March 27, 2012
Thousands of Salafist Muslims calling to include Islamic sharia law in the new Tunisian constitution gathered for a rally in front of the National Constituent Assembly in Bardo on March 16, the Gatestone Institute reports. The demonstrators, estimated to number around 30,000, chanted a variety of slogans, such as "Our Koran is our constitution," "No constitution without sharia" and "Tunisia is neither secular nor scientific, it is an Islamic state." The North African magazine Le Courrie de l'Atlas reported that according to Salafists' Internet pages, the crowd was "compact and excited," and when the protesters "started shouting together 'Allahu akbar [Allah is the greatest]!' they sent shockwaves through the floor." Islamists won a majority of seats in the Constituent Assembly in October 2011 -- Tunisia's first elections after its "Arab Spring" revolution -- and appear to be making great gains in the new government.