The Arab Spring 2011: Retreating Secularization?

The New Wave of Islamization in the North African Region


The process of revolutionary changes in the North African region in 2011 sparked the flame of hope for change and implementing reforms viewed through the lens of the West. The fall of the dictator and the process of democratic transition in Tunisia as a major commitment to a peaceful future for the whole region and coming closer to the Western-style concept of democracy. How unrealistic has this premise proved to be, it is illustrated by the recent development in Tunisia, Libya, as well as Syria. It is really important to ask, how the requirements and goals of the Arab revolution 2011 reflected into the actual change at the national political scene in various Islamic countries. Isn’t the call for democracy inspired by its western model, taking the form of the dictator’s subversion, revision of the constitution and observing human rights, particularly the freedom of speech and fighting for the abolition of the censorship, the reason for strengthening the effort of some political Islam groups (such as Salafiyya) to obtain more influence in the society? Can the current sectarian violence in Libya be viewed as a new, slowly coming wave of violence in the name of fighting between different Islamic sects? Does the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s attitude restrain the real reform and transition to a new system in the country? And isn’t Tunisia becoming a victim of its own dream of better tomorrow after Ben Ali’s fall?

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