Before we go jumping for joy over last weekend's coup in Tunisia, perhaps we ought to consider the likely outcome of democratic elections in that country and in others in North Africa and across the Arab and Muslim worlds.
The announcement that Rachid Ghannouchi, Tunisia’s leading Islamist agitator, is to return home from exile in (where else?) London certainly should raise alarm bells in some quarters. Ghannouchi fled into exile after the Tunisians claimed he was linked to plots to blow up tourist hotels in Tunisia – claims, it should be said, Ghannouchi has always denied. But his links to militant Islamist groups throughout North Africa, such as the Sudanese government which is currently the subject of war crimes charges at the Hague, are well-document and give you some idea of which way Tunisia post-Ben Ali could go if the Tunisians do not take care.
And it is a pattern that could be replicated throughout the Maghreb. In Libya Islamist militants pose the most serious threat to the Gaddafi clan’s survival, while in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood have made no secret of their desire to establish an Islamic theocracy to replace the current secular regime. It was not so long ago that Muslim militants in Algeria were busily blowing up the Paris metro.
In the war against Islamist terror North Africa is already an area that causes Western intelligence agencies serious concern. And the threat to Western interests would rise considerably if Islamist regimes replace the secular dynasties that have pursued pro-Western policies, but in doing so have woefully failed their people.
I'm not sure what the answer is, but it's clearly not business as usual.
Labels: democracy, Islamic indoctrination, Tunisia
posted by Carl in Jerusalem @ 4:25 PM