The Jerusalem Post has published an article titled “Tunisia’s Islamists learned from the Muslim Brotherhood’s failure in Egypt’ that looks analyzes the behavior of the Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood party in light of the recent elections. The article begins:
October 29, 2014 Tunisia’s Ennahda party, the first Islamist movement to secure power after the 2011 ‘Arab Spring’ revolts, conceded defeat on Monday in elections, perhaps drawing a lesson from the failed power grab of Islamists in Egypt.
Unlike former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ennahda’s leader, Rached Ghannouchi, an Islamist scholar who spent decades in exile in Britain, acted pragmatically when faced with overwhelming opposition.
Instead of trying to force his party’s Islamist vision on much of the population that is less religious, Ghannouchi did not overstay his welcome, deciding to continue playing the political game, instead of seizing power in ways reminiscent of Morsi.
His party ruled in a coalition until it was forced to make way for a caretaker government during a political crisis at the start of this year.
Ennahda is playing a smarter game than the Brotherhood did in Egypt, understanding that in Tunisia, where at least half of the country opposes Islamists, it must follow the path of slowly building grassroots support.
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.