The Imam of Washington DC Islamic Center says the Islamic movement in Iran has become the model for changes in Tunisia, which saw the first revolution in the Arab world.
“There are a lot of parallels that we can draw from what is happening in Tunisia today and what happened in Iran 32 to 33 years ago,” Muhammad al-Asi said in an interview with Press TV.
“The bottom line is that the religious or ideological components of Islam are the deepest and most authentic feelings of all the peoples of North Africa and all the peoples in Muslim countries,” he added.
He pointed out that Tunisian revolution is the first of its kind in the Arab world.
He argued that the word revolution has always been mistakenly used instead of coup d’état for referring to regime changes in Arab states.
Al-Asi compared Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979 with the Tunisian revolution.
“Shah of Iran had his Westernization programs running way ahead of the democratization programs and it resulted eventually in the overthrow of the ancient regime in Tehran,” he said.
“You can see similarities right now with what is happening in Tunisia. Westernization has run away ahead of the democratization in that country.”
Al-Asi referred to ousted president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali’s anti-Islamic approach, especially during the post-September 11 era and described it as a reason for the current popular uprising in Tunisia.
“The few droplets of democratization that went into the Tunisian public life they managed now to express themselves to the degree of overturning what was done in those years,” al-Asi said.
People across the Arab world have voiced support for the revolution in Tunisia.