One of the most important figures in modern Islamic political thought and theory, Rachid Ghannouchi has long been an advocate of the Islamic principles of pluralism, freedom and democracy as a way to bring stability to a region mired by tyranny and dictatorship.Imprisoned by President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 1981 for his political and social activities, Ghannouchi moved to Europe as a political exile in 1988, where he lived for two decades. There, he continued to criticize Tunisian politics and Ben Ali’s regime. Following the revolution which resulted in Ben Ali’s ouster early this year, Ghannouchi returned to Tunisia, where his Ennahda Party won a majority in the first successful democratic election of the Arab Spring.In Washington, DC, for a series of meetings with policy-makers, media and think tanks, MPAC’s special event will provide a platform for Ghannouchi to share his party’s vision for Tunisia’s future and reflect on the broader events of the Arab Spring.When: Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m..
Rachid Ghannouchi (many spelling variations) is the leader of the Tunisian Islamist movement known as Nahda (aka Ennahda, Al Nahda) and can best be described as an independent Islamist power center who is tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood though his membership in the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) and his important position in the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), both organizations led by Global Muslim Brotherhood Youssef Qaradawi. An Egyptian news report has identified Ghannouchi as a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood “abroad.” Ghannouchi is also one of the founding members of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a Saudi organization closely linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and dedicated to the propagation of “Wahabist” Islam throughout the world. Ghannouchi is known for his thinking on the issue of Islam and citizenship rights. Earlier posts reported on the return of Mr. Ghannouchi to Tunisia following his long exile in the UK. Other posts have detailed his extremist background. It appears now that Mr. Ghannouchi’s party has been successful in the recent Tunisian elections, he has begun to make the rounds of the various Global Muslim Brotherhood organizations. An earlier post discussed the invitation by the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) to Mr. Ghannouchi as an invited speaker to its December conference.
MPAC, headquartered in Southern California, was established initially in 1986 as the Political Action Committee of the Islamic Center of Southern California whose key leaders likely had their origins in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Since that time, MPAC has functioned as the political lobbying arm of the U.S. Brotherhood. MPAC has opposed virtually every count-terror initiative undertaken or proposed by the U.S. government. At times this opposition was said to be on civil-rights grounds but, just as often, MPAC claimed that U.S. counter-terror efforts were aimed at the U.S. Muslim community itself. MPAC has consistently supported and facilitated terrorism by supporting terrorist organizations and, more broadly, constructing an elaborate ideology defending the use of violence by Islamists and Islamist organizations. More than any other U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organization, MPAC has developed extensive relationships with the U.S. government which have included numerous meetings with the Department of Justice and the FBI.