How's that Arab Spring working out?
After months of reassuring secularist critics, Islamist politicians in Tunisia and Egypt have begun to lay down markers about how Muslim their states should be - and first signs show they want more religion than previously admitted.(italics, ours)
Islamist parties swept the first free elections in both countries in recent months after campaigns that stressed their readiness to work with the secularists they struggled with in the Arab Spring revolts against decades-long dictatorships.
With political deadlines looming, a key Tunisian party in the constituent assembly and the head of Egypt's influential Muslim Brotherhood both made statements this week revealing a stronger emphasis on Islam in government.
Popular List, the party tasked with writing Tunisia's new constitution, announced on Monday its draft called Islam "the principle source of legislation" - a phrase denoting laws based on the sharia moral and legal code.
On Tuesday, Egyptian Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie said his group wanted a president with "an Islamic background." That term is vague, but not as vague as the conciliatory "consensus candidate" talk heard from most parties until now.
Secularists in both countries warned voters against trusting the Islamists and these subtle changes could have come straight from a secularist playbook on how Islamists would gradually insert more religion into the political and legal systems.
Reuters is shocked... shocked that previous moderate signals from various Islamist factions would take a turn for the Sharia.
It's eerily similar to their reporting (along with the rest of the American press) on bad economic news... unexpectedly!
And subtle changes? Let's call it for what it is gang... minority groups from women and Christians to gays and adulturers (alleged or otherwise) are screwed now more than ever.
How it is that Reuters seems to be taken off-guard by these as-predictable-as-the-Sun-rises-in-the-East developments is beyond us.