The Tunisian uprisings of December 2010 are often depicted in negative terms, as lacking leadership, ideology, and political organization. Nahda (the Tunisian Islamist movement that, after decades of exile and repression, won 40 percent of the seats in the elections of October 2011) members are now accused of working to turn Tunisia into a “sharia state,” in which religious freedom, women’s rights, and freedom of expression would cease to exist. While the fears of individuals and groups who disagree with Islamists have to be taken seriously, discussion of current changes needs to be based on a real engagement, not on caricature.Read the rest of Nahda’s return to history.
Nadia Marzouki is a Jean Monnet Fellow in the Mediterranean Program at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS). Her work examines public controversies about Islam in Europe and the United States, and about secularism and Evangelical Christianity in North Africa. She is currently writing a book on American debates regarding Islam, which will be published in France in 2013. She is also co-editing a book with Olivier Roy, Religious conversions in the Mediterranean World (Palgrave/Macmillan, publication planned for 2013). Read Nadia Marzouki's contribution to "The naked public sphere?"