Have We All Been Too Complacent About Tunisia?

From MEI Editor's Blog Thu Feb 7 2013, 09:33:00

Yesterday's assassination of Chokri Belaid in Tunis has had a profound impact on the situation in Tunisia, far exceeding the political clout of Belaid's leftist party: the Prime Minister says he is dissolving the government and creating a technocratic Cabinet of national unity; the leftist and some other secular parties are withdrawing from the Constituent Assembly, and the country is rocked by disorders.

Over the two years since the Tunisian Revolution, I think the Western commentariat has been rather complacent about Tunisia, myself included. It's a small country, one that's always seemed peaceful and comfortably Westernized. Riots over wearing niqab in the university, or violent attacks on art galleries, bars, or Sufi saint's tombs seemed to be growing pains, the actions of a radical minority. Egypt, so much bigger and so much more central, was also far more dramatic, with dozens dead just in the latest rounds of clashes.

The secularists were warning that the dominant al-Nahda was a wolf in sheep's clothing, and even came up with a secret video of Rached Ghannouchi, al-Nahda's seemingly moderate leader, suggesting alternative agendas. My last post on the Salafi-vs-Sufi saints vandalism, on the burning of the tomb of Sidi Bou Said, was something of a personal complaint since "they" attacked the place where I spent my honeymoon. Lately the transition process has bogged down over negotiations for a Cabinet reshuffle, but that, too, seemed routine: God knows, we understand partisan gridlock here in ...

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse


You might also be interested in the following news stories:

Egypte:   La France restitue à l'Egypte des antiquités saisies par les douanes (news)
Egypt State Information Service
28 November 2014

Les autorités françaises ont restitué à l'Egypte 233 pièces d'antiquités introduites frauduleusement en France en 2010, conformément à la ... [read more]

Egypt:   Tight Security At Cairo, Giza Squares Ahead of Protests (news)
Aswat Masriya
28 November 2014

Security forces deployed Friday a rapid intervention unit at Rabaa al-Adaweya Mosque's main gate, in anticipation of any violence that might occur during the Islamist protests scheduled today. [read more]

Egypt:   Homemade Bomb Goes Off in Heliopolis, No Casualties - Source (news)
Aswat Masriya
28 November 2014

A homemade bomb went off Friday in al-Khalifa al-Ma'moun street in Heliopolis, Cairo, but no injuries were reported, sources at the Cairo Security Directorate said. [read more]



blogAfrica is allAfrica.com's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!