North Africa: researcher, ongoing 'constitutional emergency'

Sbailò, Europe must press for dialogue between Islamist leaders

15 September, 13:43

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, SEPTEMBER 15 - In the North African chaos ''at stake is not only the geo-political stability of the area or of our social system, but also the credibility of democratic institutions and of our constitutional tradition'', concluded an editorial on the last issue of Federalismi.it, a magazine on Italian, comparative and European public law directed by Beniamino Caravita di Toritto.

    The editorial was written by Ciro Sbailò, professor of comparative law at the University Kore in Enna, where he directs Skaj, the center of studies on Islamic constitutionalism.

    According to Sbailò, there is a ''constitutional urgency'' in the Mediterranean that regards jurists so the political community and public opinion can have the tools to analyze the Islamic world and concretely manage emergencies (starting with those connected to migration flows).

    The constitutionalist's analysis starts from the concept of ''Islamic re-expansion''. It is not only a demographic phenomenon, given that Islam is a ''civilization with its own philosophy to organize public space and an inbred expansive 'vis''', he said. Today, in particular, there is a strong 'revival' of Islam also in the West, especially among the young and researchers. ''The conviction that European and American political models are irrevocably in crisis is becoming wider and getting stronger, not just because they are poor or without an ethical basis, but also because unable at this point to guarantee social justice and democratic representation''.

    Meanwhile, this new expansion is taking place, as in the past, in the midst of a ''civil war'': the Arab spring, jihadist attacks in the west and Africa, the stronger conflict between Shiites and Sunnis, the geo-political successes of the black Caliphate, rivalries inside the Islamic insurgence, the Libyan crisis, are all phenomena to be read as a whole, according to the researcher.

    The North African chaos, which concerns Italy closely, is then a part of this war: for example, tensions between Egypt and Turkey on the situation in Libya.

    Europe has relevant pressure tools, of a political and economic-financial nature: they should be used, according to Sbailò, mostly to force the main protagonists of Mediterranean Islam to cooperate. But it is important to identify the right interlocutors and not trust in past schemes (such as: military equals secular and democratic, Islamic brother equals fundamentalist and anti-West). Moreover, it is necessary to recognise the possibility of an ''Islamic'' way to constitutionalism, not following European and western experiences but potentially in conflict with some western values. The conflict should not be demonized but accepted and managed, for example, increasing occasions for researchers from both shores of the Mediterranean to discuss together. (ANSAmed)
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