The U.K. based Henry Jackson Society has published a report titled “Moderates or Manipulators? Tunisia’s Ennahda Islamists” that details the extremist positions and statements of the Tunisian Ennahda party and its leader Rachid Ghannouchi. The report’s Executive Summary begins:
The Ennahda party, which heads a coalition in Tunisia’s first freely elected government, is described by most international observers as being a “moderate Islamist” party despite its ideologically extreme origins, the recorded statements of founder Rachid Ghannouchi and the party’s worrying recent activities.
Appeasing ultra-extreme salafists
Since assuming the mantle of government, Ennahda is engaged in an awkward double balancing act of appeasing both Tunisians and the West and secularists and ultra-extreme Salafists.”
• Ennahda has tolerated but distanced itself from often-violent Salafist rallies in Tunisia, but it has also ruled out basing the country’s new constitution on sharia law.
• Ennahda officials have also given implicit support to extremists by denouncing the award-winning animated film Persopolis as “prostitution” after the home of film’s
Tunisian exhibitor was firebombed by Salafists.
support for hamas
• Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali, an Ennahda member, hosted a high-ranking Hamas official in November 2011 at which the official declared “The conquest of Jerusalem will set out from here. You are witnessing a divine, historic moment — a new era in civilization, God willing: the sixth caliphate.”
A post from November 2011 reviewed the evidence linking the Ennahda (aka Nahda) Party to the Global Muslim Brotherhood. Ennahda is headed by Rachid Ghannouchi (many spelling variations) who 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.