The History of the Middle East Questions and Answers

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I think that one of my most initial reactions or responses to this article is how fluid the current political situation is in Tunisia.  With the revolution from the Arab Spring still fresh in memory, there is much in way of a power vacuum that has emerged in Tunisia.  There is little in way of clarity as to which group or which political organization will inhabit this.  My initial reaction is a level of concern, but also of observation in the idea that radical Islamist groups have a very good chance of claiming power in the fluid situation in which Tunisia is immersed.  The flashpoint of the viewing of "Persepolis" had set in motion several events that reflected a lack of progressive embrace of liberal democracy and something that looked like a resurgence in traditional forms of Islam.  The question that this might pose is that how comfortable are outsiders, particularly those in the West, with a government that is authenticated by the people, but is one that we don't immediately wish to see on the world stage.  For example, if Tunisia does democratically elect a traditional Islamist government that espouses views antihetical to liberal democracy, can this be accepted or is our definition of a "democratically elected government" one that conforms immediately to our vision?  Democracy is a messy and unclear business and Tunisia is demonstrating that right now with its political fluidity.  This is one of the strongest responses I feel towards the conclusion of reading this article.

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