Flirting With Extremism in Tunisia

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Summary
Tunisia’s ruling Islamist Ennahda Party should resist the temptation to use violence to help ensure its grip on power.
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Protesters “were piled into pickup trucks with their black flags,” recalled two Tunisian eyewitnesses, the co-founder of a humanitarian group and a college professor. Both requested anonymity for security reasons. “I knew something would go wrong,” shuddered one. Although no loss of American life resulted, last month’s organized attack on the United States embassy in Tunisia—in which four locals did die—was at least as portentous as the sack of the Libyan consulate.

Unlike residents of Benghazi, Tunis-dwellers did not turn out to challenge the commandeering of their public space by well-marshaled extremists. And, whether through immaturity or latent connivance, the attitude of the Tunisian government has been equivocal. Further incidents, such as the roughing up of an elected official ten days ago, suggest that the ruling Islamist Ennahda Party may be flirting with violence to help ensure its grip on power.

But if Ennahda hopes to retain the credibility at home and abroad that its outwardly moderate approach to the Tunisian transition has reaped so far, it must resist this temptation. It must make a firm commitment to the inviolable safety and neutrality of the political arena. A good first step would be for Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali to ask for the resignation of several key ministers and to replace them with more neutral and experienced figures.

To some outside observers, the situation in Tunisia may not look as critical as in some of its neighbors. Now that its role in sparking the Arab Awakening is fulfilled, little Tunisia has faded a bit from international attention, overshadowed by Egypt’s sheer mass and dynamism, and the bloody tragedy of Syria. Indeed, U.S. policymakers have regarded Tunisia with a measure of relief, as the one probable success story of the Arab transitions. “We think Tunisia is proceeding in the right direction based on what we are seeing,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier this year. But she noted that questions will be raised with the government as they arise.

It would be a mistake to underestimate Tunisia. As many CEOs will attest, one of the best ways to effect dramatic transformation of a complex entity is to start small, in a promising corner, and then scale up. By the same token, if Tunisia veers in a radical direction, or if its almost family ties to Europe and the West are shattered, the implications for other transitioning Arab countries will be ominous.

Precisely this exemplary value may explain why radical forces, stimulated by a rebranded al-Qaeda conglomerate, seem to be focusing on secular Tunisia and grateful Libya. Of all the countries in the Arab Awakening, those are the two that show the most promise of positive development and strong relationships with the West.

The shrewdly targeted recent attacks in Tunisia may pale in comparison to Syria’s slaughter or even the ongoing crackdown in Bahrain. But in societies like Tunisia’s, where extreme brutality or airtight repression have schooled behavior, it may only take low levels of physical violence to make populations submit to desired norms. Sometimes the mere threat of violence sends a sufficiently explicit message. And so the details of recent episodes are worth examining.

The graceful, semicircular white mosque from which the September 14 embassy raid departed, Masjid al-Fath, is known as a spiritual headquarters of the extremist Salafi movement. It is situated downtown, some five miles away from the U.S. embassy. Numerous eyewitnesses describe organized preparations and police cordons protecting the whole, long route. September 14 was not, in other words, a spontaneous demonstration.

Extremist cleric Abu Iyad, who reportedly promulgated the call to protest, has avoided explicit references to al-Qaeda of late, but his past associations with Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda network are well known. The “Tunisian Combatant Group” he founded in Afghanistan in 2000 is believed to have colluded with al-Qaeda in the assassination of Taliban opponent Ahmed Shah Massoud by two Tunisians posing as journalists on September 9, 2001. The group he now heads is called Ansar al-Sharia, and is connected to the Libyan organization of the same name. Just days after the embassy attack in Tunis, Abu Iyad was back at al-Fath, firing up his followers. Somehow, he eluded dozens of police arrayed outside the building and is now in hiding. Perhaps equally grave, the titular imam of that same extremist mosque is none other than the Tunisian government’s minister for religious affairs, Noureddine Khadmi.

These appearances certainly suggest that Tunisia’s ruling party is dallying with hardline extremism. If Ennahda is truly as moderate as it claims, why not demonstrate it by appointing a broad-minded, learned, and creative religious thinker who could credibly embark upon the vast and exciting task of mapping out the shape of Islam in the modern world? That would be a way for Tunisia to regain its constructive role at the forefront of the historic changes engulfing its neighborhood.

