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October 28, 2011 9:45 am

Just Yesterday In Tunis

avatar by Ron Agam

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Tank in front of the Cathedral of Tunis, during the Jasmine Revolution.

The Arab spring is slowly turning into a nefarious malediction.

Just yesterday in Tunis, the leader of the “moderate” Islamic party Hennada, Rached Ghannouchi, who happened to win the election with over 40 % of the vote for the new legislative body, announced publicly that the “French language pollutes Arabic.”

This statement comes just one day after the election that should see a coalition of secular and religious parties govern Tunisia. However, as I said in the past there is no moderate Islamic party, they are all dangerous for democracy.

The results of the vote in Tunisia seem to announce the colors for the rest of the region. The Arab world is turning its back to progress and liberty to further sink into a middle age mentality where regression of freedom will prevail.

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The naiveté of some international leaders to believe that the Arab spring will lead to better relations between the West and these newly liberated nations is a gamble difficult to comprehend. We are witnessing in all these countries the ascend of religious Islamic organizations or parties who intend to impose strict Islamic laws that oppose the promise of freedom and democracy. Once more we have been fooled at the expense of millions of women and children that aspired for a better world.

The movement, which appeared in the beginning to be dominated by the will of a few well-meaning individuals who aspired for a positive future, is tragically turning against them.

Like in Iran 30 years ago, the wish of a few democrats quickly turned into a rout for freedom and democracy.

The Islamic parties have been waiting patiently to recuperate the voice of the masses of disenfranchised and illiterate people that are the majority.

Once in power they will eradicate all voices of dissent quietly and often brutally. One dictatorship will be replaced by another. We have seen it in more educated countries like Iran, history tends to repeat itself.

There will be no way back for a few generations and that does not augur anything positive, as we had hoped, when our leaders supported these so called liberation movements, without asking for serious guarantees.

The West and the democratic countries of the world would be wise to reinforce the forces of freedom now, by all means, before it will be too late, democratic movements must be supported with unlimited funds for them to have a chance to organize and oppose these Islamic parties.

The fate of our economic and political stability relies partly on a secure Middle East. If tens of millions of people fail to reach an improvement on their right for freedom and economic development , the effect will this time be cataclysmic.

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  • Ahmed Ettounsi

    Defending the Arabic language is a legitimate request by Tunisians who yearn to protect their national language. I do not see you make any qualms about the French or the German when they try to protect their linguistic heritage. French is and will probably remain for a long time the country’s second language. That does not have to mean the atrophy or deterioration of the Arabic language in Tunisia.

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