Influential Voices in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE Celebrate Tunisia Turmoil as Blow to Political Islam

(Washington Post) Claire Parker - Tunisian President Kais Saied fired the prime minister and suspended parliament on Sunday. While some in Tunisia saw the moves against institutions led or supported by Ennahda, a moderate Islamist party, as a coup, others praised the sidelining of political leaders they saw as dysfunctional and repressive. But the narrative emerging from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt was far more univocal: The events in Tunisia marked the death knell for political Islam. While Ennahda long ago disavowed connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, the semiofficial Saudi newspaper Okaz proclaimed: "Tunisia revolts against the Brotherhood." Egyptian daily Al-Ahram called the events a "loss for the last Brotherhood stronghold in the region." Ennahda garnered the most votes in Tunisia's first democratic election following the 2011 revolution. But its popularity has declined and anger has mounted over the past year as the pandemic ravaged the country and its economy and a movement against police brutality gained steam. Calls grew for the dissolution of parliament, helmed by Ennahda's highly unpopular leader Rachid Ghannouchi.

2021-07-29 00:00:00

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