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Question: Continuation of Shukran, Mister President, Thank you! CPNN article: Shukran, Mister President, Thank you!
CPNN Administrator
Posted: Dec. 22 2012,11:35

(The following is continued from the main article listed above.)

Remarks on the Arab Revolutions by Moncef Marzouki (translated by CPNN):

In the late 90s, I wrote that if the 18th century was the century of the French Revolution and  the American, the 20th one of the Russian revolution and Chinese,  the 21st century will be the century of the Arab revolution. This did not come from reading in coffee shops, but in the books of history.

Great nations do not commit suicide nor let themselves die.  Deep within themselves they manage to find, when all seems lost, an energy to rebound.  The longer the ordeal, the deeper the fall, the greater the energy that will enable them to rebound from the depths to which they have fallen.  The Arab revolutions, according to this  inevitability of history, have now finally arrived. . .

There is nothing to fear of the Arab revolutions, because they are not nationalist and xenophobic revolutions. As they got underway, we did not hear the usual anti-Western or anti-Israeli slogans. And for good reason.   Liberty is no longer freedom from foreign occupation, but from a corrupt and brutal dictatorship that eventually became a veritable internal occupation.

The recent violent protests of Salafi jihadists against Western embassies following the lamentable history of an Islamophobic video, have mustered only a few hundred individuals under the watchful and disapproving eyes of the overwhelming majority.

No, there is nothing to fear of these Arab revolutions, because these are first and foremost social revolutions fighting for the same social and economic rights that were at the root of your own evolutions or revolutions.

No, there is nothing to fear from the Arab revolutions because they are democratic revolutions.

It is true that Islamist parties have won undeniable electoral victories in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. But is not democracy that brought a significant part of the Islamists into its camp?   Is it not democracy  that has imposed its rules, ethics and political vision to govern today's society?

No it is not the triumph of Islamism in the wake of the Arab Spring that perverts or profits as feared by some Western and Arab commentators, but rather its is democracy that continues to conquer the world.

It is not the democrats who are'' converted'' to this political ideology called Islamism, but instead it is the advocates of this doctrine - at least the moderate majority of Muslims in the spectrum  of Tunisian Islamist - who have converted to democracy.

Are they sincere or opportunist?  We will learn over time.  They must learn the game and play by the rules. Otherwise if they reinstall a religious dictatorship, then Arabs will liquidate it just as they have liquidated those that were nationalist or socialist.

As for those who speak already about an Islamist winter to succeed the Arab Spring they do not seem to understand the number of years or decades it took other peoples to get back on their feet after a revolution.

Ladies and Gentlemen

Regarding the fate of these revolutions, everything is in play and nothing is yet settled.

In Tunisia, we are proud to have made a revolution at the lowest possible cost of human life.  I think here with great emotion of the plight of the Syrian people who are paying the highest price for liberty and who need more than ever the humanitarian and political support of all free peoples.

We set up a moderate coalition government between secularists and moderate Islamists so that bothcomponents of our people can take part in conducting this delicate transition phase.

The government works. It restored a state which ceased to exist in 2011. It restarted the economic machine that has allowed Tunisia to achieve an increased growth rate going from  -2.5 in 2011 to 3% in 2013.

The government is hampered by personal conflicts and the politics of its coalitions. But we have no better choice, and we will have to live with it until the next elections which we want to hold as soon as possible. We have edited for months the constitution for a democratic and civil state and a pluralistic society with the difficulties that you can you imagine,  but again the spirit of consensus prevails and we hope to agree on the text in two or three months.

We are absolutely committed to promote and defend all freedoms,  to protect the gains in the rights of women,  but  one does not change in only two years the attitudes and behaviors that have accumulated more than fifty years.  We are committed to protecting the modernist lifestyle of Tunisia and raise the living standards of the poor and forgotten Tunisians, but the social and economic challenges are enormous, given the legacy of the dictatorship which carefully camouflaged the heavy revelations for more than twenty years.

We are absolutely determined to continue our strategy of absorption fraction of moderate Islam - because it is no offense to the ideologues who see neither complexity nor the dynamics of the political thing - and equally determined to his face insoluble fraction democracy and security by means within the law and respect for human rights but also by the social economic and cultural.

We will never accept that this current - the equivalent of your extreme right, should endanger our model of society deeply anchored in the Arab-Muslim heritage and resolutely turned towards modernity. We will not let them endanger the achievements of women, human rights and our relationship to the West that we want to be peaceful.  friendly and based on mutual respect and partnership beneficial to both communities.
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