Or at least they did until last month’s Jasmine Revolution. But last week, faster than you could scream ‘Allahu Akbar’, hundreds of Islamists raided Abdallah Guech Street armed with Molotov cocktails and knives, torching the brothels, yelling insults at the prostitutes and declaring that Tunisia was now an Islamist state.
As soldiers fired into the air to disperse them, the Islamists won a promise from the interim government that the brothels would be permanently closed.
In other cities, brothels were targeted, too; and there have been demonstrations throughout the country — whose economy is heavily dependent on the vibrant tourism industry — against the sale of alcohol.
Suspected Islamists otherwise preoccupied themselves with slitting the throat of a Polish Catholic priest, which, if confirmed, would be the first such sectarian murder in modern Tunisian history. And anti-Semitic slogans could be heard outside Tunisia’s main synagogue: this in a country with no history of persecution of its Jewish minority.
When the Tunisian revolution started last month, it was hailed as a template for the rest of the Arab world. But if revolutions are judged by their outcomes rather than their intentions, then the story of post-revolution Tunisia is equally instructive.
Sex, brothels and the REAL tyranny threatening the Arab world | The devil you know? No good options.