Zack Ford, on Think Progressive, writes hopeful news for the country of Tunisia concerning human rights.
Included is a report from Care2.com:
In an interview with Spanish news agency EFE, Ennahda (“Renaissance”) party spokesman Riad Chaibi said that they will not pursue the use of alcohol or punish atheism and homosexuality.
Chaibi, who spent five years in prison for his opposition to dictator Ben Ali, said that in Tunisia “individual freedoms and human rights are enshrined principles” and that atheists and homosexuals are a reality in Tunisia and “have a right to exist.” According to Chaibi, in the case of homosexuals there is also “a matter of dignity, because society sees them as undervalued.”
Chaibi also denied that his party intends to make the wearing of the veil for women compulsory. “The veil is part of belief, a religious symbol, and as such has no value if it is taken from freedom,” he said.
Given that Tunisia has a history of stigmatizing and punishing people who are gay, this would be quite a bold step.
(Chaibi is promising) a coalition government approach that values freedom. Detractors of the Nahda party have suggested that its actions in the mosques do not match its talking points to the public.