2011-11-15 10:01:00

Islamization of Tunisia, Egypt possible - Margelov

Moscow, November 15, Interfax - A religious trend is possible in post-revolutionary Tunisia and Egypt despite the remaining state institutions and army command, Chairman of the Federation Council International Affairs Committee Mikhail Margelov told Interfax.

The Ennahda religious movement in Tunisia and the Muslim Brothers in Egypt have appeared on the public scene, he said.

"The Egyptian Islamists demanded that the Military Council must not interfere in the drafting of a new constitution. The ruling National Democratic Party was abolished, and the only organized force in the country is the religious Freedom and Justice Party. So a religious trend is possible both in Tunisia and in Egypt," he said.

The moderate Islamist party Revival won the Constituent Assembly election in Tunisia, and the secular Progressive Democratic Party switched to the opposition, he recalled.

"The Assembly will draft a constitution, elect an interim government and set the days of parliamentary and presidential elections within one year," he said.

The Revival Party proposed a national development model built on Islamic values, Margelov said. "We will see within the next year whether this program will evolve into the 'Islam is the Solution' slogan," he said.

It would be premature to declare hard Islamization of Tunisia, he said. Anyway, the Revival party leaders do not plan compulsory hijabs for women and a ban on alcohol. The party leader said they would follow the example of the moderate Islamist party of Turkey.

The Revival's leaders claim that nothing endangers international partners and investors of Tunisia, among them Russia, and that women's rights will be observed.

The international community has encountered certain consequences of the "Arab Spring" not only in the Middle East and North Africa but also in Sub-Saharan Africa.

"Interests of many states, among them Russia and the U.S., crisscross there. In other words, very close cooperation is required for achieving regional stability even if our states differ in their opinions about possible solutions to the regional problems," Margelov said.