Tunisian media is reporting that the Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood’s support for prosecuted members of the Egyptian Brotherhood could damage the country’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and the UAE. According to a Tunisia Live report:
May 6, 2014 The powerful Islamist Ennahdha party’s statements of support for prosecuted members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood could strain Tunisia’s relations with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, two of its major financial backers.
On April 29, Ennahdha released a statement condemning death sentences issued to 683 Egyptians, including Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide Mohamed Badie.
The party said the verdict against what it called ‘pro-democracy activists’ was a ‘flagrant violation of human rights and disregard for justice.’
‘[Ennahdha] stresses its solidarity with the detainees and their families,’ the statement read.
Wealthy Gulf countries Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, however, have both designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a ‘terrorist’ group and have proven willing to pressure regional countries who disagree.
Read the rest here.
The Ennahda Party of Tunisia is headed by Rachid Ghannouchi (many spelling variations) who can best be described as an independent Islamist power center who is strongly tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptian writer Amany Maged presents his view of the relationship between the Ennahda Party and Ghannouchi to the Global Muslim Brotherhood:
Al-Nahda Party’s articles of association do not declare a link to the Muslim Brotherhood, but nor has it denied the connection. Some sources maintain that it was ideologically and organisationally inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood, whereas others say that while Ghannouchi considers the Muslim Brotherhood an ally, he does not see it as having any authority, be it hierarchical or moral, over his own movement. Yet the fact remains that Ghannouchi, Al-Nahda’s founder, is a member of the International Guidance Bureau of the Muslim Brotherhood.Al-Nahda shares a number of traits with the Muslim Brotherhood. Both, says Islamist expert Ali Abdel-Aal, have a strong organisational capacity and access to substantial funds.
The UK-based Henry Jackson Society has published a report titled “Moderates or Manipulators? Tunisia’s Ennahda Islamists” detailing the extremist positions and statements of the Ennahda party and Rachid Ghannouchi.