But it is not just the minister of religious affairs whose actions are ambiguous. The key ministries of interior and justice have not lived up to their charge of ensuring a neutral and safe public sphere for political discourse. Late last month, a representative in the country’s Constituent Assembly was roughed up in the seaside town of Kelibia by a gang of toughs whom locals identified as Ennahda Party members. Earlier, sparking national outrage, policemen gang-raped a woman they said they found in an indecent posture with her boyfriend in a parked car.

The targets of such intimidation have been well chosen. The Constituent Assembly delegate is widely unpopular. Art exhibits that have been attacked over the past few months have pushed the boundaries of ordinary Tunisian sensibilities. And many in the country’s conservative heartland would not approve of sex before marriage.

Still, the police reaction to extremist violence has been lethargic at best, and the force’s own actions have been ambiguous. Investigations opened by the Justice Ministry have seemed to target secular behavior one-sidedly, while leaving undisturbed those who use violence to influence public debate. In sharp contrast to this apparent bias is the behavior of the Tunisian army, which rose quietly to the challenge of protecting last year’s elections with acclaimed neutrality.

October 23—the one-year anniversary of Tunisia’s first genuinely free elections—is a political deadline. Technically, it is the end of the terms of elected members of the Constituent Assembly. With a draft constitution still not complete, current representatives will doubtless continue to sit. Still, that date marks a propitious inflection point.

Ennahda should celebrate by recalibrating. There are good reasons to replace the ministers of justice, interior, and religious affairs. And a transitional justice process, which would systematically examine the crimes of the former regime to obtain reparation and closure, must be undertaken. Some Tunisians have begun predicting impending civil conflict in their increasingly polarized country. These steps would go a long way to prevent it.

End of document

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Comments (27)

 
 
  • Tunisian democrat
    4 Recommends
     
    In fact police forces have worked very hard at avoiding Abu Iyad, the previous Al Qaeda member, allegedly not to increase tension. His whereabouts are well know and his partisans openly say he carries his "normal" activities in his neighborhood. Ennahdha openly threatens its opponents through Facebook groups of supporters. They have lost a lot of support from people that voted for them and will definitely use violence, something as you point out the normal Tunisians are not prone to. The USA should wake up and know who to support.
     
     
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  • Hichem
    1 Recommend
     
    Do you think the solution lies in the sacking of a couple of people? Don't you think that these same people act on the orders of their superiors or at least share their views? The problem is deeper and lies in the fact that the ruling party thinks that he can run the country on its own and by excluding everyone else. This s a party that reminds me of George W. Bush's "Either you're with us or you're against us" ideology. Hence, a large part of the population is alienated. Tunisians are scared to see that since a year ago, 3000 jhadists or salafists are amongst them and who rule the streets with total impunity. Tunisian men and women are horrified to see that a raped woman becomes the accused. Tunisians see with great angst their individual and group freedom being eroded. Yes, Tunisia is a deeply polarized country at this time. The people in power, who are responsible for this polarization, need to act fast to bring the rule of law, and bring others with them before it is too late.
     
     
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  • kamel.hamzaoui@gmail.com
    1 Recommend
     
    Thank you very much for this paper. Nous ne laisserons pas faire. Nous sommes contre cet extrémisme religieux. La Tunisie a toujours été une terre qui regroupe toutes les religions et toutes les nationalité. Nous voulons laPaix, bien vivre et travailler mais surtout contre ces religieux qui veulent nous ramener 500 ans en arrière. Kamel Hamzaoui
     
     
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  • benhedililia@hotmail.fr
    1 Recommend
     
    De quel flirt vous parlez, Madame? Ennahdha, dès son arrivée, a constitué ses salafistes et ils ne font que nous baiser carrément, nous violer même! Donc, là, il ne s'agit pas d'un simple flirt - et leurs procédures sont même très graves pour notre pays. Ils refusent catégoriquement de lever leur mains des Ministères de l'Intérieur, de la Justice ou autre; sinon comment resteront-ils au pouvoir et réaliseront-ils leur nouvelle et assez obscure nouvelle dictature sur la Tunisie!
     
     
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  • For A Better Tunisia
    1 Recommend
     
    Thank you for this article. It's a nice try but I would strongly suggest the USA put some heat on the morons that took over in this country. Tunisians don't have time to wait for these extremists to chill and calm down. If they were minding their own business after living in jails and in exile, it would be one thing. However these animals are on a high. I say shut them straight. They need to go back to square 1. And lockem'up. For good this time.
     
