What do ordinary citizens in the Arab world really think about the Islamic State? -Washington Post


This issue has already been discussed on this blog

See: https://jtdevinemta.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/isis-has-almost-no-popular-support-in-egypt-saudi-arabia-or-lebanon-washington-institute/

However it is worth reiterating the point:

“The findings were stark: Not many Arabs sympathize with the Islamic State. The percent agreeing with the Islamic State’s goals range from 0.4 percent in Jordan to 6.4 percent in the Palestinian territories. The percent agreeing with the Islamic State’s use of violence range from 0.4 percent in Morocco to 5.4 percent in the Palestinian territories. The percent agreeing that the Islamic State’s tactics are compatible with Islam range from 1.0 percent in Jordan to 8.9 percent n the Palestinian territories.”




Did data miss the Arab Uprisings? -World Bank



“What we saw in both Egypt and Tunisia, as well as in other countries who witnessed unrest including Bahrain and Syria, with this behavioral metric was the reality masked by GDP per capita trends and other classic economic metrics. In fact, in the years leading to the unrest, while trends of traditional metrics could be best described as “uneventful, with a slight uptick,” life evaluation data were telling a clear and consistent story in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain. The general theme of those data were, “‘Warning, contents under pressure. Do not shake!” This was due to the clear decline in how citizens themselves were evaluating their lives. It was apparent that far too many saw the future as bleak, irrespective of GDP or what other classic metrics said about their countries.”



Congress presses Tunisia on security sector reform -al Monitor


“While Tunisia has earned high marks for enacting a new constitution and holding free presidential and parliamentary elections, critics have called for a revamp of security services with ties to remnants of the corrupt regime of deposed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. According to The International Crisis Group, the existing security apparatus — including the National Security, police, National Guard, civil defence and correctional services — is both repressive and ineffectual at combating the very real terrorism threat facing the country.”

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/09/congress-tunisia-security-sector-reform.html#ixzz3nKkG9Knt

Here is the link to the ICG report referred to above: http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/middle-east-north-africa/north-africa/tunisia/161-reform-and-security-strategy-in-tunisia.aspx

Tunisia Is Still a Success -The Atlantic


Tunisia has declared a state of emergency after the June 26th attack in Sousse, and the UK has advised all British citizens to leave the country today. According to the Foreign Secretary, “While we do not have any information suggesting a specific or imminent threat, since the attack in Sousse the intelligence and threat picture has developed considerably, leading us to the view that a further terrorist attack is highly likely.”


Nevertheless, Tunisia has been the most successful of the new Arab-Spring states:

“The attack was shocking and will further damage the country’s ailing tourism industry, which accounted for 7 percent of the entire economy prior to the last few years of political turbulence. But Tunisia remains full of promise. Alone among the Arab Spring states, it has achieved a remarkable level of political compromise among secular parties and the principal Islamist party, Ennahda.”


Post Arab-Spring Elections -BBC


Bahrain has just held elections, but the Shi’a opposition dismissed them as a sham and boycotted the process:
“Bahrain holds disputed election amid Shia boycott calls”

Meanwhile, Tunisia prepares for its first post-Arab spring presidential elections, hot on the heals of parliamentary elections. Whereas few people expected much from the Bahraini process, the democratic dream remains alive in Tunisia. Regardless of who wins, many people will be following events closely hoping that the process goes smoothly:
“Tunisia holds first post-revolution presidential poll”

Tunisian elections bring hope in uncertain times -Washington Post


“Sunday’s elections were enormously significant precisely because they were seemingly uneventful. The turnout was unexpectedly high, reaching over 60 percent of registered voters. Voting was peaceful, and as strong turnout figures came in, Tunisians were exuberant. Perhaps most important, the elections saw peaceful turnover of power. Nidaa Tunis, a party that emerged after uprisings against the Ennahda-led government, emerged the winner, and Ennahda conceded defeat. Now, negotiations over the Cabinet will begin, with all the usual haggling. In stark contrast to experiences in Egypt or Libya, Tunisia’s elections are “politics as normal.””


New Freedoms in Tunisia Drive Support for ISIS -New York Times



This article addresses one of the the issues raised in an earlier post which provided a statistical breakdown of the foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria. Tunisia was one of the largest points of origin in the Middle East. see: https://jtdevinemta.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/foreign-fighters-flow-to-syria-washington-post/

I also posted polling data from the region that suggested ISIS had very little support. The data did not cover Tunisia. It would be interesting to see how much of a difference there is. See: https://jtdevinemta.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/isis-has-almost-no-popular-support-in-egypt-saudi-arabia-or-lebanon-washington-institute/