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OASIS N°15 - June 2012 - PDF


A laborious process, some might even call it a “travail”, is under way in the Arab countries involved in the redaction of new Constitutions, a labour that is a challenge for the West, particularly in connection with the quest for an equilibrium between the will of the majority and inescapable anthropological fundamentals. After the uprisings the sharia question exploded, with a spectrum of opinion ranging from those who claim that it should be a code to be observed normatively to those who invoke it as a set of ethical values.

From the recent history of Tunisia, Morocco, and Egypt along with that of Turkey, are emerging the tangles and contradictions experienced by peoples rooted in Islamic tradition who aspire to open up democratic horizons in the face of internal and external opposition. An appropriate comparison here might be made with the experience of the American Rabbinic Courts or the practice of canon law, which can suggest practicable ways of reconciling religious law and the concrete life of plural civil societies. 

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