Ennahda and the Muslim Brotherhood Democratic Changes to Islamist Groups
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Despite a promising start, the Arab Spring of 2011 has resulted in the creation of only one democracy: Tunisia. In Tunisia, an Islamist party called Ennahda has greatly aided this successful democratic transition. This paper aims to examine Ennahda’s role in helping Tunisia to become a democracy. In order to complete this examination, this paper compares Ennahda’s actions following the removal of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali with the actions of the Muslim Brotherhood, an illustrious Islamist group, following the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Also inspecting a variety of other potential democratizing factors in both Tunisia and Egypt, including socioeconomic development, civil society and political culture, the paper ultimately concludes that unique circumstances in Tunisia have shaped Ennahda into a party that is truly committed to democracy. Constrained by the political and cultural norms in Tunisia, Ennahda has proven to be an integral part of Tunisia’s fledgling democratic experiment.
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