Islamists Triumph in Tunisia

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In addition to a tendency to go off script, critics note that the party, a descendent of the Muslim Brotherhood, has a documented record of radicalism and violence that belies its moderate message. Exiled members of Nahda in France, for instance, have joined the Union of Islamic Organizations in France, a group that sympathizes with the Muslim Brotherhood; some of Nahda’s rank-and-file would like to see it adopt the Brotherhood as a model. As Ghannouchi himself has acknowledged, moreover, the party counts among its base fundamentalist Salafists who hope to overturn Tunisia’s secular traditions. Ghannouchi has insisted that this is a small minority within the party, but a radical party seeking mainstream respectability might be expected to say exactly that.

Fears that Nahda is talking a double game on moderation were amplified in a troubling outbreak of violence last week. On Friday, hundreds of Islamist protestors rallied in protest against the television screening of “Persepolis,” an animated film about an Iranian girl living during the Iranian Revolution. Because the film showed God as a cartoon, protestors denounced it as an offense to Islam. Chanting, “Your god has been insulted, come out and defend him!” a petrol-bomb armed mob tried to burn down the house of the television station’s owner, who was forced to flee with his wife and children. Given its presumed moderation, Nahda might have been expected unequivocally to condemn the attacks. But despite expressing its opposition to the violence, Nahda appeared to side with the protestors, as it insisted that the film itself was a provocation that was just as much a cause of the violence as the religious fanatics who took it upon themselves to silence the television station’s owner. As a demonstration of Nahda’s commitment to pluralism and non-violence, it was unconvincing at best.

The questions surrounding Nahda underscore the political uncertainty to which the Arab Spring has given way. Despite hopeful early pronouncements that the ouster of Arab autocrats would mean a better future for the countries they ruled, little supporting evidence has emerged. In Egypt, it is the Muslim Brotherhood that has seemed to be the most bolstered by Hosni Mubarak’s ouster. In Libya, there are indications that Islamist rebels, having taken their vengeance on Moammar Qaddafi, will become the country’s new power brokers. With its election this week, Tunisia too has joined the club of countries where Islamism is a political force on the rise.

It should be said that the elections are not a coronation. Nahda’s Islamists may have won the largest gains this week, but Tunisia’s proportional representation system is designed to make it difficult for any single party to dominate. Nahda’s first order of business will be to form a unity government and build consensus with the more liberal parties in the Tunisian assembly. Whatever the party’s ambitions, it does not yet have the ability to realize them uncontested.

Still, Tunisians are right to worry that the rights they hold dear could be rolled back by an Islamist government. For years, the country distinguished itself as one of the most tolerant in the Arab world. Just a few years ago, visitor to the capital of Tunis could see female police officers patrol the streets, and dine in restaurants where Israeli tourists were warmly welcomed. It would be a great tragedy for this North African nation if its first-ever democratic election led to a break with that tolerant tradition, and an Arab Spring intended to sow the seeds of freedom instead gave way to an Islamist winter that crushed it.

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  • Larry

    If any of the "Arab Spring" nations was going to remain secular it would have been Tunisia. As that has failed don't hold out any hope for Egypt or Libya, and watch for things to flair right up in Algeria's struggle against the salafists and wahhabis.

    Couple with handing over Iraq, which Obama has just done, to militant shiites, the ongoing stupidity of even thinking of dealing with Hamas, and the fecal matter is going to hit the rotary atmospheric disturbance device sooner rather than later.

  • PatriotX

    My goodness, what a surprise. The problems aren’t Arab spring, it isn’t the nationalities, it isn’t politics, it’s the poisonous teachings of hatred violence towards those who aren’t Islamic.

    • tanstaafl

      It's all about Islam.

  • AntiSharia

    Are any of us actually surprised by this? We all knew this was going to happen. In Libya Qaddafi hasn't even been buried yet and the leader of the uprising has already proclaimed Libya an Islamic state, by reinstating polygamy(always a must to the perverts in the Islamic movements) and declaring any rule or regulation that is not compliant with Sharia law is null and void. The same thing is going to happen in Egypt when the Muslim Brotherhood takes over, is happening in Lebanon now that Hezbollah is running the place, and will probably happen in Yemen and Iraq as well.

  • Herman Caintonette

    One of the problems with democracy is that the people do what they want, even if you don't like it. If they want an Islamic state, you don't have a say in it.

    • ziontruth

      If Islam kept to itself, then no problem here—freedom does indeed include the freedom to choose hell for oneself.

      But Islam is imperialism, and the hell they choose for themselves, they also want to impose on you and me.

