The fall of Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali's forcibly secular regime is likely to pave the way for the rise of Islamic influence in Tunisia, from moderate Muslims taking a greater role in party politics to extremist infiltration from neighbouring Algeria.
REUTERS - For years they were jailed or exiled. They were excluded from elections, banned from politics, and played no visible role in Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution.
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And the downfall of Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali's police state may leave Tunisia open to infiltration by extremists from neighbouring Algeria, where war between authorities and Islamists has killed 200,000 people in the last two decades.
Under Ben Ali, women who covered their hair in the Islamic tradition were denied access to education and jobs.
Date created : 2011-01-22