     
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  • Imed
    3 Recommends
     
    This morning a video, by a hidden camera, where the leader of Ennahdha Party, the ruling party, exposes the real objectives of their religious party:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WuHi-O-PGhI#!


    تحدث راشد الغنوشي في هذا الفيديو المصوّر بكاميرا مخفية على ضرورة أن يتحلى السلفيون في تونس بالصبر والروية وأن يقتنعوا بمكاسبهم الحالية ولا يفرطو فيها في انتظار تدعيمها في المستقبل.
    وأكد الغنوشي أن النهضة ورغم أنها حققت نتائج ايجابية في الانتخابات الفارطة واصبحت تدير العملية السياسية في البلاد إلا أن مفاصل الدولة لا زالت بيد العلمانين على حد تعبيره. وأضاف الغنوشي أن العلمانيين لازالو يسيطرون على الاعلام والادارة كما "ان جهازي الجيش والشرطة ليسا مضمونين".
    ونبّه رئيس حركة النهضة إلى ضرورة الاتعاظ من التجربة الجزائرية حيث تحصل الاسلاميون على نسبة 80 بالمائة في الانتخابات واعتقدوا أنهم سيطروا على هياكل الدولة وأنه يمكنهم المرور لأسلمة الدولة إلا أن الدائرة دارت عليهم. ودعا السلفيين إلى أن يلتزموا بسياسة المراحل وان يقنعو بكل مكسب يتحقق ويؤمنوه في انتظار تدعيمه.
    وأردف قائلا المفروض اليوم على الاسلاميين ان يملؤوا البلاد بالجمعيات وان ينشؤوا المدارس القرأنية في كل مكان ويستدعوا الدعاة الدينيين لأن الناس لازالت جاهلة بالاسلام ثم المرور إلى المرحلة القادمة
    كما تطرق إلى مسألة التنصيص على الشريعة في الدستور الجديد وبرر تراجع الحركة عن هذا الفصل بخوف "الفئة العلمانية" من مصطلح الشريعة وهو ما استدعى تغيير الاسم دون تغيير المسمى وذلك عبر الاعتراف بالفصل الأول الذي سلم بأن الاسلام دين للدولة ظاهرا.
    وأكد ان تطبيق الشريعة ليس بحاجة لنص في الدستور لان النصوص لم تقيد الدول ولكن تطبيق الشريعة واسلمة المجتمع بحاجته لرجال يحركونه ويمشون به لا إلى نصوص تقيد السلطة.

     
     
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  • DERBALI SONIA
    4 Recommends
     
    OCCUPEZ VOUS DE VOS AFFAIRES , VOUS COMPRENEZ POURQUOI LES GENS VOUS DÉTESTENT AVEC CE GENRE D’INGÉRENCE; POURQUOI N4ALLEZ-VOUS PAS DISTILLER VOTRE HAINE DU CÔTE DE L’ENTITÉ SIONISTE.? VOUS SEREZ PLUS CRÉDIBLES LES CANICHES DU GRAND SION.
     
     
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  • Sarah Chayes
    1 Recommend
     
    I would like to thank all of you for writing in, and most of all for your ongoing passionate engagement in the political life of your country. The future of Tunisia -- and due to its stunning exemplariness perhaps that of much of your neighborhood -- depends on this vibrant, smart, dedicated, active involvement. We all have much to learn from you.
     
     
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  • Sarah Chayes
    3 Recommends 5 Conversation Recommends
     
    Please allow me to make a few comments.

    In some of the francophone Tunisian press, I have seen this commentary described as a case of "The United States" "ordering" the removal of three ministers. Let me correct that misunderstanding. The Carnegie Endowment in no way represents or speaks for the United States of America. On the contrary, Carnegie is known for its intellectual independence and the seriousness of its scholarly work. Nor is it U.S. policy, as I have observed it, to "order" independent governments to appoint or remove cabinet officials(!) Some of the (frequently contradictory) conspiracy theories I encounter in Tunis are startling.

