‘Arab Spring’ Yesterday and Today: The Tunisian Template

Tommaso Virgili
Gatestone institute

  • A crucial recommendation of the report by Tunisia’s Individual Freedoms and Equality Committee (COLIBE) is a call explicitly to define the country’s vague criminal clauses that refer to ‘public order’ and ‘morals.’
  • The calls to decriminalize homosexuality and blasphemy, and to equalize the inheritance rights of women with men, are opposed by political parties that claim to be post-Islamist but in practice kowtow to Islamic fundamentalists.
  • Now it is time for hesitant secular forces in Tunisia’s parliament to embrace and implement COLIBE’s recommendations.
  • And in the rest of the Muslim world?

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Diagnosing the Arab Muslim Mentality as a Precursor to Reform

Abd al-Hamid al-Ansari

Attempts to diagnose the factors contributing to paralysis and obstacles to Arab reform date back more than two centuries. They began at the end of the 18th century on the heels of the cultural clash with a triumphant West that overran the region with its developed weaponry and modern technologies, with its sciences, expertise and advanced systems.

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Erdoğan: A New Caliph and Sultan?

V. Sazonov

Turkey Aims to Restore the Ottoman Empire

Introduction: Kemalism and Atatürk

By the time World War I broke out, the Ottoman Empire had lost all the territories it had held in North Africa and almost all its territories in Europe, earning the nickname “sick man of Europe”. Turkey had been in the throes of a long-term crisis. Entering the conflict made the situation several times worse—the war completely ravaged the Ottoman Empire, dealing it a final blow. The empire lost the war and was in deep crisis. The Treaty of Sèvres, signed in 1920, decided the essential partitioning of Turkey. Under its terms, Greece would receive almost all of Turkey’s territories in Europe and some in Asia Minor; Syria and Lebanon would fall under the mandate of France; Iraq would be controlled by Great Britain; Turkey had to recognise Armenia as an independent state; and an independent Kurdish state was to be created. The treaty included many other conditions shameful to Turkish pride, and much that Turkey had to give up (including money and control over the Bosphorus straits).


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