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Salafi party holds first meeting in the presence of Al-Nahda leader

Tunisia's Reform Front has held its first general meeting since its recognition as a political party; the meeting slogan was, "Sharia' is our course and reform is our choice". Around 300 supporters attended the meeting, along with the secretary-general for minorities' affairs in the International Union for Muslim Scholars and the president of the ruling Al-Nahda Party in Tunisia, Sheikh Rashid El-Ghannouchi.


According to the Front's president, Mohammed Khoja, the definition of the Reform Front is simple: "We are Muslims who believe in Islam as a faith and a lifestyle; we adhere to the Qur'an and Sunnah and are committed to them in word and deed; our faith is the foundation of our thinking and the foundation of our upbringing; our Islam combines stability and flexibility and believes in peaceful coexistence and integration of civilisations not their mutual antagonism."

Mr. Khoja did not rule out alliances with parties which are based on Islamic references, such as Al-Nahda. He said that alliances are possible if there are projects for the benefit of the country and the people, noting that his party communicated with the National Constituent Assembly on more than one occasion to demand that the constitution currently being drafted will refer to Sharia' as the main source of legislation.

"Islam came with a law that is flexible enough to match society's mobility, is as stable as a fixed revelation, and is valid for every time and place," he added.

Sources said that Khoja rejected acts of violence attributed to Salafis and thugs which took place in June in protest at the display of paintings supposedly "offensive to Islam" at a cultural festival in Al-Marsa.

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