Islam can 'exist with democracy'

2011-09-15 21:15

Tunis - Tunisia's new political order will show that Islam and democracy can co-exist just as they have in Turkey, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.

Erdogan, in Tunis on the second stop of a North African tour aimed at asserting Ankara's growing regional influence, said secularity should guarantee that people of all beliefs, as well as atheists, were treated fairly.

He said there was nothing to stop a Muslim from governing a secular state,

Tunisia plans to hold elections on October 23 to select an assembly to rewrite the constitution, nine months after the revolt that swept away President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and sparked uprisings around the Arab world.

Islamist party Ennahda, banned for two decades under Ben Ali, is expected to poll strongly, unnerving Tunisian secularists.

Erdogan said the country should have nothing to fear from the influence of Islam in politics.

"The most important thing of all and Tunisia will prove this; Islam and democracy can exist side by side," he told a joint news conference with Tunisian caretaker Prime Minister Beji Caid Sebsi.

"Turkey, as a country which is 99% Muslim, does this comfortably, we do not have any difficulty. There is no need to hinder this by putting forward different approaches. In the broadest sense, consultation will put forward the will of the people," he said.

More than 90 political parties have sprung up in Tunisia since Ben Ali's fall. Ennahda is seen with around 20% in the polls.

Erdogan has been holding up Turkey's blend of Islam and democracy as a model for the movements which have toppled entrenched Arab autocrats in Tunis, Cairo and Tripoli.

"On the subject of secularism, this is not a secularism in the Anglo Saxon or Western sense, a person is not secular, the state is secular," Erdogan said.

"A Muslim can govern a secular state in a successful way."

After Erdogan received a rapturous welcome in Cairo this week, hundreds of Tunisians turned out to greet the Turkish premier at Tunis airport late on Wednesday, clutching portraits of him and hoisting banners reading "Welcome Erdogan!"

Ennahda leader Rachid Ghannouchi joined the crowds, praising Erdogan as someone who had "worked hard for Islam".

Ennahda, a moderate Islamist movement which has close ties with Erdogan's AK Party, has said Turkey's political model is something it aspires to.

Erdogan completes his tour in neighbouring Libya on Friday.

Read more on:    recep tayyip erdogan  |  turkey  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
10 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

SAPS waited too long to complain about ad - DA

The DA has told a public hearing that the SA Police Service was "hopelessly out of time" to lodge a complaint against its election advert.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

13 days to elections - news you need to know
11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
The EFF's ad was banned, see why
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Kenilworth - 12:59 PM
    Road name: M5 Northbound
    DELAYS between Ottery Road and Race Course Road
  • Thursday Brackenfell - 12:39 PM
    Road name: Frans Conradie Drive Eastbound
    SLOW TRAFFIC approaching Okovango Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

24 hour sale- 30% off beauty products

Today only, get 30% on all hair care, skincare, selected cosmetics and fragrances. Offer expires midnight 24 April. While stocks last. Shop now!

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 3 Black 64GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 4G

Retina Display Finally the incredible Retina display technology from the iPhone...

From R7699.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be more sensitive today and can be influenced easily by the energies around you. Try not to be swayed too much by the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.