Monday, January 31, 2011

Ben Ali is the bed that was bin Laden

By his courage, the Tunisian people just bend the blow to a theory popular in certain political circles in Europe and North America who see the Arab world space refractory to democratic emancipation. They claim that only the Islamists are likely to overthrow Arab regimes "moderate" and that, to contain this risk, supporting autocrats, even condone their excesses police and mafia. 
Tunisia is on the path of liberation, but the road is still long. One of the first challenges of the new Tunisian regime will initiate a genuine national reconciliation with all parts of society, the only condition for establishing the foundations for a democratic pact. This is where the shoe pinches. In Tunisia, as elsewhere in the Arab world, opposition forces have all inspired Islamic influence, often significant, certainly not negligible. Although the party's Islamist Rachid Ghannouchi, Nahda ("Renaissance"), has been weakened by two decades of repression and exile, he still retains a certain audience in the country. The passages leading Tunisian Islamist on the satellite channel Al-Jazeera generate a strong echo among Tunisian viewers.
However, in view of a possible return of Islamists in Tunisian politics, we hear again the voice shake the western green cloth, lamenting the fact that the democratization process in Tunisia is more likely to benefit the Islamists that the Democrats. In sum, proponents of this view seem almost catastrophic regret the departure of the dictator Ben Ali, he at least knew his people to take an iron hand, by preventing it from tipping toward the "axis of evil ".
This simplistic discourse that puts all the movements known as "Islamists" in the same bag flourished. Rached Ghannouchi would be the representative of Tunisian Oussama Ben Laden. But it is clear that this statement ignores the reality. Many supported the idea that, ultimately, despotic regimes as that of Ben Ali were preferable to the "bearded". Sad to see that opinion leaders recycled rhetoric well-oiled Arab dictators to stay in power despite their many abuses, like to stand in ultimate bulwark and protector of the interests of the West ... But we must be blind not to realize that it is this cynical policy, which stifles people and radicalization grows, the people of Tunisia has just shattered. In it, Ben Ali was indeed the goal of Bin Laden accomplice: the secure locking of the Tunisian society has helped make possible terrorists.
But who are the Tunisian Islamists? Nahda party, in exile for over twenty years, like the other opposition parties not recognized by the power Benali, called for the establishment of a democratic regime respectful of civil liberties. He even admitted that the Personal Status Code of 1956, which abolished polygamy and repudiation and introduced civil marriage (something unique in the Arab world), was a decisive gain that we should not put in question . In this regard, the Tunisian Islamists have nothing to do with fundamentalism of Saudi state.
As demonstrated by the work of Eric Gobe, editor of The Year of the Maghreb, the model is of Tunisian Islamist AKP Turkish, namely, political pragmatism, economic liberalism tinged social secularization of the state and a balanced diplomacy between East and West. Without lapsing into an idyllic vision of the Islamists, Rached Ghannouchi recognize that more dream of being a "Erdogan Tunisia" that "Bin Laden Maghreb." And we must remember that, contrary to popular belief, these parties, channeling the frustration of a large part of the Arab street, helping to cut the rug out from under the theories of radical Islam and terrorism.
The Tunisian example is an inspiration for all freedom-loving Arab citizens. At Al-Jazeera and Facebook, people are waking up and are thirsty for justice, democracy and dignity. They know that change is within their reach, and the Tunisian example broke the psychological barrier that caused them to resign themselves to living under regimes of terror. They also need the support of Western democracies. However, it assumes that European opinion makes a change of view vis-à-vis the Islamists, who are far from being a homogeneous political family. Except to perpetuate corrupt and murderous regimes, Europe can do without a questioning of the old certainties that seem more outdated than ever.

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