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Young Tunisians See Future in Shari`ah

Published: 28/02/2013 05:18:09 PM GMT
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CAIRO - Amid political turmoil in the birthplace of the Arab Spring, young Muslims in Tunisia see a better future for their country in the application of Islamic Shari`ah. Shari`ah is a whole world, Hamada Ben Amor, a Tun (more)

CAIRO - Amid political turmoil in the birthplace of the Arab Spring, young Muslims in Tunisia see a better future for their country in the application of Islamic Shari`ah.

"Shari`ah is a whole world," Hamada Ben Amor, a Tunisian rapper, told Deutsche Welle.

"In Shari`ah there is law and science. There are scientists from all over the world who have found answers in the Qur'an.”

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Tunisia was the birthplace of Arab Spring revolutions that led to the downfall of autocratic leaders in several Arab countries.

But two years after the ouster of President Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia is still going through political turbulence.

The turmoil degenerated into violence earlier this month after a secular opposition was shot dead.

The assassination has brought the ruling Islamist Ennahda party into storm with protests in several Tunisian cities.

After the killing, Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali proposed forming a cabinet of apolitical technocrats, a proposal that met opposition from his own Ennahda party or its secular coalition partners.

But for Ben Amor, he sees that the application of Islamic Shari`ah is the way-out of the current unrest in Tunisia.

“It is a comfort and a luxury,” said the 23-year-old, who made his name as a unifying figure, using music to bring together those who called for change.

“Under Shari`ah all Tunisians will be brothers and sisters. Shari`ah is the one solution.”

In Islam, Shari`ah govern issues in Muslims' lives from daily prayers to fasting and from to inheritance and marital cases to financial disputes.

The Islamic rulings, however, do not apply on non-Muslims, even if in a dispute with non-Muslims.


Ben Amor is disappointed in the ruling Islamist party Ennahda.

“I am against the current government because it betrayed its promises, it betrayed people's expectations," he said.

Frustration is growing among many Tunisians over the lack of progress in the country, two years after the revolution.

Estimates show that one in every five Tunisians is jobless.

"Ennahda, the party in power, is more political than religious and this is what is disappointing," Ben Amor said.

Ennahda leader Rachid Ghannouchi predicted on Tuesday that a new coalition government will be unveiled this week to help resolve the current crisis.

"I expect that agreement will be reached and that Jebali will remain the prime minister of a coalition government," he said.

Ghannouchi, who returned from exile to a hero's welcome in Tunisia days after Ben Ali's ouster, said he was disappointed at the lack of social and economic progress in the country.

"People are angry because they feel the revolution did not change their lives," he said.

Despite his disappointment, Ben Amor finds solace in rap.

He translates his dreams of an Islamic state free of corruption into songs as “I Wish”, which calls for Tunisia to become an Islamic state, part of an Arabic world without borders.

"When I first started to sing I wanted to go back to the roots of rap that emerged in the 1970s in the United States," he said.

"This rap openly criticized government, corruption and racism. That was the kind of rap that I wanted to do. I did not want to do light rap.“I wanted it have weight, to have a message and to convey my anger against the government."

Reproduced with permission from