Tunisia in Revolt
February 6, 2013 6:16 AM   Subscribe

Shokri Belaid, leader of the Popular Front coalition, has been shot dead outside of his home in Tunis sending thousands of protesters in the streets.

Post Arab Spring Tunisia has been a battleground between between the conservative Islamists, who have been accused of religiously motivated attacks, and their secular opponents, who have been accused of having a weak political platform (pdf).
posted by dubusadus (13 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
And in the meantime, Tunisia remains a water-deprived country that doesn't have any good sources for hard currency.
posted by ocschwar at 6:41 AM on February 6, 2013

The Middle East is always falling apart but the last 2 or 3 years is unlike anything we've ever seen. Arab Spring, or Arab Nightmare. Iraq tipping closer to open civil war, Egypt facing possible revolt, Syria in one of the worse wars in the Middle East in recent memory, the Maghreb terrorists situation escalating as Mali is nearly overrun, Yemen etc.. and now Tunis.

It's a great "sorting out" not unlike what happened with the various people's of Eastern Europe from WWI through the Cold War. It will take a while for new identities to emerge and new political structures, it may mean completely redrawing the boundaries of countries, creating new countries and eliminating others.
posted by stbalbach at 7:48 AM on February 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

There isn't too much doubt the Islamist Ennahda movement carried out the assassination then I suppose.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:49 AM on February 6, 2013

Maybe we should have some kind of map of countries in this region that aren't having revolutions. Might be easier.
posted by Fizz at 7:51 AM on February 6, 2013

One of the wrinkles of the self-immolation protest incident which set off the Tunisian Arab Spring revolt (and is seen as helping to spark the Arab Spring in general) was that the street trader who killed himself was said in Tunisia to not just have been oppressed by Tunisian government forces (usually described as the police), but the trigger incident was said to have been especially, egregiously humiliating because he was ordered around, and allegedly slapped in the face, by a woman official (a municipal inspector, not a police officer it turns out). The slap itself, as decided by a trial under the new regime, never actually happened - the woman official in question was imprisoned for 4 months then cleared of all charges
posted by Bwithh at 8:53 AM on February 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

There isn't too much doubt the Islamist Ennahda movement carried out the assassination then I suppose.

Maybe not directly. But it is their modus operandi to issue fatwas about how secularists are deserving of death, and then disclaim responsibility when somebody does this. "Won't someone rid me of this meddlesome trade unionist?"
posted by ocschwar at 9:28 AM on February 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


He had accused authorities of not doing enough to stop violence by ultraconservatives who have targeted mausoleums, art exhibits and other things seen as out of keeping with their strict interpretation of Islam via AJE.
posted by adamvasco at 9:38 AM on February 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Why call them conservatives when they intend to radically change the country?
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:48 AM on February 6, 2013

Because they want to take it back to the middle ages not forward to the twenty first century.
posted by adamvasco at 10:54 AM on February 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Shit. And I complained when there wasn't a sausage sizzle or cake stall the last time I voted. The courage and determination of these people to bring about a change of governance methods is amazing to me.

I don't suppose the technocrat government mentioned in brokkr's link would be something people would actually enjoy and get used to, would it? A bit like gay marriage - people oppose it until it happens and then they realise it's not leading to the apocalypse they imagined? I suppose the ultraconservatives will always oppose anything less than a theocracy though, and use violence to get their way.
posted by harriet vane at 6:24 PM on February 6, 2013

justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow: "Why call them conservatives when they intend to radically change the country?"

A reactionary is an individual that holds political viewpoints which cause them to seek to return to a previous state (the status quo ante) in a society. Reactionaries are considered to be one end of a political spectrum whose opposite pole is radicalism, though reactionary ideologies may be themselves radical.
posted by stbalbach at 9:30 PM on February 6, 2013 [2 favorites]

Tunisian president's party quits cabinet - "The secular party of Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki has withdrawn its three ministers from the country's government, saying that its demands for changes in the cabinet have not been met."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:55 AM on February 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

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