Tunisian policemen keep watch in front of the Oqba ibn Nafa mosque, also known as the Great Mosque, in the city of Kairouan May 19, 2013.
Zoubeir Souissi / Reuters

To read the newspapers is to believe that Tunisia, the small country that sparked the Arab Spring, is the only one still on a recognizable path to democracy, in large part thanks to the conciliatory nature of the country’s leading Islamist party, Ennahda (“Renaissance”). There is truth in this narrative. At key moments of the democratic transition, Ennahda, which has roots in the Muslim Brotherhood, distinguished itself from other Brotherhood derivatives by granting concessions to its secular opponents in the interest of preserving stability, even going so far as to cede to a technocratic government the political power it earned through free and fair elections, an unprecedented move for an Islamist party. And now, Ennahda may again be making history.

In late May, over one thousand members of Ennahda convened in the resort town of Hammamet for the movement’s 10th party congress. Delegates discussed and voted on seven

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