Violence erupts against Muslim extremists in Tunisia. Yesterday, Reuters reported that eight Tunisian soldiers were gunned down. As a result, the Tunisian government shut down all television, and announced that the violence was a “terrorist attack.” The Tunisian government replaced regular television programing with versus from the Qur’an and the playing of patriotic songs.
The attack happened on Mo Mount Chaambi, near the Algerian border. Tunisia and Egypt were the first of several nations involved in what is known as the Arab Spring Movement that placed many leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in power throughout the Middle East. Today we see Syria, trying to resist their nation becoming the next country to succumb to Muslim Brotherhood influence.
The Muslim Brotherhood branch in Tunisia began in 1976, and by 1982 it had taken the name – Islamic Tendency Movement (MTI), led by Rashid al-Ghannouchi.
“The fundamental objectives of the party are similar to those of the global Muslim Brotherhood movement: to liberate Muslim lands from foreign influence and establish a Shari’ah-based Islamic state.”
Since the Arab Spring Movement, the people of Tunisia have had to deal with government crack downs on protests and dissent, but the assassination of two secular political leaders has fueled emotions. In the capital of Tunis, last week a car bomb went off, and the stronger the protests get, the stronger the government cracks down.
The Tunisian government will not let the people of Tunis protest in the city’s center square, and have sealed it off from public access. The center city square is called Bardo, and now it is considered a “military zone” bordered with military personal and barbed wired.
In power now in Tunisia is the Ennahda Party, which is considered to have moderate Islamic policies. In 1988 the The Muslim Brotherhood under MTI renamed itself the Al-Nahda Party. After the Arab Spring Movement and Tunisian election in 2011, the Al-Nahda party won 41 percent of the legislative seats. A-Nahba means “rebirth.“
The Washington Post reported that sixty-five legislators have withdrawn from the Assembly, and announced that they would join protester in a sit-in, in front of the Assembly building. The Tunisian Assembly is made up of 217 members, and can still run the country maintaining the required quorum, yet the public does not seem to want to stand down, and they further report that:
“The police have repeatedly broken up the protests with tear gas and struggled to keep the opposing groups from clashing.”
It appears the Arab Spring Movement is unraveling backwards, with Egypt the most recent country to experience the counter-revolutionaries fighting back, followed by the current violent events in Libya, and now to the country were it all began. Ironically, Tunisia is also where Libyan refugees fled to in 2011, amidst the violence their country had been experiencing during the initial government turnover.