Saida Sadouni does not conform to the typical image of an Arab revolutionary. But this 77-year-old camped out in the bitter Tunisian cold for more than two weeks in front of the prime minister’s headquarters, leading the historic Kasbah picket that succeeded in forcing Mohamed Ghannouchi’s interim government out of office. “I have resisted French occupation. I have resisted the dictatorships of Bourguiba and Ben Ali. I will not rest until our revolution meets its goals,” she told the thousands of fellow protesters who joined her. She is today widely hailed as the mother of Tunisia’s revolution, a living record of her country’s modern history and its struggle for emancipation.
It seems that Muslim women – particularly those living in western capitals- are destined to remain besieged by two debilitating discourses, which though different in appearance, are one in essence.
I had intended to continue on the subject of the dangers of certain forms of secularism this week, particularly since it generated a stream of comments, some of which appeared to miss the point of the article entirely. But as I sit at my desk my thoughts seem occupied with a different topic altogether.