Global media are reporting that a prominent Tunisian opposition leader and critic of the Islamist government has been fatally shot outside his home in Tunis. According to a New York Times report, Chokri Belaid had accused “Ennahda mercenaries and Salafists” of attacking opposition activists:
A leading Tunisian opposition politician who had been critical of the Islamist-led government was fatally shot outside his home in Tunis Wednesday, the government news agency said Chokri Belaid was shot just as he was leaving his house in the capital city, the state news agency TAP said. Mr. Belaid, the general secretary of the Democratic Patriotic Party, was one of the leaders of the opposition Popular Front, which had been formed in October to counter the government. Mr. Belaid has emerged as a chief critic of Ennahda, the moderate Islamist party that leads the government in a coalition with two secular parties. While Ennahda has tried to reassure Tunisians that it would respect liberal democratic values and not impose a strict Muslim moral code, it has faced criticism with an indulgent attitude toward the ultraconservative Islamists known as Salafis.In recent days, Mr. Belaid accused the Islamists of carrying out an attack on a meeting of its members on Saturday. ‘At the end of our meeting, a group of Ennahda mercenaries and Salafists attacked our activists,’ Mr. Belaid said. After word of the killing drifted through Tunis, crowds of protesters gathered outside the Interior Ministry shouting, ‘Shame, shame Chokri died.’ Samir Dilou, a government spokesman, was quoted as calling the killing an ‘odious crime.’mNo group immediately took responsibility for the shooting and its cause remained unclear. It came as Tunisia faces profound social and religious uncertainties following the ouster of a dictatorial regime two years ago that set off what came to be known as the Arab Spring.
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.