Jeannette Bougrab, whose father fought on the French colonial side during Algeria’s war of independence, refutes the politically correct Western belief that there are two Islams – moderate and radical – calling recent election successes by Islamist parties in Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia troubling. “There is no moderate Islam,” says Bougrab.
Al-Arabiya Jeannette Bougrab, who is originally from Algeria, is a junior minister with responsibility for youth, told Le Parisien newspaper that legislation based on Islamic sharia law “inevitably” imposed restrictions on rights and freedoms.
“There are no half measures with sharia,” she added. “I am a lawyer and you can make all the theological, literal or fundamental interpretations of it that you like but law based on sharia is inevitably a restriction on freedom, especially freedom of conscience.”
She was reacting to electoral successes scored by the Ennahda party in Tunisia, the Justice and Development Party in Morocco and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
Bougrab conceded that ousted Tunisian and Egyptian rulers Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak had used the Islamist “threat” to win backing from Western countries, but she added, “We shouldn’t go to the other extreme.”
And she hit out at the 30 percent of Tunisians living in France who had voted for Ennahda in last month’s polls. “I am shocked that those who have rights and freedoms here gave their votes to a religious party,” she said.