      Not that a Blame-America-First quisling like you would care, of course…

    • ObamaYoMoma

      Indeed, that is the general idea behind Islamic demographic conquest. Indeed, the entire Middle East collectively has the GDP of the state of Spain. Hence, they know that militarily they can't possibly destroy the West. Which is why they have implemented a strategy of demographic conquest instead.

  • StephenD

    The fact is we knew this was coming. The only way around such shifts is to stand back, withhold our resources and wait. When these floundering countries see that the true friends of the West; those that share our values of Personal Liberty and Individual Responsibility, are governed by a Constitutional Rule of law and therefore reap the benefits of that friendship and have a much higher standard of living, then maybe they can see the error of their ways and want to come around. No aid to any other country. Period. They want to live in a Theocracy with Mullah's dictating every aspect of their lives, let them. In the mean time, we've not wasted our blood or treasure.

  • Dispozadaburka

    Eurabia, Saudi America,Obama,and his friends in Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, will make sure this chaos insues all around the globe. That is what we are currently witnessing today in the Middle East. No one will be immune.
    NWO needs a new world religion to control the population on a global scale.
    Islam suits this purpose, perfectly. Pure Luciferian Doctrine and the Ideology of hate, mind control, and lack of conciousness and Saudi oil money to pay for it.
    Of course they will have to take control over Israel, first, which is why Obama wants them to go back to 1967 borders. Makes sense when you think that Obama initiated the Secret Rite of Freemasonry by making the National Prayer Day a Day of Prayer for Muslim Men. This Rite determines the "FUTURE DESTINY OF AMERICA."So by changing the present/future to Islam, he can Jerusalem can be conquered under the guise of being a friend/ally of Israel. This will happen after he gets re-elected in 2012. Without controlling Israel he cannot control the world. There is a small window of time for this to take place Mayan Calendar date. December 21, 2012. Which is the ultimate goal of the NWO. Checkmate.

  • Questions

    Arab Spring? With Arab Muslims, every season is winter.

  • Big Red

    Democracy is not compatabile with Islam. There are no democratic states in the umma
    Governments are either Theocratic states like Iran or run by a strongman like Bashar Assad or a military junta like egypt. The closest to a democratic state was Turkey and now that Erdogan has taken over Turkey purged the military and crshed other democratic
    instutions it will fall into a pusdo theocratic state.

    The US Government needs to understand this and act accordingly. The State Depatment needs to pull their heads out of thier backsides and work for the best interests of the US instead of the interests of the State Depatment. The US should not promote democray in the Umma because it will fail. The US needs to promote Huamn RIghts in the Umma
    fair teatment of women and tolarance of other religons.

  • Guest

    The problem that we face with the Arab Spring is convincing people that the revolutions must be opposed without making it seem like we are supporting the tyrants that currently hold (or once held) power. There is a post at that has a lot about Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. It's sad to say, but some people just aren't ready for democracy because they have been poisoned their whole lives with hate and aggressive ideology. But enough about the man in the White House.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    I'm not going to take the time to read this article because first of all I already know the writer of this article is totally blinded by PC multiculturalism and I don't want to subject myself to unnecessary brain damage if I don't have to, and because the title reflects what is an inevitable outcome in any event. Hence, if the title is deceptive and the article is about something else, please forgive me.

    Anyway, I just want to say what should already be obvious to most intelligent people, that is Western style democracy in the Islamic world is absolutely impossible. It may be possible in the short-term, but in the long-term Western style democracy, with its liberal freedoms and liberties, will inevitably get obliterated because those liberal freedoms and liberties will inevitably get exploited to the hilt and used to destroy it.

    In addition, if you study the evolution of Islam you will learn that Islam is not a faith-based religion. Instead, Islam is a supremacist theo-political totalitarian ideology that masquerades as being a faith-based religion to dupe unbelievers, but the reality is it is really a very draconian form of totalitarianism. In fact, Islam is far closer to Communism than it is to being a religion, as just like Communism, Islam seeks world domination, and the end result of Islam, exactly like Communism, is totalitarianism.

    Indeed, how many western style democracies are there in the Islamic world? Hell, don't tell the naïve neo-cons that are going to attempt to blame the inevitable impending disaster in Iraq on Obama, but those so-called democracies in Iraq and Afghanistan that our lunatic State Department helped to establish, aren't democracies at all but instead Sharia states, as both their respective constitutions have been enshrined with Sharia. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of Obama, but I like to give blame where blame is deserved, and in this case the blame goes to GWB and the Wilsonian neo-cons, as that was their tar baby!

    • Herman Caintonette

      Indonesia. Turkey. Iran used to have one, before we overthrew it and installed the Shah. Our policy has been to prop up the dictators (e.g., Mubarak and his predecessors) or install our own (e.g., Saddam, the Shah).

