Once considered a model of post-Arab Spring stability, Tunisia has become paralyzed by a growing backlash against its Islamist authorities and rising extremist violence. The increasing anger echoes the public dissatisfaction that led the military in neighboring Egypt to forcibly remove its democratically elected Islamist government in July.
Thousands of Tunisian protesters, largely led by young people and the middle class, regularly jam the streets, demanding that the government resign. Parliament has been suspended indefinitely since early August. Opinion polls show the ruling party’s popularity sinking sharply as political opponents accuse the Islamists of trying to introduce Islamic law and roll back a half-century of tolerant, European-influenced society.
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