A Middle Eastern news portal close to the Global Muslim Brotherhood has reported that according to Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Ghannouchi, he had attempted to reconcile the Muslim Brotherhood with the Egyptian opposition. According to a Middle East Monitor report:
The leader of Tunisia’s Al-Nahda Party has wished for stability in Egypt and for the people to reconcile their differences. Rashid Ghannouchi told London-based Hayat newspaper that he had gone to Egypt to get the Muslim Brotherhood and the opposition together but had failed.
‘I suffer for Egypt’s situation,’ he said. ‘There are thousands of dead and wounded in a state considered to be the centre of the Arab world.’ He wondered aloud if the Brotherhood had refused to engage with other groups when it was in power. ‘The last government before the coup included many independent ministers,’ he said in answer to his own question. ‘Either way, in Tunisia we extended our hands to all parties. Some responded while others did not. In any event, the Egyptian situation proves the failure of the Egyptian elite to consent.’
Pointing out that some people had wanted to market the Egyptian model in Tunisia, which explains why some opposition parties welcomed Egypt’s coup and considered it a revolution, Ghannouchi said that some of them even hoped to transfer it to Tunisia. ‘However, when the Egyptian situation revealed its true colours the people were revolted and preferred peaceful means to change Tunisia’s government; the opposition was forced to deny the coup.’
Al-Nahda Party believes in Tunisia, the veteran politician argued. ‘We preserved personal freedoms and Tunisians’ modern lifestyle. We also preserved social freedoms, such as freedom of the press and expression, demonstrations and strikes.’ As the lead partner in the ruling coalition, he explained, the party even institutionalised freedoms in the Constitution and maintained the public facilities, transportation and salaries as well as the independence of the authorities. ‘This is important during revolutionary transformational times when the security situation is volatile.’
According to Ghannouchi, the prevailing belief was that an Islamic party would impose the veil and ban alcohol. Not true, he insisted. ‘Women enjoy freedom and the state is not concerned with someone’s private life. The economy has improved by 6.3 per cent from a negative before the elections. We have created more than 100,000 jobs and supported essential commodities.’ As he said, Al-Nahda Party believes in the State of Tunisia.”
Rachid Ghannouchi (many spelling variations) is the head of the Tunisian Ennahda Party, essentially the Muslim Brotherhood in Tunisia. Mr. Ghannouchi has been a member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) and is currently and Assistant Secretary-General of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), both organizations led by Global Muslim Brotherhood Youssef Qaradawi. In2009, an Egyptian news report referred to Ghannouchi as a leader of the MB “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. In January 2011, Ghannouchi returned to Tunisia after a long exile in the U.K and two weeks after the Tunisian leader Zine El Abidine Ben was forced from power in the events which triggered the “Arab Spring.” Mr. Ghannouchi gave a 2011 Arabic-language interview in which he predicts the end of Israel, a viewpoint which is not surprising given that he has had a long history of ties to Palestinian extremism and calls for terrorism. From 1988-92, the Islamic Committee for Palestine organized conferences and rallies in the United States that featured the leading figures from Islamic extremist movements throughout the world. One example of such a conference took place in Chicago from December 22-25, 1989 and featured Mr. Gahannouchi as a speaker. Its theme was “Palestine, Intifada, and Horizons of Islamic Renaissance” and other speakers included Abd Al-‘Aziz Al’Awda, the “spiritual leader” of Islamic Jihad and Muhammad ‘Umar of Hizb Al-Tahrir, the Islamic Liberation Party.
For more on the extremist background of Rachid Ghannouchi, go here.