Monday, June 12, 2017

Mouch Bessif (Not against our will)

In the Arab Spring revolution, Tunisia became the ONLY Arab state to succeed in overthrowing its dictatorship and democratizing its political system.

Wikipedia says (extracts):

On 23 October 2011, citizens voted in the first post-revolution election to elect representatives to a 217-member constituent assembly that would be responsible for the new constitution. The leading Islamist party, Ennahda, won 37% of the vote, and managed to elect 42 women to the Constituent Assembly.

On 26 January 2014, a new constitution was elected. The constitution is seen as progressive, increases human rights, gender equality, government duties toward people, lays the ground for a new parliamentary system and makes Tunisia a decentralized and open government.

On 26 October 2014, the country held its first parliamentary elections since the 2011 Arab Spring and its presidentials on 23 November 2014, finishing its transition to a democratic state. These elections were characterized by the fall in popularity of Ennahdha, for the secular Nidaa Tounes party, which became the first party of the country.

The Observer reported that Fadhel Moussa, dean of Faculté des Sciences Juridiques (Tunisia’s law school), the head of the judiciary committee of the Constituent Assembly and member of the secularist bloc, when asked about religion, said

The first question centered on the role of religion within the state. Moussa pointed to the provision of the constitution that he thought was most important, Article 2: “Tunisia is a civil state that is based on citizenship, the will of the people, and the supremacy of law.”

The phrase “civil state” was meant to represent a state based on citizenship, law and constitution while also proclaiming that the religion and identity of the people of Tunisia is Islam. 

Tunisians developed their own role of religion within the state, carefully balancing values of citizenship for all with Islamic heritage. Moussa anticipated significant work would be done in Tunisia’s courts in the coming years to determine how these values balanced out.

Meanwhile, Meherzia Labidi, vice president of the Constituent Assembly, a member of Ennahda (a moderate Islamist political party,
 explained that working together, the leadership of Ennahda made the decision to keep the word “shariah” out of the constitution because they were concerned the word’s association with violent movements elsewhere would divide Tunisians.

But in 2014, 3 years after the Arab Spring revolution, elections were characterized by the fall in popularity of Ennahdha, for the secular Nidaa Tounes party, which became the first party of the country.

In other words, secularism became far more popular than religious parties.

With these as a background, today we read:

June 12, 2017


Following a call by the "Mouch Bessif" (Arabic for "Not against our will") group, protesters in central Tunis shouted that "Individual freedom is guaranteed by the constitution!"


TUNIS: Dozens of Tunisians demonstrated Sunday to demand the right to eat and drink in public during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and to protest against non-fasters being arrested.

There is no law against eating or drinking in public during Ramadan, but every year the issue comes to the fore in the North African country.

Tunisia’s constitution guarantees “freedom of belief and conscience”, but the state is also the “guardian of religion”.

Following a call by the “Mouch Bessif” (Arabic for “Not against our will”) group, protesters in central Tunis shouted that “Individual freedom is guaranteed by the constitution!”

One man openly smoking a cigarette — this is also deemed unacceptable during Ramadan daylight hours — held a placard in French that asked: “Why does it bother you if you fast and I eat?”

Demonstrators also protested against the arrest of people who were not fasting

At the beginning of June, four men were sentenced to a month in jail for “public indecency” after eating outside during daylight.

“We’re protesting about lawsuits against non-fasters… Whoever wants to fast can fast, but whoever doesn’t want to shouldn’t have to,” demonstrator Karim Chair told AFP.

Since the 2011 revolution there have been calls for the right not to fast, but this was the first time such a demonstration has taken place in Tunisia.

“I fast but I came to join this protest and call with these people for respect for the freedom of belief and conscience,” said another demonstrator, Kamel Jalouli.

Most cafes and restaurants in Tunisia close during the day in Ramadan, and those that open do so discreetly.

As this year’s fasting month began, a media-oriented preacher went round cafes open during the day to record footage of clients and shame them in a move that was heavily criticised on social networks.

Bear in mind, Tunisians are Arabs.

They are NOT shrugging off Islam but only the power of the ulama to impose laws not in their Constitution.


  1. If left to truly open elections, the populations of most Muslim-dominated countries today would elect an Islamic theocracy with Shariah as the supreme law.

    That's why Western countries ultimately soured on the Arab Spring, apart from the disaster in Libya and the tragedy of Syria. It is a case of Be Careful What You Ask For.

