The Arab Spring dawned in Tunisia and there was great hope the death of a young man might spark renewed interest in peace and reform. The dictator of Tunisia was driven from power, free elections were held and the end result was a triumph for Muslim conservatives including the Salafists whose main desire in life is restoring the world they believed once existed in the Middle East. Tunisian Islamist Prime Minister Ali Larayedh has accused the nation’s main Salafist movement, Ansar al-Sharia of working with al-Qaeda in the assassination of moderate Islamic leaders. He said Ansar al-Sharia is “responsible for the assassination of Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi as well as martyrs in the police and the national army.” He has decided to classify this group as a “terrorist organization.”
There is no doubt Salafists have organized attacks on the police and army units and seek to drive out moderates in order to establisha society based on Sharia law. There is no example in the world of a society based on Sharia law being able to develop a modern economy and raise standards of living. In one sense, such societies do return to the past, but economic standards of 1842 just will not make it in 2013.