    Secondly, as real as the extremist threat may be, I would urge you not to get completely distracted by "la question identitaire." What I am examining on my visits to Tunisia is something else -- something I thought and still think was at the root of the revolution: structured and acute state corruption, the capture of the country's economic surplus by a very small clique, which used all the levers of state power to enforce its systematic pillage of the country's wealth. To my surprise, I have found relatively little attention being paid to that subject today, though signs are that the system remains in place. In fact, hidden by the passionate polarization on issues of dress and artistic expression, there are clear signs that the current ruling elite is in the process of coming to accomodations with some of the mainstays of the Ben Ali corruption system. To me, this connivance represents at least as great a threat to Tunisia's future as some of the punctual episodes surrounding individual freedoms.
     
     
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    • REAL FRIEND WILL TELL YOU THE TRUTH replies...
      1 Recommend
      Thanks madam for the clarification however we got used to it .any comment done and fiound later   wrong will be only described as (personal view and does not engage or represent the officials american position ) and to be more specific i will tell you that we got used even to the procedure . america will in the future pretend that al qaeda(IN NORTH AFRICA ) is becaming stroger and stronger thing witch represents a threat for americans interrest this speech will be held more and more often ,. then a terrorist act will happen and america after investigation will find that the terrorists are from north african al qaeda and that it have to put an end to their activities .BUT WE KNOW THAT THE REAL GOAL IS PETROL AND GAS and that does have nothing to do with iran or al qaeda and could you tell me where are all the reasons of iraqui invasion ( chemical weapons ...) WHY WE FORGOT THEM NOW ,WHY WE DO NOT SAY THE TRUTH AND IN ARABIC WE SAY FOOLISH WHO MAKES A Lie BEACAUSE HE WILL BE THE FIRST TO BELIEVE IN IT .even one child was asking me that day what iwas america doing in vietnam ,in corea,in japan , ,in... and sorry i was not able to answer him when he asked me again what did america for palestinians ???? but still as human beings we love you and we hope that illuminated people like you comment on their gouvernment act more than abut otheir because all these act are the origin of all hate that some are keeping to america exept those who does believe that there is a difference between citizens and official position .
       
       
    • Hassen B. Tayyib replies...
      1 Recommend
      I totally concur with you Sarah. the former Ben Ali regime was a kleptocratic system that co opted a big section of the political actors of the opposition. Today, we 're witnessing the same scenario again. It's clear that Ennahdha has shown its true colors by replicating the same dirty deeds of the past. In sum, we're witnessing many cases of nepotism taking place in appointing certain key officials.
      As to the accountability of the stolen assets by the Ben Alis and Trabelsis, the people seems eager to see justice done and the former rule put to justice.
      There's so much much acrimony and vindication in the political space today in tunisia that i find it really hard to see all the political actors working together to just get the work done in the country on day to day basis. case in point is the enforcing of the law; and that's in my view the most fundamental pillar of guaranteeing internal security.
      It belongs to Ennahdha to   make a courageous decision and disavow itself from the Salafist ideology, which clearly stated that democracy in the modern concept is outright unislimic and plain heresy!! How can you deal with this?
      The next coming days would let us know how are things are heading.....
       
       
  • Sarah Chayes
    1 Recommend 5 Conversation Recommends
     
    And so I would urge all of you not to fall into the trap of polarization. While the Ennahda leadership may be flirting with extremism, the vast bulk of its voters are not. Many may have voted Ennahda largely in hopes for a cleaner government, and may be confused by what is now transpiring. Be careful about how you express yourselves so as to ensure that your positions remain open and welcoming to all Tunisians wishing for a better future. Please go out and talk to your fellow-citizens, including those who do not speak French. Find out what they really need, and work together to help achieve it. The fact is, you enjoy far greater liberties today than you did under Ben Ali -- thanks to your own efforts. Now I urge you to use them to join forces to build a new and more equitable polity!
     
     
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    • mkdir replies...
      1 Recommend
      I voted for Ennahda, and soon I'll vote for them, because they are more honest, better than innocents, the traitors, the sionists.
       
       
    • Chad replies...
      2 Recommends
      As an expat living a minute or so from the US Embassy and having a daughter in the American Cooperative School, I can back up the witnesses you quote. I was no more than 100 meters from the front of the Embassy at times and witnessed the build up and attack as the protest rapidly changed tack.

      There was no real attempt to protect the Embassy from the beginning, the police and National Guard only getting serious when some of their own were injured. The final push that cleared the road in front of the Embassy forced more protesters/rioters round to the sides and rear of the compound and then across the highway to the school.

