Tunisian media has reported on a secretly recorded video in which Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Ghannouchi talks about his long-term strategy to consolidate power. According to a Tunisia Live report:
A secretly recorded video has emerged in which Ennahdha leader Rached Ghannouchi talks candidly with members of Islamic associations about his long-term strategy to consolidate power in Tunisia. Speaking in a private conversation with an unknown number of people, Ghannouchi discusses the conflict between Islamists and secularists in Tunisia, stating that Ennahdah’s victory was a surprise to secularists. ‘The secularists didn’t expect Ennahdha to win. El Beji [the interim Prime Minister]kept saying they won’t win, even if they win, they won’t get more than 20% of the votes. The surprise was that, despite the unfair electoral law, Ennahdha won the elections. The people want this religion.’ During the seven minute video, the leader of Ennahdha cautions against political opportunism and argues that Islamists need to consolidate their political achievements or risk losing them. ‘Do not rush things. I tell the Salafist youth we all went through the same and we suffered. Now you want to have a TV, radio, schools, and invite the preachers. Why are you rushing things?’ he asks. ‘We should present a reassuring discourse to people, and instruct them to protect our achievements. We should spread our schools, protect the country with associations,’ the Ennahdha leader says. Ghannouchi argues that radical change could backfire on them, as it did for Algerian Islamists in the 1990s. ‘Do you think that what we achieved cannot be taken away from us? This is what we thought when we were Algeria in the 90s. We thought that Algeria had reached the goal and there was no turning back. It turns out we misjudged the situation and we went backwards. The mosques went back under the control of the secularists and Islamists were persecuted.’ Although Ennahdha won 40% of votes in the October 2011 election, Ghannouchi claims in the video that secularists are still in control of large parts of society. ‘Now the secular groups, though they did not gain a majority, still control media, the administration and the economy. The administration is in their hands. We are on the head of the administration but all the bases are under their power. Even the governors are under their control.’ ‘The Army is in their hands. We cannot guarantee the police and the army,’ he continues. The video was likely recorded in February or March 2012, at a time when a public debate was occurring over whether reference to Sharia law should be included in the Tunisian constitution which is currently being drafted.
Read the rest here
Tunisia live reported subsequently that the political bureau of Ennahdha denounced the editing of the video, which according to Ennahdha resulted in certain statements to be taken out of context.
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.