Tuesday, January 28, 2014

And a Win is Clawed Back

The Arab Spring shook the Arab Moslem world, bringing the option of democracy forward as an alternative to the traditional choices of Islamist dictatorship that promote wild Islamism with an international bent or secular dictatorship that appealed to safe Islamism for legitimacy within the state. Democracy finally got a win in this lont-term struggle.

The Arab Spring can't be judged for decades yet. If it is judged a success, Tunisia may be viewed as an early victory for democracy:

President Moncef Marzouki and the head of the National Assembly signed Tunisia's new constitution on Monday, enshrining one of its last steps toward full democracy after a 2011 uprising that inspired the Arab Spring.

After years of autocratic rule under Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia's charter has been praised as one of the most progressive in the Arab world, designating Islam as the state religion but protecting freedom of belief and sexual equality.

It won't be easy to set aside the traditional forms of government in the Arab world. But Arabs are not doomed to the traditional choices.

This is a small victory. But it could be huge if it works.