Six lessons learned from Tunisia’s recent elections

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ISIS is not the only option being taken in Islamic countries. An article in the German website, Qantara de, reports that, in spite of numerous setbacks over the last three years, the Arab Spring is bearing fruit. According to Egyptian journalist and professor Khalil al-Anani, the Tunisian experiment once again proves that Tunisia is a long way ahead of the other Arab countries undergoing transformation

This article is an important reminder to young Muslims that there is another way to bring about change – the democratic option rather than the violent one. This article in the German website, Qantara de, highlights another option for radicalised young Muslims seeking change – the democratic option.

Examining the recent elections in Tunisia, the way the Islamist party Ennahda has approached elections reveals a very different picture of an Islamic ruling party. In particular, following their most recent election defeat, they accepted the peaceful handover of power in Tunisia unreservedly, and the party leadership congratulated their political adversaries from Nidaa-Tounes on their victory. Even more important, however, is the fact that Ennahda made an effort to subordinate narrow-minded party-political thinking to the interests of the nation – a real quantum leap for the Islamists' political discourse and actions!

It seems that for the first time in the Arab world, there may actually be Islamists and democrats.

It also raises the hope that a new strain of Islamism could emerge, one that would forge a path between rigid orthodoxy on the one hand and extremist orientation on the other; a strain prepared to take up progressive thoughts and stimuli, that would also reach the younger members of this movement and teach them the values of freedom, democracy and social responsibility.

Democratic change is an irreversible process.

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Democratic change as an irreversible process: "The most important thing, however, is that the countless sacrifices made by young people in the Arab world for a better future for future generations in their countries were not, and will not have been, in vain," writes Khalil al-Anani


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