    1. Tunisia proved you wrong

    2. one swallow does not make a summer le!!!!

      The current stage of Tunisia doesn't imply the future outcome of her statehood.

      In fact, it's pessimistically trending towards an islamic failed state like MANY before her!

      When Shahanshah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi force-marched the liberalised Iranians to modernization, he was overthrown & replaced by a backward looking theocratic government on the 11 February 1979 Iranian Revolution.

      The Phalavi Iran was oppressive & cruel. BUT the sopo trend then was liberal & modern.

      However the mindset of the then Iranians has been deeply indoctrinated by the inflexibility of the islamic dogmas & promises under the theocratic regime.

      Furthermore, u have a group of manipulative silo-minded ayatollahs, using their religious position as the focus point of changes.

      Any wonder, that the majority, mostly the down&throtten pools, would rally to the call of theocracy?

      In short, ANYTHING​ touches by the archiac Islam is bad news. Islam can only be rebirth with his promised iman Mahadi, who could possibly bring a renewed & forward looking disciplines into Islam, just like Martin Luther re-interpreted​ the teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church into the new Protestant Reformation.

      Until then, any wishes for a modernized, liberal & successful islamic government IS pure dream!

  2. Fasting in Ramadan is obligatory upon every responsible and fit Muslim. Muslims fast and do more acts of worship during the month of Ramadan.

    But granted that there is no law to check Muslim's behavior or compel him/her to observe fasting.

    Nevertheless, Article 222 of Morocco's Penal Code, dating from the French, states that “ a person commonly known to be Muslim who violates the fast in a public place during Ramadan, without having one of the justifications allowed by Islam (such as travelling or sickness), shall be punished by one to six months in prison”.

    And in Pakistan, the Ehteram-e-Ramadan Ordinance, which has been in force since 1981, which stipulates that "during the month of Ramadan, eating or drinking in public, by people who are under obligation to do so, is unlawful".

    Having quoted the above, is forcing Muslim NOT to eat or drink in public is against the very basic fundamental human rights? Enforcing respect for religion canNOT and must NOT come at the violation of human rights? Can Anwar Ibrahim or Khalid Samad or Mat Sabu to answer those questions, please.

    By the by, have we ever heard of Muslims being attacked by the religious authorities in their private homes because they eat, drink alcohol and have sex in the day time during Ramadan?

    If one wants to sin or to insult Allah, shouldn't he/she be discrete?  Of course la the Aethists and Libertines would back the Muslim non-fasters!  To them this is good for business, modernity, and international recognition. Afterall, they are the inventors of human rights! Wakakaka..

    Eating in public during fasting time is a clear challenge and trouble-making act. It’s and intentional act calling every other Muslim to do the same. Where is your decency, huh Tunisians..?

    1. quote Of course la the Aethists and Libertines would back the Muslim non-fasters! unquote

      What a malicious speculation.

      It's none of our business, but the questions you should ask have been asked by yourself, freewill as bestowed by Allah swt.

      Does "Free will" by humans (Muslims) mean only "free will" dictated by the ulama?

    2. The secularists established Human Rights only to permit the ease of abuse of free will.

      Free will is NOT limitless absolute or else it will be opened to abuse. It must be exercised within certain bounds and with social and or religious responsibility. Kalau tak? Havoc!

      Excuse me Kate.. What malicious speculation? Wakakaka.. hello my dearest, bukankah you sendiri said ALL Nons are anti Syariah.. anti hudud... eventhough it is with our own free will that we wanted it to be implemented for us? tsk..tsk..tsk..

    3. quote eventhough it is with our own free will that we wanted it to be implemented for us? unquote


    4. Sepertimana yang terkandung di dalam usul rang undang-undang (RUU) persendirian bagi meminda Akta Mahkamah Syariah (Bidang Kuasa Jenayah) (RUU 355) oleh Presiden PAS Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

    5. The recent events of Brexit, Trump presidency & the latest UK election result prove that polling surveys r mostly bulls.


      So, kalau macam tu, mana dapat majoriti kaum blur-sotongs + zombies nak sokong ruu355??

      Dalam mimpi basah ke?

      In that wet dream, do these groups of beings exercise FREE will ke or been THREATENED​ by the 3P of hukum syariah ke??

      Where's that damned statistic le??

    6. Bro Hasan, being anti Hudud does not mean encouraging Muslims to break fast during Ramadan daylight hours

  3. Hope the Malays in Malaysia and Singapore can see that the UlarMaks can be beaten.