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Washington Post: Tunisia Faces Political Struggle Over Islam

Author: Edward Cody
June 17, 2013


Which style of Islam will prevail in Tunisia?

TUNIS — Two and a half years after kindling a revolution that flamed across the Arab world, Tunisians have moved on to the next chapter, a political struggle between Islamic fundamentalism and the tolerant, Mediterranean-style Islam that has characterized their nation's 57 years as an independent state.

Although Tunisia is a small country of 11 million people, its looming decisions on national identity, the role of religion and political organization touch on — and are likely to become a beacon for — the main challenges facing reformers across North Africa and the Middle East.

Tunisians, in effect, have reached the point in their democracy where Syria's opposition wants to be after that country's civil war, where Libyans want to be after they build a post-
Gaddafi state and where secular Egyptians want to be if and when an effective opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood arises.

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