The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood website has posted a statement by Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Ghannouchi concerning the recent assassination of opposition leader Chukri Belaid. In the statement, Mr. Ghannouchi asserted that “certain powers are targeting Arab Spring countries”:
Sunday, February 10, 2013 Rached Ghannouchi, Annahda Movement leader, said plots against Tunisia will fail, adding that assassination of leftist politician Chukri Belaid was, ‘a serious incident aimed at undermining the peaceful nature of the revolution, the Tunisian model of peaceful revolution, and the development model it seeks to establish.’ In a statement to Anatolia news agency, Ghannouchi added that: ‘The assassination of Belaid aims to undermine national unity and to create a bloody conflict throughout Tunisia, and also aims to attack Annahda movement as the ruling power, since every act of sabotage is aimed at the governing authority, ultimately’. On recent remarks by French leaders, regarding the situation in Tunisia, Ghannouchi said: ‘We reject such statements as foreign interference in Tunisian affairs. Indeed, we reject any interference from any source’. Earlier, the French Minister of Interior Manuel Valls was reported to urge the Government of his country to support ‘Democrats’ in Tunisia against newly-elected Islamist rulers. Ghannouchi further said: ‘I feel that certain powers are targeting Arab Spring countries, as if a decision has been made somewhere in the world to abort Arab Spring revolutions through overwhelming chaos, spreading of violence, lawlessness and strife, and plunging the country into enmity and hatred.’ He pointed that there are bloody and violent attempts carried out by professionals to destroy the Arab Spring model revolutions, which bet on reconciliation between Islam and democracy – Islam and the West. ‘These evil attempts will be defeated, broken on the solid rock of Tunisian national patriotism that does not have any history or legacy of civil wars.’ In response to accusations by Chukri Belaid’s family claiming that he and his Annahda Movement were behind the assassination, Ghannouchi said: ‘We understand this hostility – in the midst of confused initial reactions. But if it continues, it would point to an inclination to get drawn into a scheme to sow sedition and strife between Islamists and secularists. When looking at a crime by unknown culprits, one always asks the question: who has a motive to do it? Who benefits from it?’ Currently, Tunisia is facing a wave of anger and outrage, after the assassination of Belaid, amid warnings of this anger turning to violence with Friday’s general strike and clashes between demonstrators and security forces during Belaid’s funeral.
Another press statement from Mr. Ghannouchi’s office threatens to sue those who are accusing Ghannouchi of playing some role in the assassination.
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.