Vol.10, No.1 | [Article] Freedom of Religion in North Africa The Post-Arab Spring Period and Constitutional Development



The Arab Spring that started in 2011 in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya has ousted the permanent presidents and military leaders from power, leading to constitutional changes. This paper attempts to study the impact of the Arab Spring on religious freedom in constitutional development in North Africa. Since the majority of the population in the region is Muslim, the drafters of the constitutions had a challenging task to strike a balance between protecting the religious rights and practices of the majority and ensuring equality of all citizens irrespective of their religion. Though the constitutions that were adopted in the post-Arab Spring period to some extent improved the attitude of the state actors toward freedom of religion, the spread of Wahhabi and Salafi extremism resulted in the advent of non-state actors, which have not only degraded freedom of religion, but also endangered the very existence of religious minorities in the region.

Keyword : Constitution, freedom of religion, North Africa, religious minorities, Arab Spring