      I agree with your basic premise, however: that the modern M.E. is Bush's tar baby. Do you recall when he told us that he opposed nation-building?

      • ObamaYoMoma

        Indonesia. Turkey. Iran used to have one, before we overthrew it and installed the Shah. Our policy has been to prop up the dictators (e.g., Mubarak and his predecessors) or install our own (e.g., Saddam, the Shah).

        Responding to a kook like you is really a waste of time. In any event, I hate to rain on your self-hating kook parade but Mossadegh usurped power from the Shah of Iran as he wasn't democratically elected by the people as the old Soviet propaganda inevitably always claims, he was elected by a cabal of Communists in the Iranian majlis with the help of the Soviet KGB. Indeed, according to the old Soviet propaganda and the self-hating Left, every state the USA helped to over throw during the Cold War, per its policy of Communist containment, were all democratically elected. However, what the Soviet propaganda never ever deliberately mentions is that those so-called democratic elections were fixed thanks to the Soviet KGB.

        Another thing the Soviet propaganda always deliberately fails to mention is that every state the Soviet KGB managed to take over via fixed democratic elections during the Cold War eventually all devolved into Communist totalitarian hellholes which inevitably became failed states. In fact, the continent of Africa is still littered today with the remnants of ex-Soviet Communist failed states. Hence, the notion that Mossadegh was a Western style liberal democratic leader who had morphed Iran overnight into a Western style liberal democracy is utterly absurd and too hilarious not to laugh at.

        In addition, Mossadegh was secular and if he still had been alive back in 1979 when the Mullahs rose to power, he would have been among the first kafir infidels put to death by the new Islamic regime. Thus, the notion that Operation Ajax is what led to the rise of Islamic extremism, not only indicates that you don't have the first clue about Islam, but it also indicates that your ignorance's have been exploited to the hilt.

        Obviously, you also gullibly swallow the hate propaganda that portrays the Shah of Iran as evil incarnate. However, to the contrary, the Shah of Iran was trying to transform Iran from a backwards 7th century feudal Islamic Sharia state controlled by Imams, Islamic waqfs, and Sharia, to a modern 20th century Western style democratic country.

        Was the Shah and his secret police brutal? Yes they necessarily were with respect to their enemies, which consisted of devout Muslims and useful idiot leftists who were ruthlessly trying to obliterate his government and kill the Shah, as the Shah was trying to emulate Kemal Ataturk who had previously marginalized Islam in Turkey via Kemalism, which until very recently enforced a system of separation of mosque and state.


      • ObamaYoMoma

        Thus, the Shah of Iran who is always mercilessly demonized and vilified by the Leftist propaganda, which self-hating kooks like that loon Ron Paul and his mentally incompetent acolytes always swallow without reservation, was actually a very progressive leader, as he implemented land reform in Iran by distributing ownership of the land away from the Islamic waqfs to the people and at the same time transforming Iran from a backwards feudal society to an ownership society and by lifting Sharia restrictions on females and non-Muslim second-class dhimmi citizens, which naturally greatly antagonized the Mullahs and their devout followers, while the Left always with the aid of the KGB were forever trying to sow the seeds of discord to take over as well.

        Indeed, it's interesting to note that initially the 1979 Iranian Revolution was led by the useful idiot Left with the help of the KGB and a gullible useful idiot leftwing American President by the name of Jimmy Carter, until the ruling Mullahs inevitably hijacked the revolution and then literally exterminated the useful idiot Left in Iran. An occurrence the delusional self-hating useful idiot Left with their alliance with Islam today would do well to reexamine and take very seriously into account.

        With respect to Indonesia, it is definitely not a Western style democracy as the government routinely turns a blind eye to the violent oppression and systematic persecution of non-Muslim unbelievers, and while Turkey had a system of Kemalism which enforced separation of mosque and state until very recently, that Kemalist system thanks to the current Islamic government has now been effectively dismantled and Turkey is currently in the process of being converted back into an Islamic Sharia state, which is why it has become virulently anti-Israel and is now allying with our Islamic enemies. In fact, Turkey can't be kicked out of NATO fast enough.

        Regarding our alleged policy being to prop up the dictators (e.g., Mubarak and his predecessors) or install our own (e.g., Saddam, the Shah). First of all, all states in the Islamic Middle East are controlled or are going to be controlled by ruthless totalitarian dictators no matter what, as Western style democracy, with its liberal freedoms and liberties, inevitably gets obliterated exactly because those liberal freedoms and liberties leave the door wide open for it to get obliterated, as Islam is not a religion so much as it is really a supremacist theo-political totalitarian ideology that seeks world domination via the imposition of Sharia. Thus, since all Islamic states are out of necessity ruthless dictatorships, the USA doesn't have any other choice but to deal with Islamic dictators.

