The Arab Spring began more than two years ago in Tunisia, when a vegetable vendor set himself on fire. The flames initially spread to the rest of the country, and then engulfed the entire region. The Tunisian people drove their ruler, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, out of his palace. Political parties were established in the ensuing months, and the leader of the Islamist Ennahda Party, Rachid Ghannouchi, returned home from exile. In the country’s first-ever free election, 37 percent voted for Ennahda. Soon after the election, radical Salafists began to attack female students and destroy Sufi shrines.
…Tunisia is the laboratory of the revolution, and the experiment being conducted there could affect the entire region. Islamists and secularists are testing if and how they can peacefully coexist. It is an attempt to establish a form of democracy shaped by Islam. It isn’t looking very good at the moment, however, now that the initial euphoria is gone… >continue<
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