As Tunisia prepares to hold its second free and fair election on Sunday – and continues its transition from despotism to democracy – my country offers a stark contrast to the extremes of terrorism and military intervention seen elsewhere in the region. Tunisia stands as proof that the dream of democracy that spurred the Arab Spring lives on.
Despite what some believe, there is no “Arab exception” to democracy, nor is there any inherent contradiction between democracy and Islam. The Middle East can indeed achieve stability and peace through a process of democratic reconciliation and consensus. But the road will be long and involves the challenging work of building institutions, healing old wounds and forging compromise around shared values. The path that Tunisia has taken can guide others.
Rachid Ghannouchi, founder and chairman of Tunisia’s Ennahda party, writes in the Washington Post.