Will Mona Eltahawy spray-paint the New York Times offices? Will Souhir Stephenson and the New York Times be called “racists” and “bigots” in indignant editorials in…the New York Times, as well as the Washington Post, CNN, et al? Will the politically correct elites recoil in horror and write a thousand counter-op eds denouncing the Times for allowing use of a word that they claim is dehumanizing and demeaning?
Why, no. None of that will happen. And only those who are paying close attention will realize the general hypocrisy.
“Tunisia, a Sad Year Later,” by Souhir Stephenson for the New York Times, October 31 (thanks to Bill):
ON Oct. 23, 2011, I voted for the first time as a Tunisian citizen. It was the first election of the Arab Spring. Pictures of smiling, proud voters flooded the Internet. The world watched, surprised and hopeful. Moderate political Islam in the Arab world was touted as a possibility rather than an oxymoron.
A year later, we have no democracy, no trust in elected officials, no improved constitution. Human rights and women’s rights are threatened. The economy is tanking.
Tourism is dwindling. Who wants to vacation among bands of bearded savages raiding embassies, staking their black pirate flag over universities or burning trucks carrying beer? Meanwhile, our government and puppet president watch, without arresting these Salafist extremists.
We have one thing left from our revolution: free speech.
That is why Facebook is filled with outrage and cell-phone videos of the madness; why we exchange skits and caricatures of our dictators, past and present. If something will save us, it will be our refusal to shut up again.
During those first elections, the Islamists were better organized, and supported by Gulf States afraid of democratic contagion. They won over many poor voters by financing communal weddings and lamb dinners for the Eid holiday. Islamists also volunteered in greater numbers at polling stations.
The Islamist Ennahda party won control over the country by winning only 41 percent of the electoral vote. This was possible because parties that portrayed themselves as democratic during the campaign later formed a coalition with the Islamists rather than with other secular parties.
Today, Tunisians are somber, anxious, rattled by daily tragedies. Recently, a secular party representative was assassinated by an extremist group. A woman gang-raped by the police was later prosecuted. Salafists attacked the U.S. Embassy and burned its school (attended by Tunisians) while the government failed to dispatch police, firemen or soldiers.
The Islamists placed their relatives and buddies in powerful positions. They tried to insert into the Constitution that women are “complementary to men,” which would have reversed 50 years of equality. We did not vote for fanatics to twist our Constitution into Shariah law.
But that’s what you’re going to get.