U.K. media is reporting that Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Ghannouchi has flown to Cairo in order to persuade the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood to share power with other parties. According to a Guardian report:
Tuesday 12 June 2012 12.48 BST The head of the Tunisian Islamist party and the brains behind a successful transitional coalition with two securalist parties has flown to Cairo in an effort to persuade the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to share power. Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi, the head of Ennahda, makes the trip as Dr Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, is poised to win the second round of the presidential elections this weekend in Egypt – a head-to-head against Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister of the Mubarak regime. But the Tunisian Islamists are warning Morsi it would be a huge mistake to take the lion’s share of the political spoils. Ghannouchi said the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt could only prevail with the agreement of secular political parties. He told the Guardian before flying off on his mission to Cairo: ‘51% is not enough to rule.’ The sheikh warned the stakes were high, not just for Egypt but for the Arab spring: ‘Either we accept democracy within the form of Islam or we will end up dismissing Islam from the political process because Islam will become a cause of fragmentation not unity.’ His mission in Cairo is fraught with difficulty. First, the Brotherhood, or Ikhwan in Egypt, is fiercely independent, regards itself as the mothership of other offshoots of political Islam, such as Ennahda and Hamas, and does not take kindly to outside advice. A previous mission of one of the founding Brotherhood members, Sheikh Yusuf el-Qaradawi, who flew in from Doha in an attempt to mediate ended in failure.
The Guardian goes on to report an interesting rumor in Tunis- that Ghannouchi may be planning to step down as head of the Enahda Party in order to “become a leader of the Islamic movement in the Arab world.”
The sheikh’s voice is an increasingly influential one in the Islamic world and in Tunis there are rumours that he might step down as head of Ennahda at its annual congress in July to become a leader of the Islamic movement in the Arab world.
The “islamic Movement” is generally understood to mean the Muslim Brotherhood and acknowledges the reality that the Muslim Brotherhood extends beyond the Egyptian borders.
Previous posts have discussed the backing by Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi of Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh, a former member of the Egyptian Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau, over Dr. Morsi although as a post from last week indicates that Qaradawi has now thrown his support behind Morsi.
Mr. Ghannouchi’s background and history of extremism were extensively discussed in a recent post titled “The So-Called Moderation Of Rachid Ghannouchi”