Home > Radical Islam, Wars and Rumors of War > Post-Revolt Tunisia Wrestles with Resurgent Islam, ‘We Want Islamic Schools All Over the Country’

Post-Revolt Tunisia Wrestles with Resurgent Islam, ‘We Want Islamic Schools All Over the Country’


By Tarek Amara – (Reuters) – “For Walid, Tunisia’s revolution is an opportunity to turn one of the Arab world’s most secular countries towards Islam.

‘We paid a heavy price for the revolution so we are not ready to let secularists and supporters of the Zionists control our destiny,’ said the young man, with a beard and a long white robe, after prayers in the Omrane district of the capital.

‘We want to respect our religion and to apply Islamic law in our country.

‘We want Islamic schools all over the country … We do not want our women prevented from wearing the hijab and niqab (Islamic veils). We would like our country to be an Islamic country that does not allow taboo things, like wine.’

As Tunisia prepares to vote next weekend in the first election since the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings, people like Walid, a follower of the Salafist school which embraces a purist interpretation of Islam, are sending jitters through secular elites who fear their world could be about to change for ever.

It is a nervousness felt in Egypt and Libya where revolutions inspired by the one in Tunisia in January have handed power or influence to previously repressed groups who want Islam to play a bigger role in political life.

The Middle East is paying close attention to how Tunisia reconciles the conflicting agendas of Islamists and secularists following the ousting of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, and the evidence so far is that it will be a bumpy path.

Police last week used tear gas to break up a crowd of thousands of Islamists who were trying to march on the prime minister’s office.

Another crowd attacked the home of a businessman whose television station broadcast the award-winning film ‘Persepolis.’ Islamists say one scene is blasphemous.” Read more.

Flashback: ‘Freedom and Democracy’ in Action: Post-Revolution Tunisia Passes Law Banning ‘Any Form of Normalization’ with Israel – “Today Tunisia’s commission of political reform announced that it adopted (by majority) a ‘republican pact’ that will be the basis of the future new Constitution, and in particular it states the rejection of any normalisation with Israel. While announcing the pact the president of the commission, Yadh Ben Achour, did not offer any details, but the Arab speaking Tunisian press published its content, which defines Tunisia as a free and democratic country, whose official language is Arab and whose religion is Islam.” Read more.

Flashback: Muslim Brotherhood Leader of Tunisia Calls for an End to Israel – “Arab media has reported an interview with Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Ghannouchi in which he calls for and predicts the end of Israel. According a Muslim World News translation of the interview in the London-based Elaph: … Ghannouchi maintains that altogether the Arab revolutions are positive for the Palestinians, and threaten to bring Israel to an end. He says that the Palestinian problem lies at the heart of the Nation [umma], and that all the land between the mosque in Mecca and Jerusalem represents the heart of the Islamic Nation, and any [foreign] control over part of this heart is a stamp on the umma’s illness.” Read more.

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