In conversations with Karima Bennoune over the past two months, Tunisian intellectual Amel Grami shares her analysis of the political crisis in Tunisia during the rule of the Ennahda party, and the strategies needed to defeat fundamentalism.
July 8, 2013
KB: Could you describe the current situation and the biggest challenges for women activists and secularists now?
AG: The main subject is civil liberties and how to survive the current wave of violence against women. There is tension vis-à-vis women in terms of their clothes, their life-style, etc. For example, swimming in Ramadan causes problems now for some women. It is a new phenomenon in Tunisia – this new relationship with the body and the feeling that in the public sphere you are not free. There are others who are using violence in order to “correct” the behavior of women. It is not possible any more for women activists to travel around the country on their own at night or to go to rural areas, especially to some areas where fundamentalists impose their rule, such as rural areas near Bizerte where there is reported to be Salafist controlled territory or “Imara Salafya”. Tunisia is not the same as it was two years ago. We do not have the same freedom of movement.
Amel Grami in Tunis, July 2013: “Color is a form of resistance.”
Photo by Karima Bennoune.
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Karima Bennoune carried out this interview while in Tunisia doing follow up research to her book, “Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism.”