The Islamic party, al-Nahda, was the clear winner out of a crowded field of some 100 parties but it did not gain an absolute majority because of the way the electoral process was structured. Even so, party leaders were at pains to assure the secularists — and indeed the West — that al-Nahda had no plans to establish an Islamic state.
General Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali’s ouster from power has opened Tunisia’s political landscape somewhat. Political parties and various groups, such as trade unions and lawyers’ associations, are jostling to secure an advantageous position in the uncertain political climate that currently reflects Tunisian society. Political parties that existed legally were obviously tainted by cooperation with the regime.
Friends and neighbors of Abouzizi’s were so horrified by his suicide that his funeral was turned into a protest rally despite threats from the police.
Those Muslims and Islamic movement activists who support ‘democracy’ or ‘democratic’ understandings of Islam often get a bad press within the movement. This is understandable, for many are nothing more than apologists for the wholesale importation of Western political thought into the Muslim world, and with it – whether they realize it or not – Western political hegemony into the Muslim world.
Shaikh Rachid Al-Ghannouchi, the exiled leader of Tunisia’s An-Nahda Islamic movement, led a five-day hunger-strike by 20 protestors outside the Tunisian embassy in London fron October 20-24. The protest was in support of Islamic activists imprisoned in Tunisian jails...
Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, president of Tunisia, is applauded in western capitals for maintaining peace and stability in his country. This he has achieved by bludgeoning the Islamic party, An-Nahdha, into submission with mass arrests, imprisonments, torture and exile. At the same time, he maintains a reputation for respecting human rights.
The present article was published by Shahid Shaqaqi in Egypt. It was translated into English and first published by the Islamic Propagation Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in Canada, with the title, Sunni vs. Shi'ah: A Pitiful Outcry, and under the pen name of the author, Ezzoddin Ibrahim.1