Tunisian media reported that Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Ghannouchi traveled to Qatar in early January where he was hosted by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi. According to a tunisialive.net report:
03 January 2012 Rached Ghannouchi, leader of center-right Islamist party (Ennahda), traveled to Qatar last week on a two day visit. According to Zoubair Chhoudi, the personal assistant of the Ennahda leader, Ghannouchi’s visit was unofficial. Chhoudi explained, “Ghannouchi went to Qatar for personal reasons; he did not go as a leader of Ennahda. It was an informal visit.” According to the Tunisian news site “Business News,” Ghannouchi was hosted by Youssef Al-Qaradawi, the well-known Egyptian Islamic Cleric. It was reported that the two men discussed the latest developments in Tunisian politics, and the challenges facing the new government during the “post-transitional phase.” They also discussed the Tunisian Government’s compensation of families whose loved ones were killed during the Tunisian revolution. Ghannouchi wants the interim government to focus increased efforts on achieving political, economic, and social development in Tunisia. He reiterated that cooperation with Arab countries, and Qatar in particular, will ensure that Tunisia will become, “an example of progress and true democracy, on the basis of the values of Islam and its teachings.”
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 postsreported on the return of Mr. Ghannouchi to Tunisia following his long exile in the UK. Other posts have detailed his extremist background.
Qaradawi, a virulent anti-Semite is often referred to here as the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, an acknowledgement of his role as the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to lead the Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide. Based in Qatar, Sheikh Qaradawi has reportedly amassed substantial wealth through his role as Shari’ah adviser to many important Islamic banks and funds. He is also considered to be the “spiritual guide” for Hamas and his fatwas in support of suicide bombings against Israeli citizens were instrumental in the development of the phenomenon. A recent post has discussed a video compilation of Qaradawi’s extremist statements.