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Tunisia, the first arab country to allow the mixed marriage muslim

The Government annulled the decree of 1973, which only allowed muslim men to marry women of other religion

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Tunisia, the first arab country to allow the mixed marriage muslim

The Government annulled decree of 1973, which only allowed muslim men to marry women of or religion

“All texts linked to prohibition of marriage of a tunisian to a foreigner, namely, circular of 1973, and all texts alike, have been cancelled. Congratulations to tunisian women for consecration of right to freedom to choose ir spouse,” reads a statement released by spokesman of presidency, Saïda Garrach, in his page of Facebook. In mid-August, on occasion of national holiday of woman, president Essebsi urged publicly to minister of Justice to eliminate above-mentioned decree. In addition, veteran's representative created a commission to study legal reform to ensure that parity of sex in inheritance.


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The announcement of both of se initiatives sparked a lot of controversy, both in Tunisia and in or arab countries. In ir majority, establishment, religious tunisian denounced proposed presidential when you consider that y violate sharia, and social networks are even accused Essebsi of being “an agent of West”. In a press conference held by an association of imams, several clerics argued that re is no guarantee that muslim woman can practice and preserve ir faith in a mixed marriage. In contrast, argue that islam obliges muslim man to tolerate christian faith, or jewish, of his wife.

The debate picked up with step changed to islamist party Ennahda, an ally of Essebsi in grand coalition that governs country, maghreb, which has not yet been able to articulate a common position in this regard. In contrast, secular parties and feminist organisations said y were pleased by initiative. “Islam cannot be against equality and freedom. The Quran is to be read in its conjunto.Su interpretation must be in accordance with current reality and not with a reading patriarchal”, writes Monia Ben Jemai, president of influential feminist organization Association Tunisienne de Femmes Democrates.

Interestingly, both supporters and opponents of measure argue between ir arguments, new democratic Constitution, adopted in 2014 by consensus. While conservative sectors are clinging to sixth article, which stipulates that “ State is guardian of religion”, secular parties and associations, and feminists remind us that article 21 guarantees that “men and women shall have equal rights and duties and are equal before law”. The fact that, six years after Revolution, Parliament has not been able to elect members of Constitutional Court prevents to close this type of discussion.

Since year 1956, far of newly-achieved independence, Habib Burguiba, imposition of a new family code inspired by French, Tunisia is considered arab country that grants more rights to women. However, charismatic president did not carry to end his project of secularising public life of country. After failure of ir experiment in socialist economy of sixties, Burguiba moved away from left-wing parties and sought support of conservative sectors of society. From that time dated adoption of circular that prohibited mixed marriages, muslim woman or imposition of “dry law” Friday, weekly day dedicated to prayer in islam.


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