Tunisia: Birthplace of the Arab Spring fears Islamist insurgence

The uprisings that swept North Africa and the Middle East began in Tunisia. But, as Andrew Gilligan finds out, the country is still searching for its happy ending.

Andrew Gilligan
Telegraph [UK]
28 May 2011

At the Cannes Film Festival this month, Nouri Bouzid, the celebrated director and opponent of Islamist extremism, received the Legion d’Honneur, the highest award France can bestow.

A few weeks before that, in his native Tunisia, came a rather different form of recognition: he was stabbed in the head.

“The attack might have been triggered by an angry reaction to my pro-secular stands and rejection of [extremist Islamic] culture,” said Bouzid, who appeared on Tunisian television at the time with a large bloodied gash above his left ear.

“This could be the start of [their] campaign against signs of creativity in our country that don’t agree with their ideas.”

Bouzid is careful not to blame any group or party for the attack.

But just a week later, the source of some of the hostility to him became clearer.

At an April 17 rally organised by Ennahda, Tunisia’s largest Islamist party, a speaker called for Bouzid to be “shot with a Kalashnikov”.

The audience, which included a senior Ennahda leader, responded with cries of “Allahu Akbar”.

Distracted by the dramas of Libya, Syria and Yemen, the world appears to have forgotten the place where it all started. It was Tunisians, on January 14, who kicked out their dictator and began the Arab Spring. Now, though, there is growing concern here that the birthplace of the democratic revolt will also be the first country to see Islamists take significant political power…

The article continues at the Telegraph.

Related: Savage Nation vs Halfwit State (cont) by Mark Steyn

I wrote two years ago about the British Government’s decision to ban Michael Savage from the United Kingdom. In his letter to Secretary Clinton, Congressman Allen West points out that Her Majesty’s Government chose to add to a list of Russian mass murderers and Hamas terrorists the name of a law-abiding citizen of the United States – and, as I pointed out back in 2009, did so on an utterly cynical and fraudulent basis.

I’ve lost touch a bit with the case since then, but I can’t say I was surprised to discover this week that the new “Conservative” Home Secretary has upheld the exclusion order of her Labour predecessor. The letter from a bloke called Michael Atkins, for the Treasury Solicitor, is a remarkable document – not least the reference in 3 (c) to the “allegation” (as Atkins puts it) that Savage “has many homosexual friends and respects Islam as a great religion”.

Why should admission to the United Kingdom be conditional on either of these no doubt splendid attributes? Is there a minimum number of homosexual friends you need to get past Heathrow? Indeed, how many of the many immigrants to Britain who “respect Islam as a great religion” have “homosexual friends”?…

H/T Blazing Cat Fur and Five Feet of Fury

Also, Syrian Reform Starts At Home: Beginning To Crack The Global Syrian Culture Of Fear, by Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser at Big Peace

…The pathologies within Syria after nearly a half a century of rule by one of the worst fascist regimes in humanity are multi-dimensional. There are more Syrians living outside Syria than inside because so many have fled the brutality of the regime. And even though many of them now live in freedom after leaving their motherland, their behavior remains largely muted by the long tentacles of the Syrian government. Any public comments or activities against the domestic and foreign interests of the Assad regime by any Syrians around the world may place close or even distant family members in harm’s way for reprisals including imprisonment and torture simply as a result of a vocal family member in the U.S. or outside of Syria. Regimes like Assad’s know full well the impact which any global effort to isolate his government can have upon his longevity…

Is the U.S. Losing its Culture to Islam?, by Trevor Loudon via Gates of Vienna

This absolutely must-see video, which was produced by Americans for Peace and Tolerance and the Tennessee Freedom Coalition, concerns the encroachment of radical Islam in Tennessee. It debuted last week in Nashville and was featured during Thursday night’s event along with Geert Wilders and other speakers.

The film reveals the infiltration of local institutions by Muslim Brotherhood front groups, “exposing radical Islamist preachers in Nashville, TN who were accepted by the city leadership and the media as ‘moderates,’ indoctrinating Vanderbilt University students and Nashville mosque members with extremist anti-American views.”…

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