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TUNISIA'S OPTIONS

THE OPTIONS OF TUNIsIA
 
 

Following the collapse of the Tunisian regime uncertainty holds tight the Tunisian society. Tunisia was known as a secular, open and, relative to the Arab world, very liberal. Religious had no part in the ruling party and there was, following the French model, a full separation between religion and state. The leader of the Islamic party in Tunisia, Al-Nahda (renaissance) Rashid Ghannouchi (pic) is in exile in Londonstan where he is treated with much more tolerance then in his own native country. Broadcasting of religious prays or Islamic verses were forbidden and political Islam was persecuted. Tunisians engaged in Jihad received severe punishments.

 
Following the former President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali escape to Saudi Arabia the struggle about shaping the future of Tunisia emerged from the shadow to the open public life. Tunisia with its strong relation with France and its secular elite is leaning toward democracy but in the more poor suburbs, where the Jasmine Revolution began (The Tunisian and the Arabs called the recent events in Tunisia the "Jasmine Revolution" because Jasmine is considered as the symbol of Tunisia) there is a strong reliance on Islam. Furthermore the Islamists in Tunisia are organized behind the leadership of Rashid Ghannouchi while the seculars have no obvious leadership.

 

Former Prime Minister under president Ben Ali -  Mohammed Ghannouchi (probably somehow related to Rashid Ghannouch) after being asked to form a government by interim President Foued Mebazaa and the former speaker of the parliament,  has said an agreement between the political parties would be unveiled today, Monday 01/17/2011, following talks over the last weekend. But he lacks public support and is considered by many as part of the old regime the Tunisian just got rid of. Indeed Rashid Ghannouchi already described, in an interview to Ikhwanweb (an Islamic site) on Saturday 01/15/2011, Mohamed Ghannouchi coming to power as getting around the popular revolution against the regime of the Ben Ali, the dictator. Without the intervention and support of the Tunisian army it is doubtful whether Mohammed Ghannouchi can really to restore law and order in Tunisia.

 

Giving the circumstances the Tunisian army is now the key to determine whether Tunisia will slide to an Islamic society or keeps its secular direction. It is very likely that the Tunisian generals will, eventually, form a Junta of their own to control Tunisia. The army already began to arrest former loyalists of the deposed president and took control on his palace. It seems Tunisia is still very far from democracy.

 

But not only Tunisia is in internal turmoil struggling between East and West, between Islamisation and radicalization and between more democracy, open society and tolerance. The second society is Lebanon where pro-Iranian Hizbullah is challenging the legitimacy of Saad Hariri's government (see -Meast Hariri's Despute) over the issue of Rafik Hariri's assassination, on 02/14/2005 (see -UN-STL).

 

It is almost obvious that Obama's administration in USA failed to understand the complexity of the Arab societies and the Middle East by putting all political efforts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and appeasing the Islamic world while neglecting allies in the region like the 14 march coalition in Lebanon. Now USA is almost empty handed and confused to cope with the fast developments in the Middle East.
 
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17/01/2011 10:52:57

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