Tunisian Leader: Islamists to Dominate Arab World
by IPT News • Nov 30, 2012 at 12:26 pm
The leader of Tunisia's Islamist party said that Islamist movements will dominate the Arab world eventually.
Rached al-Ghannouchi, whose Ennahda party rules Tunisia, said that Islam will be the "reference point" after the various revolutions are fully consolidated.
"There's a true way that Islam represents the common ground for everyone … Eventually Islam becomes a reference point for everyone," Ghannouchi said.
To what extent Shari'a law will be imposed on public life in the various countries that have undergone popular uprisings remains to be seen.
However, political Islam will certainly have a greater role in these societies.
These tensions are most notable in the Arab world's largest and most powerful country – Egypt, where liberal and secular segments of society are clashing with the sympathizers of the dominant Muslim Brotherhood following Islamist president Mohammed Morsi's recent dictatorial power grab.
As the Syrian civil war wages, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist forces are gaining more power within the Syrian opposition.
Ghannouchi also expects that the Gulf countries will undergo similar transitions eventually, citing mass protests in Kuwait. Morocco is also engaging in significant reforms after early elections last year ushered in an Islamist-led government.
In light of Ghannouchi's comments, it must be noted that Tunisia is regarded as the most liberal and secular country in the Arab world – its experience with political Islam may therefore serve as the defining test for the composition of the new Middle East.