Islamist threat in Tunisia?

Submitted by Matthew on 19 January, 2011 - 9:30

We don’t know how strong the Islamist threat is in Tunisia. The country has a long tradition of secularisation, and some vocal secularists.

Yet that was true in Iran, too, in 1978-9, in the tumult which ended with the coming to power of Khomeini’s Islamist dictatorship, more crushing even than the Shah’s. That tumult included tremendous workers’ strike movements on democratic and secular demands; but the fact that the mosques had become the only tolerated place of opposition under the Shah, the strength of the Islamist cadre of clerics and religious students, and the complaisance of the left towards the Islamists, proved decisive.

The British left has not learned the lessons of Iran. At the Labour Representation Committee conference in London on 15 January, the invited platform speaker on Tunisia was Mohammed Ali Harrath, former leader of the Tunisian Islamic Front and now CEO of Islam Channel, a TV station charged by some (including Yvonne Ridley, whom it sacked) with anti-Shia bigotry.

Islam Channel: and


Submitted by guenter on Thu, 20/01/2011 - 13:57

not only the british left has not learned the lesson from iran, as the author says, but the left worldwide.
i remember very well the discussions in 1979 at german universities. not only the tudeh-party (the pro-soviet cP) did strongly support the new mullah regime, but almost all of the "revolutionary left", including some of the trots! they told me, it didnt matter, that women have to wear the veil; "at the time of the shah, they transported guns behind the veil"- and blamed the women, "to split the revolution with their particular claims". they clapped hands, when prostitutes and gays have been hanged, and so on.
it was a left with the same bloody double-moral than the islamists, and no understanding of democratic and individual rights.
i told some tudeh-guys, b4 they returned to iran, that the regime will use them 4 a short time and then hang them. they laughed at me. a few years later, they didnt laugh no more, cause that was a bit difficult, while hanging at the gallows tree.

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