Tunisia’s Postcolonial Identity Crisis
A Key to Understanding the Lure of Extremism
by Youssef Cherif | Near and Middle East/North Africa, Democratization/System Change
In Tunisia today, the hotly debated question of national identity opens up a vacuum for radical groups to fill. After years of repression, the post-2011 period of democracy and freedom of speech has allowed Tunisians to conduct grass-roots discussions of what they identify with. As political groups play different identity cards, and as jihadists cast a wide net for disaffected youth, defining what it means to be Tunisian turns out to be a divisive practice indeed.