With the recent change in inheritance law which sees women getting an equal share to their male counterparts, some might say Tunisia is really moving ahead with the times.
So, it comes as a surprise that the government has jailed five men under the act of public indecency … for smoking cigarettes and eating in public during Ramadan.
The incident happened in May 2017, according to Al Bawaba, and as a result, activists formed a hashtag "مش بالسيف", (which means, not against my will), to protest their right to break their fast in public without fear of being jailed or fined.
The campaign has gained momentum, and the group is asking people to take to the streets on May 27, for the second year in a row, to protest. In the meantime, the Twittersphere has a lot to say about it, but not everyone is in agreement.
— Zouzou Bessa☭ (@ZZhavanera) May 18, 2018
@ZZhavanera says: "Look for the hungry before looking for those who aren't fasting in Ramadan."
نحن نعيش في بلد يسجن المفطرين في رمضان !
بلد يفرض الصوم على الجميع و يصدر احكام سجن لمن يقبض عليه متلبسا باكل قطعة خبز !
بلد يدعي الحداثة و يفرض على شريحة واسعة من مواطنيه ان يعيشو مختبئين كاللصوص عقابا لهم على عدم الصوم #مش_بالسيف
— الإمام حاتم (@hitlimam) May 21, 2018
@hitlimam says: "We live in a country that imprisons those who don't fast in Ramadan! A country that imposes fasting on all and issues prison sentences on anyone for eating a piece of bread! A country that is asks for modernity but imposes on a large percentage of its citizens to live like thieves as punishment for not fasting."
— ibraheem al-thaher (@ibraheemalthahe) May 17, 2018
But @ibraheemalthahe is for it. He says: "You removed yourself from the Muslim countries. You allowed muslim women to marry non-muslim men. Where is Tunis going?" and then he hashtags it #بالسيف ("by force", in Arabic).
أغلب المغردين على هذا الوسم يتحدثون لمجرد الحديث
ليسوا مطلعين على تفاصيل الموضوع و لا ينتمون لتونس و لا يعيشون فيها و نازلين فلسفة..
بالتونسي : بالله عاونونا بسكاتكم
بالمصري : نأطنا بسكاتك
بالسعودي : انزين .. ماعنديش الترجمة
— 🇹🇳 Toonsya 😈 🇨🇦 (@WitnessTV2) May 18, 2018
@WitnessTV2 is just annoyed with all the chatter around this. She says: "Most of those against this topic are just talking for the sake of talking. They aren't looking at the details of the topic and they don't belong to Tunis or live in it and they're just philosophizing."
She then uses popular phrases to politely say "be quiet' in different dialects. In Tunisian: "For God's sake, reward us with your silence." In Egyptian: "Give us drops of your silence."
Let us know what you think in the comments below.