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Protecting the sacred : Tunisia's Islamist movement Ennahdha and the challenge of free speech.

McCarthy, Rory (2015) 'Protecting the sacred : Tunisia's Islamist movement Ennahdha and the challenge of free speech.', British journal of Middle Eastern studies., 42 (4). pp. 447-464.


Since the 2011 uprising, Tunisia's Islamist movement Ennahdha has proposed a political project based on reclaiming the nation's Arab-Islamic identity. At the heart of this is the issue of ‘protection of the sacred’, which seeks to define limits to freedom of expression to protect religious symbols from criticism. This is part of Ennahdha's post-Islamist evolution. The movement has drawn away from its earlier ambitions to Islamise the state and now seeks to reconstruct the role of Islam by asserting a cultural Islamic identity, which recasts religious norms as conservative values and which has yet to determine the precise limits of new individual freedoms. The result was to propose a new set of rules for the community under which Tunisians would freely express their religious belief in a way denied them under the former regime, but would also live under a state that defended and guaranteed their religious values.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in British journal of Middle Eastern studies on 17 February 2015 available online:
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:05 September 2019
Date of first online publication:17 February 2015
Date first made open access:05 September 2019

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