Tunisia Struggles To Survive

The Arab Spring began in Tunisia about two years ago and opened the possibility of creating Arab societies that would integrate religon and secular ideas of life. A moderate Islamist party gained a majority in Tunisia under leadership of Rached Ghannouchi. He attempted to balance the conflicting demands of secular Tunisians and those of more Islamic fundamentalists whose dream was Sharia law. He did endeavor to in corporate secular voices in his government, but actions of fundamentalists have torn apar the country. Islamists have murdered two important secular leaders and no one has been arrested. This set off an explosion of anger among secular groups who now demand that Ghannouchi dissolve the government and hold elections.

Ghannouchi feels trapped between voices insisting on a new election and endeavoring to maintain stability.TUnisia was for many years under rule of France which resulted in thousands of Tunisians attending French universities and adopting many aspects of French culture.Tunisia is also the destination of thousands of French tourists, many of whom are not coming due to fear of Islamist violence.

Islamists terrorists must be halted or Tunisia will plunge into an economic depression. There is need for a coalition government which can create stability and ensure that fundamentalism does not succeed.