World Bulletin / News Desk
Despite political tension, two assassinations, economic turmoil and terrorist attacks, Tunisia managed to ratify a new, progressive constitution on January 26. The leader of Tunisia's Islamist Ennahda Movement, Rachid Al-Ghannouchi, spoke to Anadolu Agency (AA) about the constitution, Turkey's political system and Egypt's "military coup".
The constitution, Ghannouchi says, is “a marriage between Islam and democracy, between Islam and human rights, between Islam and universal values." But Tunisia, he says, is still facing two major challenges: security and the economy.
"Without addressing those two challenges the nascent experience of democratic transition in Tunisia faces the risk of abortion," said Al-Ghannouchi.
Al-Ghannouchi says Tunisia needs to fight violence and weapons smuggling "which threaten the stability of the country." As for the economic challenge: he says there has been no real socio-economic change despite economic growth, which increased from -2% to 3.5%. The North African country also still has a high rate of unemployment, despite a decrease from 19% to 15.6 %.
He said that the marginalized regions where the revolution sparkled "still feel there is no improvement."
In 2013, Tunisia witnessed what its President Moncef Marzouki described as "one of the most dangerous years in the modern history of Tunisia.” More than 30 security officers, from both the military and police, were killed in several terrorist attacks.
Al-Ghannouchi said the phenomenon of terrorism is "a complex one and therefore it needs complex solutions." The first of these solutions, he says, is to bolster security and the role of law, while the other is to address socio-economic issues.
"As the majority of the young people who turned into terrorists come from poor and marginalized areas where the rate of joblessness is very high," says Al-Ghannouchi.
The third solution is cultural, which means "establishing a reinterpretation of Islam," he says. "We need to build a national front against terrorism."
Turkey: A model to follow not to imitate
The system adopted in Turkey in recent years, where religious life has functioned more closely with democracy, is something some have said could be emulated by Tunisia, though al-Ghannouchi does not believe in copying the system wholesale.
"The Turkish model is much more entrenched in democracy, it is a model that nascent democracies need to learn from," he says, adding that "the Tunisian model has its specificities, it’s the result of different cultural, social and political circumstances and factors."
"[Countries need to] emulate Turkey's political and especially its economic successful experience," he says.
Egypt: Military coup cannot achieve democracy
He also said that Egypt's military coup is not the right way for political leadership to be decided.
"The opposition in Egypt has to understand that the Muslim Brotherhood is a large faction of the Egyptian society that you cannot ignore or exclude if they want to achieve real democracy in the country," he said.
He also called for a national dialogue to be started by all political players, "who believe in achieving the objectives of the revolution," and added that the international community should "stand by peoples and not by despots."
The continuing part of the interview with Dr. Ismail Kara
Ismail Kara is arguably the foremost academic expert on Turkish Islamism. Although he is a prolific writer and a public intellectual, his work is little known among non-Turkish speaking audiences.The following interview with Kara aims to close this gap. Micah Hughes, a doctoral candidate at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill translated the original text of the interview from Turkish into English under supervision of Cemil Aydin (UNC Chapel Hill). Interview questions were prepared by Cemil Aydin, Huseyin Yilmaz (GMU), Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu (GMU), Peter Mandaville (GMU) and Ahmet Koroglu (Istanbul University). Ahmet Koroglu provided visual material from Istanbul as well as spearheading the project. Kara's detailed bio information and a list of his publications are presented at the end of the interview text.
One of the first westerners given privileged access inside The North Korean government has spoken to SBS Asia Correspondent Katrina Yu about what the country would be thinking during the current period of international unrest.
Navaid Aziz, a Canadian imam, despite his young age, has a considerable reputation among Muslims living in the world, especially in the geographical regions that we call the West. Deniz Baran made an interview about his work.
Umar Faruq Abd-Allah was born in Columbus in the US state of Nebraska in 1948. Born into a protestant family, Wymann-Landgraf spent his childhood years in Athens, a small town of Georgia. Both of his parents were teaching at Georgia University.
Roughly one fifth of people now living are Muslims. Their societies are located in every corner of the globe and vary in language, ethnicity, political ideology, nationality, culture, and wealth.
Deniz Baran interview Muzzammi Thakur who answers crucial questions regarding the issue of Kashmir
Well-known Cape Town photo-journalist, radio show host tells about concept of media representation and depiction of and within Africa is explored
Various groups in Lebanon from different political backgrounds and sects have have come together to protest the governments failure and expressed their anger at the growing rubbish crisis.
We speak to four Muslims, who tell the story of their conversion to Islam
Four years after Egypt's 2011 uprising, raise suffering from unemployment, poor healthcare, electricity shortages
Today marks the 23rd anniversary of the killing of Azeri civilians in disputed circumstances during the bitter war for the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
The planned new pipeline route traces the contours of Russia's surviving friendships in Europe.
Prosecutors would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that when Hicks killed the three Muslim-American students he was motivated by religious or ethnic animus
‘Selective perception’ shown In mainstream media’s failure to adequately cover murders of 3 American Muslim students.
"The Great Australian Race Riot" documents nine major riots since the mid-19th century, beginning with sectarian violence between Irish Catholics and British Protestants living in Melbourne