In the past few weeks we have seen an eruption of protests in two countries, Tunisia and Egypt. According to most mainstream press releases the hovering threat in both cases is Islamic extremists when the lived threat is actually oppressive governments failing utterly at leadership.
These demonstrations are vastly important and should not be described in simple terms of riots and unrest. They are two situations of the people working hard to take back their governance and transform power structures into something that serves all the people and not just the few.
The fact that both are happening in countries that may have a high number of people who practice Islam should not lead us to narrow conclusions of “radicalism” that is threatening to our own safety. Rather it should lead us to examine what democracy really means and how it is lived out both at home and in our foreign policy.
Below are two lengthy articles (perfect for a snow day!). Settle in, read and let the people of Tunisia and Egypt tell their own story…