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TUNISIAN SCHOLAR CALLS FOR CANCELLATION OF SHARIA LAW
by Raheel Raza on Monday, July 4, 2011 at 3:30pm
The Tunisian academic and Islamic scholar Mohamed Talbi has called for the “cancellation of Sharia law” at a conference this weekend in Tunis.
“We have to annul Islamic Sharia because it states that it must kill the one who changes his religion,” said Mohamed Talbi at a conference Saturday, excerpts of which were broadcast on the private radio station Mosaique FM .
Talbi, 90, doctor of history and former dean of the University of Tunis, is famous for his studies of medieval Tunisia and advocates an Islam in tune with modernity. “I am determined to continue the struggle for the renewal of Islamic thought because” the Koran is freedom, “it’s perfect for the rights of man,” said the Tunisian intellectual.
“I do not see Shariah as an emanation of God but it is an exegesis” of certain thinkers of Islam, Mohamed Talbi said in an interview published Sunday newspaper Essabah.
“Islam is to me is acts of worship and behavior, not a policy or state,” he said.
These statements came as the Tunisians are struggling to agree on the place of Islam in Tunisia by Ben Ali. The debate was revived by the Salafist militant attacks against a cinema in Tunis and protests against attacks on Islamic values in several Tunisian cities.
Mohamed Talbi is personally targeted by religious extremists who accuse him of insulting Aisha, the second wife of the Prophet Mohammed, during a debate Wednesday on the air of another private radio FM Shems.
The intellectual has challenged the interpretation of his words by the Islamists. In June, Mohamed Talbi was appointed Chairman of the Academic Council of the Academy of Sciences, Humanities and Arts (Beyt al-Hikma) for the academic year 2011.
In the press release on his appointment, the department had introduced Mr. Talbi as “an intellectual daring and a free thinker who has been in his many books, advocating an enlightened Islam and in tune with modernity.” “My religion is freedom,” Mohamed Talbi’s latest book, was published in May.