Arab Spring withers in Tunisia – One woman’s battle

“A woman gang-raped by the police was later prosecuted.”

by Souhir Stephenson

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.

… continue reading the New York Times article Tunisia, a Sad Year Later

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