Home > Radical Islam, Wars and Rumors of War > Tunisia’s Secular Women Fret Erosion of Freedoms with Rise of Islamism

Tunisia’s Secular Women Fret Erosion of Freedoms with Rise of Islamism

“When hundreds of Tunisians drove through the capital sounding their horns and waving scarves this week to celebrate the election victory of an Islamist party, there was little jubilation in the Ennasr neighbosrhood.

With its chic boutiques and upmarket cafes, this suburb is a bastion of a segment of Tunisian society left feeling marginalized and even a little fearful by the election result.

Areas like Ennasr are home to middle-class, urban professional women who for decades have been living a lifestyle that in many ways has more in common with Europe than the Arab world. Now they worry that that is going to change.

In Sunday’s election, Tunisia, birthplace of the “Arab Spring” uprisings, handed the biggest share of the vote to Ennahda, a moderate Islamist party that was banned under decades of autocratic, secularist rule.

‘We’re afraid that they’ll limit our freedoms,’ said Rym, a 25-year-old medical intern sitting in ‘Gringo’s’, a fast-food outlet in Ennasr.

‘They say they won’t but after a while they could introduce changes step by step. Polygamy could come back … They say they want to be like Turkey but it could turn out like Iran. Don’t forget, that was a very open society too.'” Read more.

The Ennahda Islamist Party says that it wants to be like Turkey.  And how is that a good thing exactly? …

Flashback: Young Muslims in Turkey Murder Three Christians – “In a gruesome assault against Turkey’s tiny Christian community, five young Muslim Turks entered a Christian publishing office in the southeastern province of Malatya Wednesday and slit the throats of the three Protestant Christians present. Two of the victims, Necati Aydin, 36, and Ugur Yuksel, 32, were Turkish converts from Islam. The third man, Tilmann Geske, 46, was a German citizen.” Read more.

Flashback: Turkey’s Protestant Christians Face Wave of Attacks – “A Protestant pastor in the Turkish industrial city of Izmit woke up one morning last month to find a huge red swastika painted on his apartment door, with a handwritten hate letter shoved underneath… ‘Your efforts to wear us down—as the inheritors of a great race—and alienate us from our values will come to nothing,’ the writer declared… The Izmit Protestant Church was targeted in a violent attack the night after Christmas last year, when someone started a fire next to the outside wall of the building. ‘The aim was to burn the church down,’ Hade told Compass Direct… Simultaneously, the Turkish media has fanned intense criticism of Christian missionary activity. Even government ministers have spoken out, claiming that foreign missionaries had political motives aimed at ‘damaging the social peace and unity of Turkey.'” Read more.

Flashback: Turkey: One of the world’s earliest Christian cultures totters on the edge of extinction – “Syriac-speaking Christians in this area have persisted through more than a dozen centuries of Muslim, Ottoman, and now Turkish rule. They languish between the secularizing government of the Republic of Turkey and an Islamic culture that views them as heathen outsiders… In short, the government would be pleased to see the Christian communities quietly disappear altogether. Christians have been caught in the middle of a war between the government and the Kurds. Now it matters little to the government that the Hezbollah as well as the Kurds are harassing them. Christians abroad, meanwhile, know little of their life-and-death struggle.” Read more.

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