Whenever something gets banned, people will find a way around it. Simple human nature. This is even more so if the entity doing the banning is a government. Tunis – yes, the laundry is being well and truly aired about that oh-so-stable country aplenty now – has not only banned the call to prayer on their official TV channels, but has also banned all religious programming on them too. Guess what happened immediately after their dictator was thrown out:
Tunisian TV channel resumes Adhan broadcasting
January 17th, 2011 – 11:17 UTC by Andy Sennitt.
A Tunisian TV channel has reportedly resumed broadcasting the Adhan [Call to Prayer] after the ousted president Zine El Abidin Ben Ali fled the country amid widespread anti-government protests. Ben Ali ended his 23-year rule on Friday after weeks of street protests all over the North African country.
The Arabic language Al-Mofakirat Al-Islam website said in a report that Tunisiaâ€™s Channel 7 TV resumed broadcasting Adhan five times a day. â€œHe (Ben Ali) was against broadcasting Adhan, holding Friday prayers in mosques during his rule,â€ the website said. The ousted president was also â€œbitterly opposed to hijab (Islamic dress code) and imposed a ban on many veiled Muslim women,â€ Al-Mofakirat Al-Islam added.
Ben Ali ruled Tunisia for more than two decades. His era was marred by repeated human rights violations and torture. On Sunday, acting leaders in Tunisia discussed the composition of a unity government as post-revolution unrest continues to grip the North African country.
Source: Press TV via Media Network
I’m willing to bet that the pendulum now will swing from the one extreme of robbing the Tunisian people of one important element of their identity, religion – through to the other end and we’ll see the rise of Islamism and Islamist sentiments.
So who and what gets sacrificed at the alter of extremism? Common sense and moderation.
We have quite a lot to learn from the “Tunisian Experiment”, and the wise will benefit most if they take time to understand what transpired and why and try to enact those lessons in their own societies with the inculcation of the respect for human rights and their freedoms of faith, association, thought and speech, and not to shove one doctrine or another down people’s throats.
The next few months and years will be very interesting indeed for Tunis and the Arab world in general. I just hope that this transition, painful as it will be, will be beneficial with the minimum loss of life and hardships.