      Since then it has been made quite clear that there was reluctance to go up against the salafists. Through various, very credible channels I have heard the same information, that the government, or perhaps certain ministers, wanted this to happen. The head quarters of the National Guard is about three minutes away, on the same highway as the school and the Embassy.

      One of the troubling situations here is that no-one I talk to or listen to wants Ennahda to remain in power. They are too moderate for hard liners and too islamist for moderates. There is a growing fear among Tunisians that if Ennahda remains in power much longer, they will become entrenched and it will take decades to get them out . In other words there is seems to be little support for the current leadership and the failed production really has very little to do with it. Manyy people seem glad it has yet to become the law of the land as they believe it it would be a flawed product given those composing it and the political pandering that becomes more apparent each day.
       
       
    • Malek replies...
      1 Recommend
      The legitimacy of the current Government and the constitutional council ends this 23 oct 2012.

      A new elections should be held, if they dont comply the army should take control.
       
       
  • I LOVE AMERICAN SIMPLE CITIZENS.
    3 Recommends
     
    THANKS FOR THE COMMENT BUT PLEASE COULD SOMEONE SAY TO AMERICAMS THEY SHOULD DO THIS OR THAT AS IT IS WRITTEN IN THE LAST PARAGRAPH :ENNAHDA SHOULD .... THANKS FOR INTERFEERING IN OTHERS LIFE AND CRYING LATER THAT THERE ARE TERRORISTS WHO ARE TRYING TO HARM THE USA . WHY THESE (TERRORISTS )ARE NOT DANGEROUS FOR NORWAY,FINLAND,LUXEMBOURG ,CHINA,JAPAN,.... IT IS ONLY BECAUSE NONE OF THESE COUNTRIES IS TRYING TO INTERFERE AND MAKE HIM SELF THE ONLY SOLE MOST POWERFULL LEADER .WE LOVE ALL AMERICANS WHO RESPECTS THEMSELVES AND DOES INTERFERE YES BUT IN OUR FAVOR NOT LIKE WHAT WAS DOING USA WITH BEN ALI WAS IN POWER OR SHALL I UNDERSTAND THAT BECAUSE IT WAS IN YOUR INTERREST (YOU DIDN'T KNOW ) WHY HAVING TWO FACES YES WE WILL BE PLEASED IF YOU ARE NOT SO SELFISH BUT PARTIAL AND RIGHT THEN YOU WILL SEE HOW DO WE LOVE OTHERS AND YOU WILL REALLY FEEL ARABIC HOSPITALITY .
     
     
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  • mohamed bouhlel
    1 Recommend
     
    Hello , my first comment was censored , my apologies for some parts of it .
    Madame all of us know the USA politics towards tunisia,why do they supported that dictatorship all that time?why do intellectual persons like you didn't show up what your politics did against tunisian people,isn't time to unmask that?
    We also know what role have institutes like yours to influence political decisions and orientation,so please don't fool us.
    In the last paragraph you said "There are good reasons to replace the ministers of justice, interior, and religious affairs.",please keep such suggestions for you , may I have your opinion about my demand to replace your defence secretary and I have "thousands of lives" to ask that .
    Don't tell us that you are so innocent and your ideas too, please don't fool us please
    Finally it is really very joking to talk about "conspiracy theories" when simple people speak naturally about US policy , you can never be in their places and suffer like them from what your country did in our country :there's thousands of examples.
     
     
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  • mohamed bouhlel
    1 Recommend
     
    according to wikipedia you are "a former special advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff",that says too much about your real intentions.
    please tell to your politicians WE DO NOT TRUST THEM AT ALL.
    A succesful revolution will be a great threat to your interests,soiling it is your goal but hopefully and insh'ALLAH you won't achieve that.
    Can you explain to tunisians why this sudden interst in tunisian future since the revolution?what are your real goals?
    now your embassy said about young tunisians whom met clinton "The group had the honor and privilege to meet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the State Department",please pay attention to the "honor and privilege",that was their life's dream
     
     
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  • TOURKI AHMED AMINE
    1 Recommend
     
    good but we need to dicuss together to thing about another lovly tunisia but not an order.
     
