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Al Qaeda says Tunisia's constitution violates Quran

Libyan Arab Jamahiriya,Terrorism, Tue, 12 Jun 2012 IANS

Tunis, June 12 (IANS/AKI) Tunisia's ruling Islamist party has "violated" the Quran by accepting a constitution that is not based solely on Islamic law, Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has said in a new message.

A 12-minute Al Qaeda audio-tape posted on jihadist websites accused Tunisia's ruling Ennahda party of being a western stooge that "allows nudist beaches and night clubs".

"Tunisia's Islamic party 'Ennahda' violates the sacredness of the holy Muslim Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Mohammad by accepting a constitution that does not have Islamic law as its sole basis," says a male voice, purportedly that of Zawahiri.

"Ennahda's Islam is that of the US State Department, the European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council," the message said.

In October last year, Ennahda won the first democratic elections since the uprising, taking 37 percent of the vote or 90 seats in the 217-member assembly.

The assembly was tasked with rewriting the constitution, appointing a president and forming a caretaker government. Ennahda's nearest rival, the secularist Congress for the Republic, won 30 seats.

Since the ouster in January 2011 of long-time leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, there has been a resurgence of hardline Islamists in the country.

Some radical groups have been holding demonstrations to demand an introduction of the Islamic Sharia law in the country.

In May, a group attacked bars and other places selling alcohol in Sidi Bouzid, the town where the Tunisian revolution began. They also attacked a police station with clubs and Molotov cocktails in Jendouba.

--IANS/AKI

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