Are LGBT Tunisians about to face a dark Arab winter?

Published: November 15, 2011

Here in Tunisia we had our Arab Spring which I supported – we brought the dictator Ben Ali down. The summer passed and autumn came, recently, on the 24th of October we had elections. The Islamic Ennahda Party won 90 seats, making it the largest bloc in the 217-member assembly. Although they obtained only 25% of votes, they have 41% of seats. This is due to the dispersion of other political groups and independents which means, 35% of votes were lost.

The Islamic party kept reassuring it will protect religious and ethnic minorities and never question the achievements of Tunisian women. Homosexuality is a taboo that was not discussed by any party, and even less by the Ennahda. For example, the humanist parties like the “Modern Democratic Pole” just promised to protect individual freedoms and change the laws in order to be conform to international conventions. This party’s sympathizers were accused, mostly by islamists who wants to weaken them, of being pro gays, lesbians and prostitutes because they defended basic human rights. It got only 5 seats.

An executive member of the populist Party “Ennahdha” recently promised dignity for gays, this declaration was very welcomed by the foreign media and some LGBT associations. Paradoxically, it was very frightening for LGBT Tunisians to know that this party, with its violent history, will be interested in sexual orientation and rights. Tunisian gays would prefer stay out of the political debate because they know the Islamic leaders are just manipulating and hiding their real intentions.

Full text of article available at link below –

Leave a Reply