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Political Islam in TunisiaThe History of Ennahda$
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Anne Wolf

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190670757

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190670757.001.0001

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Beyond the Secular Myth

Beyond the Secular Myth

(p.11) 1 Beyond the Secular Myth
Political Islam in Tunisia

Anne Wolf

Oxford University Press

Chapter 1 introduces the historical roots of the Islamist movement in Tunisia, which go back long before independence. It argues that the notion of ‘secular Tunisia’ has always been a myth. A powerful religious trend has existed alongside more secular currents for almost two centuries. Moreover, contrary to the general belief that early Tunisian reformers are the forerunners of the country’s contemporary secular current, wide-ranging changes were launched from the nineteenth century by a variety of figures, including clerics; they were typically top-down and opposed by vast sections of the more traditional population.

Keywords:   Tunisian Islamist movements, Tunisian secularism, Pan-Islamism, Religion, Ennahda, Arab nationalism

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