     
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  • issam
    1 Recommend
     
    If the Western leaders think that the Islamist parties are really honest in their deeds and believe in Democracy, I think they made the worst mistake of their lives,cus there is no such thing as democracy for those who have spent ñost of their lives in prison;what is called ennahdha in Tunisia or the muslim brothers in Egypt just to name a few, will never leave the trones and we're even afraid that the real Revolution is coming soon,as these are criminals and don't believe in Democracy!!!
     
     
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  • Sarah Chayes
    1 Recommend
     
    Merci a tous d’avoir ecrit, et surtout pour votre implication passionee dans la vie politique de votre pays. Le futur de la Tunisie – et compte tenu de la facon que la Tunisie a deja mene les evenements, eventuellement celui de bien des pays environnants – depend de cette implication vive, intelligente, devouee, et active. Nous avons tous bien des choses a apprendre du peuple tunisien!
     
     
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  • Sarah Chayes
    2 Recommends
     
    Permettez moi de repeter ici quelques remarques que j’ai faites plus haut en Anglais – avec excuses pour mon Francais, et le manque d’accents.
    Dans au moins une publication en-ligne j’ai vu mon papier sous le titre: L’Amerique ordonne le retrait de trois ministers. Il s’agit bien evidemment d’une malcomprehension. Le Carnegie Endowment – et a fortiori moi – ne parlons pas au nom du gouvernement americain. Quelques commentataires ci-dessus presument assez savoir pour dire que je mens. Mon passage comme conseilliere aupres du chef d’etat major interarmes a conforte certains dans leur conviction a ce propos. Mais le monde, il se trouve, est encore plus complique que ses apparences. Des gouvernements et des pays sont composes d’individus divergeants, munis de leur propres capacities et consciences. “L’Amerique,” tout comme la Tunisie, est loin d’etre une seule chose, et sa gouvernement aussi. J’y ai effectivement travaille. En citoyenne d’un etat qui se veut democratique, cela m’a semble de mon devoir d’essayer, si je pouvais, de contribuer a ameliorer sa politique. Et j’ai toujours etait independente dans mes critiques de certains aspets de cette politique. Le Carnegie Endowment pour sa part est un institut de recherche connu pour son independence intellectuelle et pour le serieux de son travail.
    Deuxieme remarque: autant reele que peut sembler une menace integriste, je vous conseilleirais de ne pas vous laisser completement accaparer par la question identitaire. Ce que j’examine lors de mes visites en Tunisie est ce que j’avais cru, et croit toujours, etre au coeur de votre revolution: la corruption structuree et abusive du regime Ben Ali, la capture de tout le surplus economique du pays par une toute petite clique, qui se servait de tous les leviers du pouvoir pour imposer son pillage des biens. C’est une problematique qui touche beaucoup de pays aujourd’hui, pas le moindre le mien. A ma surprise, j’ai trouve qu’assez peu d’attention est portee a ce sujet aujourd’hui, meme si on dirait que ce systeme reste plus ou moins en place. En fait, caches par la polarisation du peuple au sujet des questions vestimentaires, ou d’expression artistique, se trouvent des signes que l’elite actuelle commence a s’accommoder avec le systeme de corruption economique. Pour moi, cette connivance menace autant le futur de la Tunisie que certaines episodes concernant les libertes individuelles.
     
     
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  • Sarah Chayes
    1 Recommend
     
    Je pense donc que ce serait bien que vous essayiez d’eviter le piege de la polarization. Si certains dirigeants d’Ennahda flirtent avec l’extremisme, pas la masse de ses electeurs. Beaucoup ont vote Ennahda dans l’espoir partage par tous d’un gouvernement propre. Certains peuvent etre deroutes par ce qui ce passe actuellement. Faites attention a la facon dont vous vous exprimez, pour assurer que vos prises de position restent ouvertes et accueillantes pour tous les Tunisiens qui esperent un meilleur futur. Allez a l’encontre de vos concitoyens, y compris ceux qui ne comprennent pas le Francais. Trouvez leurs vrais besoins, et travaillez ensemble pour essayer de les combler. En fait vous jouissez de libertes beaucoup plus larges qu’aux jours de Ben Ali – grace a vos efforts formidables. Servez-vous en pour vous unir afin de construire une nouvelle politique encore plus equitable, qui protege le droit de tous a participer, et interdit l’exclusion de quiquonque.
     
