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ISIS参加志願の日本人がトルコで拘束されたことがニュースになりましたが、意外な国がISIS参加者を送り出しているようです。先週のNew YorkerがUnwindingを書いたGeorge Packerによる取材記事を紹介していました。他の中東諸国に比べてジャスミン革命で自由をいち早く勝ちとったかに見えるチュニジアがどうしてISIS参加者を多く生み出しているのか、読み応えのある記事でした。

A Reporter at Large MARCH 28, 2016 ISSUE
Exporting Jihad
The Arab Spring has given Tunisians the freedom to act on their unhappiness.


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According to a recent report by the Soufan Group, a firm that provides security-intelligence consulting, between six and seven thousand Tunisians have waged jihad in Syria and Iraq. (The Tunisian Interior Ministry acknowledges only half that amount.) At least fifteen hundred more have crossed the Libyan border; by some accounts, Tunisians constitute half the jihadis in that failed state. As many as seven hundred have returned home, and the government claims to have prevented sixteen thousand from embarking on jihad. These estimates make Tunisia, a country of eleven million people, the leading producer of jihadism, far ahead of its nearest competitors, Saudi Arabia and Russia, which have much larger populations but half as many fighters in Syria and Iraq.
“Maybe it’s the Tunisian nature—we like risk,” a former jihadi told me. A million Tunisians live and work in Europe. “A lot of drug dealers are Tunisian; many smugglers of goods between Turkey and Greece are Tunisian; a lot of human traffickers in Belgrade are Tunisian. Online hackers—be careful of the Tunisians, there’s a whole network of them.”

Tunisian jihadis have developed a reputation for being involved in extreme violence. In Iraq, they, along with other North Africans, have been known for volunteering to become suicide bombers. A Syrian escapee from Deir Ezzor province recently told the Daily Beast that the worst ISIS police officers were Tunisians, adding, “They are immoral, irreligious, corrupt, and they treat people badly, whereas those from the Gulf countries are not as bad.” In Tunis, Ons Ben Abdelkarim, a twenty-six-year-old woman who leads a civic organization named Al Bawsala, said, “Tunisians who go abroad are the bloodiest—they show such an inhuman face when they go to the zones of jihad.” She explained, “Injustice contributes a lot to this—when one feels that one doesn’t belong to Tunisia, when one feels that Tunisia brings you nothing.” The Jasmine Revolution, she said, had been stolen from the young.


Kasserine remains an active laboratory of revolution. In January, five years after the Arab Spring began, an unemployed twenty-eight-year-old in Kasserine named Ridha Yahyaoui, who had just been turned down for a job, electrocuted himself on a utility pole. Immediately, several other young men imitated the act—if jihadism is one form of revolt in Tunisia, suicide is another. Protests against unemployment started in Kasserine and spread quickly across Tunisia. The men I had spoken with at the café in Kasserine all took to the street. Hamza Hizi was quoted by Reuters: “I never thought I would repeat the same demands as five years ago. The old regime has robbed our dreams.”

So it’s a mystery, at first, why young Tunisians so often use the word makhnouk. It means “suffocated,” and it suggests a sense of being trapped, bored, and enraged, with no alternative but to explodeという部分は別にイスラムという問題ではないことがわかります。

For a foreigner, or for a local with money and papers to come and go, Tunisia is still a delightful place: excellent restaurants in La Marsa, classical ruins in Carthage, the shops and alleys of the old medina, a vibrant film industry. Tunis has the shabby Mediterranean charm of a southern-Italian city. “Whoever likes to go to mosque goes to mosque, whoever would like to go to pubs goes,” Ghannouchi explained. Even “sex is accepted.” So it’s a mystery, at first, why young Tunisians so often use the word makhnouk. It means “suffocated,” and it suggests a sense of being trapped, bored, and enraged, with no alternative but to explode. I heard it from Walid, and from Alaa, the driver in Ben Gardane, and I heard it from a twenty-two-year-old I’ll call Ahmed, whom I met one night in a suburb southeast of the capital.



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