The main goal of the North African Islamist movements was and still is: oversthrowing the secular, Western-backed rulers and regimes of the Arab countries – a requirement for establishing a Sharia-based Taliban-style Islamic State. An overthrow of an Arab leader is a quite rare event in itself but an overthrow of a regime by the people is even rarer. This is just happened in Ben Ali´s Tunisia. Academics, doctors, lawyers and people of other professions took to the streets, a protest that resulted in the run-away of the President and its notorious family clan.
Human rights activists, political opposition and scores of unemployed youth demanded the resignation of President Ben Ali for years. Now their goal has been achieved within a few weeks of – partially – violent protest. But what about the other element of Tunisia´s opposition to the ruling family – the Islamists? They also worked for years to topple Ben Ali´s regime.
Blogger colleague Aaren Zelin has written about the question of Islamist´s involvement in Tunisia´s „Jasmin -Revolution“. He describes how the North-Africa terror network „Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb“ (AQIM) is trying to use the political situation in Tunisia and turning it into an Islamic Revolution – without any effect.
„The uprising, after all, fulfills a top jihadist goal, but it also rebukes their belief that only violent and pious struggle can bring down a man like Ben Ali“ – Aaron writes. Calls for Jihad were silenced when Tunisia´s people took to the streets. Radical Islam has not played any role in the historic revolution in this Maghreb-State – „In Tunisia at least, the jihadist call to arms has rarely seemed less relevant.“
Read Aaron´s article „Jihadists: The Wallflowers of the Tunisian Uprising“ here