        However, the charge that we actively prop up dictators for capitalist imperialist reasons and thus help to keep people oppressed is ludicrous and indeed absurd Leftwing propaganda, as thanks to the dominance of Islam in that region of the world, all governments will necessarily be controlled by either very ruthless totalitarian dictators or cabals of ruthless Islamic Mullahs, or otherwise they will be inevitably obliterated, as Western style democracy simply can't survive in that region of the world thanks to Islam, which again is not really a religion so much as it is a supremacist theo-political totalitarian ideology that seeks to subjugate the world into a very draconian form of Islamic totalitarianism via the imposition of Sharia.


      • ObamaYoMoma

        Hence, if the US and the West was not totally blinded by PC multiculturalism it would implement a strategy of containment to stop the spread of Islam like it did with respect to Communism during the Cold War, which would involve the outlawing of Islam in the West and the banning and reversal of mass Muslim immigration with all of its excess baggage, since Muslims never ever migrate to the West or anywhere else for that matter to assimilate and integrate but instead to eventually make Islam supreme via demographic conquest, the prioritizing and elimination of the most imminent threats, i.e., Iran's impending acquisition of nukes and Pakistan's enormous nuclear weapons arsenal and nuclear weapons program, the seizing of the Mideast oilfields and the oil rich Islamic states' enormous unearned oil wealth, otherwise those assets will be used perpetually to wage jihad against the West forever, and finally the isolation of the Islamic world from the West.

        Moreover, the US didn't install Saddam or the Shah of Iran, that's utterly absurd and a measure of how much your ignorance’s have been exploited to the hilt, and one of the the reasons most right thinking people on this site consider you to be an unhinged moronic kook.

        I agree with your basic premise, however: that the modern M.E. is Bush's tar baby. Do you recall when he told us that he opposed nation-building?

        Actually, GWB was and still is blinded by PC multiculturalism, exactly like you kooks that are acolytes of that moron Ron Paul are as well, but yes GWB and the neo-cons that are really Wilsonian Democrats masquerading as conservatives, are responsible for the impending failures of our missions in Afghanistan and Iraq as their premises for the fantasy based nation-building missions were founded on PC multicultural myths and assumptions with respect to Islam and Muslims.

        Regarding GWB's false opposition to insane nation-building missions for humanitarian reasons, yes I remember, but that wasn't the only thing that GWB lied about to get elected. In any event, don't consider me a Ron Paul anarcho-kook, because unlike Ron Paul I fully understand that freedom and liberty in this world must always be closely guarded and always defended at all cost. If it were left up to that self-hating moron Ron Paul, our military presence in the world would soon be dismantled and the gigantic vacuum left behind would soon be filled by the forces of totalitarianism that in the long run would eventually lead to the destruction of the USA and the dominance of totalitarianism throughout the world.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    The Caliphate grows and the Mullahs beards grow longer. Mosque to Mosque,
    Nation to Nation there will be a purification of believers that will end one day
    with Shia and Suni murder and mayhem. If America would not do business
    in these Nations of the Middle East, Islam would deteriorate back to the
    sand jockey empire and no real threat to anyone but themselves with revenge
    and rerevenge killing. Drill here drill now……………………………..William

  • FactNotRhetoric

    All foreign aid must be stopped to any Theocracy, especially one under Sharia Law. Otherwise it is treason.

    Any American can be killed that steps one foot in any of the countries under Sharia Law. Obama created these bloody Sharia Law countries. Americans are Zionists because they have helped Israel. It is treasonous to give aid to a country that openly murders Americans in the street and it is legal to do so under their Sharia Law.

    Obama's Father and Uncle were high officials in the Bloody “Muslim Brotherhood” Jomo Kenyatta and his bloody revolution. This was Obama's motivation in his first book, "Dreams FROM my Father." As he sat between his Father's and Uncle's graves and cried, he dedicated himself to his father's dream. His father's dream was to bring down the West and return the money stolen by us to Kenya.

    The bloody Muslim Brotherhood calls it Destroying the West from Within. They established this philosophy over 90 years of terrorism, genocide and overthrowing governments for the riches they held. Now the Muslim Brotherhood has Obama to welcome them to America with open arms into high level administration posts, homeland security posts and the Department of Justice. 

    In Obama's book, Obama writes this is what his Kenya Family Imagined for him, “A corporate lawyer, an American businessman, my hand poised on the spigot, ready to rain down like manna the largess of the Western World.”