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Overrating Tunisia's Islamists

Reader comment on item: Turmoil in Tunisia

Submitted by Nafata Bamaguje (Nigeria), Jan 21, 2011 at 03:39

"His not allowing alternate Islamic outlooks to develop could now prove a great mistake." - Daniel Pipes

On the contrary, enforced secularism was Ben Ali's greatest achievement. It is what the Muslim world needs as on their own, Muslims are incapable of separating religion from the state and public affairs.

Kemal Ataturk successfully did it in Turkey, and today most Turks are secular. Which is why even their present pro-Islamist government dare not impose Sharia, and can only take very small limited steps in its futile attempt to Islamize the country.

Similarly Ben Ali succeeded in secularizing Tunisia, and the average Tunisian is not interested in state imposition of Sharia, so the chances of Islamists seizing this opportunity to enthrone themselves is highly unlikely.

Pakistan could also fit the template. - Daniel Pipes

I strongly disagree. Pakistan, the global Islamist terror headquarters with violent jihadists running amok, is nothing like Tunisia with deeply entrenched secularism and no recent history of Islamist militancy.

Nafata Bamaguje, Katsina - Nigeria

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