WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 — A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on the government of Tunisia to respect the religious rights of women in that nation who choose to wear an Islamic headscarf, or “hijab.”
Media reports indicate that Tunisian police are stopping women on the streets and asking them to take off their headscarves and to sign a pledge that they will not wear a scarf again. A 1981 Tunisian law prohibits Islamic attire in schools or government offices. — from this CAIR press release
Tunisia is a police state, but a police state largely dedicated to constraining Islam. It was Bourguiba and his Destour Party who ruled Tunisia at and since independence. Bourguiba was, when it came to treatment of Infidels, far superior than were other Muslim leaders outside of Turkey. But it remains a state where Islam can only be constrained, and it cannot be constrained in all ways.
Of course Tunisia’s foreign policy reflects the general unappeasable hostility toward Israel. Indeed, even Abdelwahhab Meddeb, the Tunisian-born student of Islam who has been so keenly critical of Islam, continues to hold violently anti-Israel views — those views continue to linger among many who no longer remain loyal Muslims, those attitudes are among the last thing to go), and it was in Tunisia that the PLO found its refuge after Beirut.
But the Tunisian government knows, in a way that Western governments do not, that it has to use force — hence that “Police state” characterization — if it wishes to keep the outward and visible signs of Islam on the March (such as the Return of the Hijab, a statement that is clearly and aggressively political in nature) from scaring the secular and demoralizing them. The Tunisian police are doing what in Turkey is, or used to be done, by the army: preserving the regime of constraints on Islam. Call it Kemalism in one country, or Bourguibism in another, or call it merely common sense — in any case, it requires the kinds of measures that soft-hearted and soft-minded Infidels no doubt deplore. Those Infidels do not understand how powerful and menacing and all-encompassing a belief-system Islam is, and how the West has much to learn from the willingness of those in the Islamic world who, in order to keep this Rasputin under the ice, have to keep knocking it down, tying it up, keeping it from emerging yet again.
And those who mention tourism are also not wrong. The Tunisians are not fools. They do not possess oil and gas. They have all sorts and conditions of tourists. Some can safely be escorted to resorts, where gentils-organisateurs will keep them occupied. But should other Western tourists wander around outside those gated-and-guarded resorts, and see those herds of hijabs and the unsmiling faces under them, then Tunisia becomes less attractive to tourists. And of course the sunbathing hedonistic Infidels are likely targets if Islam has its way. Without the strongest of measures, as is understood in Tunisia as in Turkey, but not yet in London or Paris, unless the strongest of measures of all kinds are relentlessly undertaken, then Islam usually has its way.
Muslim states, for the survival of their own regimes, monitor the mosques to make sure, for example, at the khutbas on Friday, the name of the Ruler or Regime is properly invoked. Mosques are well understood to be centers of political life and subversion. In Turkey, Ataturk went further. Not only does the state monitor the mosques, but a central government authority vets, and often writes, the sermons — making sure that all those phrases that whip people into a frenzy, and that lead so often in some countries to mob attacks on Infidels (where there are Infidels to attack, as Hindus in Bangladesh who make the mistake of being near a mosque when it lets out) are censored. Tunisia, a well-regulated and “secular” state, uses the methods of the police state when necessary, and also monitors those khutbas with great interest. The natural vocabulary of the sermons of Islam is quite different from the sermons of Christianity. Such words as love, mercy, faith, hope, and charity are not exactly common in Qur’an or Hadith. Someone should get out his trusty computer and perform a lexical analysis of key terms in both Bible and Qur’an, and compare, compare, compare.
Shall we bring Democracy to Tunisia too, so that the quasi-enlightened despotism there can be overthrown and something a little more “democratic” can be achieved? What does the Administration that brings “freedom” in the spirit of the Little Engine That Could that brings toys and good things to eat to the boys and girls on the other side of the mountain think of that?