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Sharia : Perspectives from a Tunisian Blogger / recht als Kultur ( Bonn)

I am Muslim essentially because I was born in Tunisia. I could also have been born Catholic Christian in Rome, a Protestant in Germany or a Buddhist in Cambodia. What I am trying to say is that religious affiliation is often the product of chance and that only very few people on this earth have truly freely chosen to be Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist or Animist by themselves… Generally, those who have had the good or bad fortune of choosing are those who moved from one religion to another or to atheism, from one rite to another, from one sect to another , from one school to another or from one brotherhood to another within the same religion…

By the same logic, it is essentially because I was born a Tunisian Muslim that I belong to the dominant Sunni Maliki rite. I could have belonged to the minority rite of “Ibadhism” to whom the family of my paternal grandmother belonged.

Had I been born in Saudi Arabia, I would have been Wahabi , in Iraq I could have been Shiite and in Senegal I could have been Tijani.

I am telling you this because in my opinion, the question of belonging or identity, particularly when seen from the perspective of religion in particular and culture in general, is both simple and complex. And for many, it is the product of chance.

It is because such is the nature of religion, it would appear to me, that it gives rise to all this enthusiasm, all these debates, all these controversies and even all this pain…But this is just an aspect of our debate that I mention in passing in order to find an introduction to what I wish to express regarding my personal position on the Sharia as a blogger- but also, and especially, as a Tunisian citizen.

Others are better placed than me to deal with this question in a fundamental and cognitive fashion. The different lectures we have heard confirmed this. I must admit that up to few months ago, the question of Sharia never was one of my priorities…

I lived my religion in serenity. A believer? Yes. A practitioner? No. I only debated questions of religion or Sharia in situations where they were incidental to the hijab or observing the fast, for example…

And when, together with bloggers from my country, we attempted to participate in one manner or another in the awakening of our people and the uprising against the dictatorship, it was-very far even-from my mind that we would find ourselves confronted with this difficult duality: civil society/ religious state!

And this is why I, like many others, felt a sense of failure, if not total desolation.

As a young, educated woman, open to the world and from a family in which I have never felt inferior because of my status as a woman, I aspired to collective and individual liberties in their HUMAN sense, that is to say human rights as those of all people without regard to gender, race, nation, or place of life.
I did not considered my self, belittled, treated as inferior, or obliged to hide in order to live the way I want to…

The revolution, of which I personally lived through the majority of the turning points and events, gave me no cause to identify claims to identity, religion and the sacred. Our claims were rather the right to work, social equity, development for all and for all our regions, and the right to be true CITIZENS in terms of rights and obligations.

The first Shock I experienced in this matter was when people –including my father –were attacked, shoved over and harassed simply because they went to see  a movie that  was deemed blasphemous by their aggressors and their backers…

Next, one disappointment followed the other and the questionings became more and more painful… Campaigns against those favoring the separation of religion and state, modernists, the “Occidentalized”, the unbelievers, the enemies of Islam, the enemies of God… False quarrels provoked and revived each and everyday … The enlightened came to “Islamicize” us, to lead us on the right path…Voices demanding polygamy, marriage according to custom and even pedophilia … Sermons that dug up centuries old views on the circumcision of girls as a religious duty … Habits, practices and behaviors that disoriented us and led some to speak of “Tunistan”…

Then there was a The National Constituent Assembly that denied women their simple right to be equal to men.

And between al this, mosques were invested in, occupied and altered; mausoleums demolished and tarnished because they did not correspond to the percepts of Sharia. But, by God, which Sharia are we dealing with? No one will give a clear and precise answer. Because basically,  to each their Sharia. Throughout the history of Islam, there have been more than 135 different schools of thought interpreting the religion of Islam in more or less different ways.

This is to tell you, Ladies and Gentlemen, that the question of Sharia is to me, but a red herring used  to hide movements, parties and individuals who dream of nothing else than absolute , authoritarian and obscuring power. To me, the Sharia is TRUE with which one seeks to impose FALSE, an opiate through which the masses can be tranquilized or incensed. The Sharia-such as it is being propagated by these people who claim to be the ONLY REPRESENTTAIVES OF GOD ON EARTH- is plunge into the darkness of times gone by…
So now what? Let me tell you!

 Well, since you invited me to this gathering as a blogger, let me reply that we, the activists of the blogosphere, the carriers of ideals of humanity, liberty, equity and  modernity, have only one choice: FIGHT for our right that all of us –men, women, from all towns and all regions , regardless of the social status  - be considered  wholly HUMAN, CITIZENS who are accountable, but who can also hold their equals accountable.

This fight is ours as bloggers, but also as young people, as those passionate about liberty, and as humans.

I am convinced, and remain steadfast in my conviction, that we will soon arrive; that a near future  will free us; that we will live in a society that truly and surely  advances towards democracy and that strikes a balance both between  the obligations and  duties of citizens and between religious and philosophical  convictions, lifestyle choices, and the culture of each individual.


  1. May I hug a great (muslim) woman? Congratulation, Lina.
    Franco Fabiani, Roma

  2. Great! May I send a big hug to a big (muslim) woman?
    Franco Fabiani, Roma

  3. Hello

    When you say "the Sharia is TRUE with which one seeks to impose FALSE, an opiate through which the masses can be tranquilized or incensed." what do you mean? Do you mean that sharia is being used on bad terms and so is having be missunderstood, principaly on western world? I'm asking that because and I think as most part of western citizens, I always associated sharia with violence and a radical interpretation of islam but from what I've been reading know it seems that sharia is the law of islam, if I'm not wrong. So is a little confused to me.
    For the rest I agree in everything.

  4. omg i'm realy don't know that i can image to see like this artical thxx so much for this special artical اغاني شعبي


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