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Pois é! Como eu já tenho assinalado a algum tempo, a situação do Levante no Norte da África e do Oriente Médio parece caminhar para o desenvolvimento de regimes fundamentalistas, regulados pela Sharia e pouco democráticos… A alternativa turca acabará dando lugar para o modelo iraniano… Aí é que a coisa degringola…

Apenas os que conheciam pouco da realidade daquela região poderiam achar que o Levante culminaria no estabelecimento da democracia nos Estados árabes. Não vai. E aí vai ser pior para todo mundo… Espero estar enganado…

10/25/2011 01:21 PM

The World from Berlin: The Arab Spring ‘Will Create Strong Islamist Parties’

The strong showing by Islamists in Tunisia’s elections has raised doubts about the Arab Spring. Will rule by dictators in North Africa be replaced by Sharia law? Islam will have to play a role, say German commentators, but it’s not necessarily the end of the world — and Tunisian secularists are also strong.

Tunisians disappointed Western observers this week by giving Islamists a big majority in the country’s historic first election. A final count is expected Tuesday afternoon, but the poll was transparent, and Ennahda, a self-described moderate Islamist party, won an estimated one-third of the national parliament seats.

Ennahda will have to form a coalition to govern, but the widespread support for the party has disappointed many who hoped for a different outcome when Tunisia, almost by accident, started the wave of “Arab Spring” movements in North Africa this year. Tunisians fed up with joblessness and dictatorship took bravely to the streets and forced the long-ruling autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali into Saudi Arabian exile.

‘Freedom is Very Important to Us’

Ennahda’s leader, Rashid al-Ghannushi, was for many years a London-exiled political dissenter, and he still benefits from popular support among Tunisia’s poor. He likes to compare Ennahda to Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Islamist party in Turkey (the AKP) — or, less obviously, to Germany’s center-right Christian Democrats. Last week, before the Sunday poll, he defended the role of Islam in government.

“Sharia is not something that is alien or strange to our societies,” he said. “For example, in Britain we have Islamic finance and Islamic banking, and Islamic family law can be applied for marriage and divorce. We don’t see Sharia interfering in people’s private lives or in their freedom to wear what they want. Personal freedom is very important for us.”

German commentators on Tuesday worry about the prospect of women’s rights in Tunisia, but they sound guardedly optimistic about the country’s future.

The center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes:

“It’s no surprise that the Islamist Ennahda party emerged as the strongest power from the some 80 parties that emerged from Tunisia’s revolution. Even Tunisia, which is quite secular compared to other Arab countries, and where women continue to find their place in public life, is deeply rooted in Islam and its history.”

“Still, one will have to pay attention to whether the promises of Ennahda leader Rashid al-Ghannushi, who said his party was moderate and supported democracy and pluralism, were the truth or simply campaign maneuvers. Not a few Tunisians who voted for other parties fear that Ghannushi is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

The conservative daily Die Welt writes:

“Ennahda stands for tradition and enjoys solid organization within its ranks. It also appears to be the only Tunisian party that has received massive financial aid from outside, presumably from the Gulf states. Unlike other parties on the ballot, Ennahda can also claim that it was utterly banned under Ben Ali; its leader had to live in exile. The party enjoys a kind of credibility bonus.”

“One shouldn’t talk (yet) about an end to the Arab Spring in Tunisia. Even if a regime similar to Turkey’s AKP seems unsavory to Europeans: Success in founding a new state, even with a Sharia-oriented party in the lead, as long as it accepts the principles of plurality and human rights, will be an enormous step forward.”

The left-leaning daily Die Tageszeitung writes:

“There are two ways (for secularists) to deal with this election. One would be to form an alliance of all the secular powers in order to have a government opposed to the Ennahda party. The other would be to form a national unity government. Neither option is going to be easy. The Ennahda party has already promised to mobilize its followers if the secularists try to stand in its way. But a government of national unity won’t be able to represent all major parties.”

“The politically moderate Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), which is expected to become the second most powerful force in the government, declined offers to form alliances with both the Ennahda party and the Modern Democratic Axis, an alliance of small leftist and independent candidates. But no matter who is ultimately in the government, a number of questions about the new constitution appear resolved after Ennahda’s victory. Like the old constitution, the new one will define Tunisia as an Islamic nation. Major setbacks in matters like women’s rights seem unlikely, though, because they would only provoke the non-Islamists.”

Financial daily Handelsblatt writes:

“Tunisia ushered in an era of free elections in the Arab Spring countries — and the Islamist Ennahda party promptly won a clear victory. In Egypt, where the parliamentary election is planned for November, the Muslim Brotherhood is likely to earn the most votes. And for the Libyans, who will likely vote in a few months, the Islamists will also play a big role. After all, the National Transitional Council has said it wants to follow Sharia law.”

“We should get used to the fact that democracy in many Arab countries will create strong Islamist parties. There are worse things. For too long, fear of Islamists has led the US and Europe to support terrible despots like Tunisia’s Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. Now they should not make the mistake of withdrawing their support of the young democracies due to unwanted results.”

— Michael Scott Moore

 

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