     
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  • Hassan
    1 Recommend 2 Conversation Recommends
     
    Sarah, you are a king maker now. You 've been misquoted and Carnegie is now considered a deciding branch of the US government! This is according to the digital edition of Tunisie Numerique that claims that your institution is " ordering" not advocating or suggesting the dismissal of certa in key ministers in the Tunisian government. Check out this link:
    http://www.tunisienumerique.com/tunisie-les-usa-ordonnent-le-depart-de-trois-ministres-dennahdha/149034
     
     
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    • Sarah Chayes replies...
      1 Recommend
      Dear Hassan: Thanks for the alert. I was indeed aware of Tunisie Numerique's regrettable mischaracterization. You will see my rectification above.
       
       
  • le jasmin ça sent bon!
    1 Recommend
     
    One year ago, no one I knew wanted to vote for Nahdha. However, here we are governed by some people mixing religion and politics! Everything was done by Nahdha to ensure that they will get power. Many papers mentioned the help they provided to the poor: MONEY... And, "it's math" it was simply not possible to win against them since there were some 70 political parties! Some men saw in Nahdha, the possible decline of women who they thought were getting more and more powerful under Ben Ali. They joked about getting more than one wife, and some believed legalization of marijuana will at last occur... Last year I thought, it may be was a good thing for Tunisians to have Nahdha governing. In times of economic crisis, I thought Nahdha would fail and people would forget about them and religious revival and go back to normal. Under Ben Ali, of course there was corruption as well as oppression against practicing people but this is all we need to abolish. Today 1/8 Tunisians live in Europe where they vote left wing but in Tunisia, they voted and will vote for Nahdha once again. These people VOTE which is not the case for many young people in and outside the country. People's slacktivism on social networks reflects anti-Nahdha opinions, but do you think pro-Nahdha are posting their support on facebook? Most of them don't. They are kidding about the elected official's incident; they have their own version of history and their own brain washing. Many opponents to Nahdha are frail. I believe they would vote for Nahdha-like parties kind of a religious zeal! Many of them believe that lay people have US or European support. Sadly, our people are expecting so much of our government. Very few are engaged in something constructive like NGOs. Many Tunisians are waiting for things to be done. They are waiting for others to make change to able to blame those who tried. We are -- most of us -- still under Ben Ali's brain wash, in other words we cannot play but we can criticize soccer players. I read the previous posts here, and I am apologizing for all the hatred shown through Tunisians words. Ya twensa , when someone criticizes you, you cannot say it is none of her business! You shall listen and try to understand why such things have been said, try to figure out how to change the status quo! And if you don’t want people to change things for you, do it by yourself. Revolutions are useless since you don’t change your words, behaviors and mentalities.
     
     
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  • Nour Kas
    1 Recommend
     
    Ennahdha is not as moderate as they say and as they wanted to convince international opinion particularly the United States even if some of them, who constitute the “shop window”, are . This party has a large hard wing and this explains the fact that in “Majless of Shoura” ‘ s elections won the hardest as Sadok Chourou, H Ellouze etc… and part of them are salafys. This hard wing even others considered more “light”, are prisoners of an ideology so whatever they decide is linked with, which wouldn’t always match with the hole society aspirations neither with democracy. In the other side, moderate or not they all have to refer to the “Majless of Shoura” where decisions are taken!


    Ennahdha without corruption cannot have a majority in elections, they need to pay electors and forgive corrupted businessmen to have their support that’s why there’s no real reform in justice and tribunals and cannot be a representative party. They also show signs of dictatorship as they aim to dominate media and press, they have created a “parallel” violent police called leagues of Revolution “protection” that aggress journalists, citizens and opposition parties and this is very dangerous for stability, democracy then foreign investment .
    Another dangerous tactic of Ennahdha is paying hooligans to appear as salafys in order to let international opinion particularly the USA one, distinguish between them: Ennahdha as “moderate” and those false salafys as being the radicals , then convince the USA that Ennahdha is the only party that can calm extremists ! The result is disgusting and terrible for Tunisian people and for the image of Tunisia abroad!

    Now, most of the real salafys soft and jihadist, consider Ennahdha party as an enemy so hope not to expect terrorism from hard ones ! And the mistake of Ennahdha is that the moderate ones didn’t control the hardest who deal with radical salafys ! Added to this, The Ennahdha party is now divided between Rached Ghannouchi clan and Hammadi Jebali Clan!

     
     
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Source http://carnegieendowment.org/2012/10/08/flirting-with-extremism-in-tunisia/gng3

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