Tunisian media has reported that Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Ghannouchi appeared recently at an event organized by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood group that has been funded in the past by the U.S. Government. According to a Tunisia Live report:
10 February 2013 The ruling Ennahdha party staged a rally in downtown Tunis Saturday afternoon during which demonstrators showed their support for the party in power and reaffirmed the legitimacy of the government. ‘The people want Ennahdha again,’ roared the crowd throughout Saturday’s protest. The pro-Ennahdha demonstration came on the heels of three days of mass protests over Wednesday’s assassination of opposition leader Chokri Belaid. Much of the public anger in protests, following Belaid’s murder, was directed toward Ennahdha, and its founder Rachid Ghannouchi in particular, both of whom protesters accused of failing to safeguard the country’s security. ‘We are against violence and call for the criminalization of violence,’ said Emad, an Ennahdha supporter present at the rally. Some of the local headquarters of Ennahdha were set on fire in the days after Belaid’s assassination. InEnnahdha founder Ghannouchi (left) sits at Saturday’s event organized by the CSID ‘Dialogue with words is better than dialogue with bullets,’ said the Ennahdha founder. ‘We have no choice, we are all on the same boat.’ Ghannouchi went on to warn that a counterrevolution in Tunisia was actively trying to deepen the political divisions in the country. ‘The past is not dead,’ said Ghannouchi, alleging that former regime elements are still in positions of influence. During the pro-Ennahdha demonstration in Tunis’ main thoroughfare, Habib Bourguiba Avenue, protesters waved signs that read, ‘Political assassination… weapon of the enemies of the revolution.’
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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.
The Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) was founded in 1998 largely by the efforts of Georgetown University academic Dr. Esposito who during the 1990’s served in the State Department as a “foreign affairs analyst” and who has at least a dozen past or present affiliations with global Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas organizations. Many members of the early CSID board were associated with IIIT, the American Muslim Council, and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). For example, past CSID board members included Jamal Barzinji and Taha Al-Alwani, both associated with IIIT and both important leaders in the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood who helped to establish many of the most important U.S. Brotherhood organizations. Antony Sullivan, the current CSID Vice-Chair, has many ties to U.S. Brotherhood groups including the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS), the United Association for Studies and Research (USAR), and the Circle of Tradition and Progress (COTP), a group whose other founding members included Youssef Qaradawi, the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood. From its inception, CSID has argued that the U.S. government should support Islamist movements in foreign countries and has received financial support from the U.S. State Department, the National Endowment for Democracy and the United States Institute of Peace. A post from last month reported that Radwan Masmoudi, the founder and President of CSID, had lost his bid to become the Tunisian ambassador to the U.S. A post from last August reported that Masmoudi, was being considered for the post. In the report discussed in that post, Masmoudi also acknowledges for the first time that he has been a part of the Ennahda movement since the 1980’s.
The GMBDW notes that the close connections between CSID and its leader Radwan Masmoudi to a foreign Islamist government appear to have been ignored in the U.S. media.