally I think that the form and content of the Constitution of Tunisia is a matter for Tunisians surely?

People really do need to get over this idea. It's a global world. Everything we do affects everyone else. My concern about how other people are treated doesn't end at some imaginary line on a map. Human rights are human rights there isn't a Tunisian, Saudi Arabian, Chinese, US, EC or Australian version.

Michael

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 22:40:45 UTC | #925481

Tony d's Avatar Comment 7 by Tony d

@Comment 6 by mmurray

Who's ideals are the highest.Who get's to decide about what rights we all collectively as humans should have? I hope we are evolving into that but i don't think we are very close to it yet.

Fri, 09 Mar 2012 01:41:03 UTC | #925508

mmurray's Avatar Comment 8 by mmurray

Comment 7 by Tony d :

@Comment 6 by mmurray

Who's ideals are the highest.Who get's to decide about what rights we all collectively as humans should have? I hope we are evolving into that but i don't think we are very close to it yet.

We are humans. We negotiate. Actually we have already negotiated it's called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It's not perfect, particularly not on matters of sexuality and they forgot the line that gives all children the right to be raised without a religion but it's a good start.

What we don't do is declare that we aren't even allowed have a discussion because over there it's another country and they do things differently. I don't buy geographical boundaries as an excuse for behaving badly anymore than I do religious or cultural boundaries.

Michael

Fri, 09 Mar 2012 02:35:48 UTC | #925520

Tony d's Avatar Comment 9 by Tony d

@Comment 8 by mmurray

Thanks for the link,

I see Syria voted in favour of the Declaration.

And i also noticed

Article 7 All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Which doesn't seem to sit well with the value of a women's testimony as opposed to that of a man's under Sharia law.

We seem to fall rather short of our ideals.

Fri, 09 Mar 2012 03:04:01 UTC | #925525

Corylus's Avatar Comment 10 by Corylus

Comment 9 by Tony d :

We seem to fall rather short of our ideals.

Then we must continue to raise them - so that the falling short becomes less and less extreme.

Fri, 09 Mar 2012 16:45:33 UTC | #925648

zengardener's Avatar Comment 11 by zengardener

Comment 8 by M. Murray

Spot on.

Comment 2 by AtheistEgbert

Ennahda Movement

“Why are we put in the same place as a model that is far from our thought, like the Taliban or the Saudi model, while there are other successful Islamic models that are close to us, like the Turkish, the Malaysian and the Indonesian models; models that combine Islam and modernity?"

Not completely successful by my standards.

Fri, 09 Mar 2012 19:58:25 UTC | #925694

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 12 by Alan4discussion

Starting a civil war was never a basis for improving human rights! Only wishful thinking and silly journalists suggest that regime over-throw must lead to something better! History mostly suggests otherwise.

Sat, 10 Mar 2012 11:56:16 UTC | #925860

foundationist's Avatar Comment 13 by foundationist

Comment 12 by Alan4discussion :

Starting a civil war was never a basis for improving human rights!

Well, not exactly never. There are numerous examples in history where starting a revolution and overthrowing an oppressive regime has improved human rights by leaps and bounces. The example nearest to hand is of course the USA, but there are many others, like Haiti or India, even Russia, both in 1917 and 1991, and Gemany in 1918.

Sat, 10 Mar 2012 20:56:39 UTC | #925966

ccw95005's Avatar Comment 14 by ccw95005

I prefer to spend my time on things that have at least a miniscule chance of coming to fruition. Signing that petition amounts to making one feel good about oneself while accomplishing zilch.

Wed, 14 Mar 2012 01:28:30 UTC | #926814

PERSON's Avatar Comment 15 by PERSON

Comment 5 by ShinobiYaka :

In relation to the original post, personally I think that the form and content of the Constitution of Tunisia is a matter for Tunisians surely?

I don't buy geographical boundaries as an excuse for behaving badly anymore than I do religious or cultural boundaries.

Try telling that to Americans. A lot of them subscribe to sovereignty so they are unaccountable to the rest of us, whilst conveniently ignoring (though perhaps ineffectively condemning) their own country's foreign policy and treaties such as the ban on aeroplane fuel tax. Drone strikes against Salt Lake City or Colorado Springs by Pakistan, anyone? Obviously the religious groups I'm comparing here don't operate under the same conditions, and so have different tactics. That is to say Mormons and Fundies don't have an incentive to be suicide bombers as they get their way a lot of the time, loathe as they are to admit it. But isn't sovereignty absolute? Further, the Pakistanis had no say in the drone strikes, so if they happened to assess the Mormons to be a threat, the equivalent would be that the US had no say in the matter.

The same's true of the UK, thinking about it; consider the fuss there has been about the slightest intervention agreed amongst the countries of Europe. As far as I'm aware, UK foreign policy has been on the whole since the 1970s less aggressive than the US'. Suez was the 60s. There was NI (still is to some extent, I guess, though policy seems much less actively aggressive), the Falklands, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq. Perhaps there are others I'm ignorant of. I don't think the UK has as many foreign military bases per capita, either.

Wed, 04 Apr 2012 09:18:25 UTC | #932279