Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood Leader Praises Turkish President As Example of Islam And Democracy


Turkish media is reporting that Rachid Ghannouchi, the head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Tunisia and widely praised for his views on “Islamic Democracy”, has called the recent electoral victory of Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AKP Party ” the day of Islam and democracy.” According to the Today’s Zaman report:

November 6, 2015 Rachid Ghannouchi, the leader of Tunisia’s Ennahda party, has said the president of an Islamic state should not treat citizens as if he were an emperor.

Speaking at an event sponsored by the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen Association (MÜSIAD), in ?stanbul, Ghannouchi noted the ideal characteristics of an Islamic leader. MÜSIAD is a pro-government business association.

.He [the Islamic leader]should be modest by considering himself an ordinary person. This [principle]is included among the conditions set by Islam for [an ideal]state,’ Ghannouchi said at the event.

‘Everyone should be [viewed as]equal. One group should not spend [public]resources while others die of hunger. One group should not live in palaces while others stay in makeshift camps,’ he added.

The Tunisian politician went on to say that Islamic principles necessitate the people to be treated equally before justice in order for a state to be democratic and free.

‘As long as rich and poor are equally treated before justice, there is democracy and freedom in a country. Islam requires justice, freedom and equity. In an Islamic presidency, a state leader should not treat his people as [if he were an]emperor,’ said Ghannouchi.

Commenting on the repeat election held in Turkey on Nov. 1, he praised the conduct of the polls for being undertaken freely and fairly and added that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan differs from many dictators in the Middle East because he was voted into power via an election, in August 2014. ‘

[Nov. 1] is also the day of Islam and democracy. It is significant for Turkey as well [as the]whole [Middle Eastern] region… When we compare President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to dictators who ruled [countries]in the Middle East, he differs due to the fact that he came to power [through an]election,’ said Ghannouchi.

Read the rest here.

The report goes to note that Erdogan has built himself a luxurious palace which contains 1,150 rooms and has been widely criticized for his crackdowns on freedom of expression in Turkey and for unfair competition during the elections. Mr. Ghannouchi’s praise for Mr. Erdogan is interesting given that he is 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 “Wahhabist” Islam throughout the world. A 2011 report report authored by the GMBDW editor detailed Erdogan’s ideological ties to the Global Muslim Brotherhood network, ties which date back to Erdogan’s affiliation with WAMY in the 1970s. The same report describes the Global Muslim Brotherhood ties of MÜSIAD, the venue for Ghannouchi’s statements.

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. In 2009, an Egyptian news report referred to Ghannouchi as a leader of the MB “abroad. In January 2011, Ghannouchi returned to Tunisia after a long exile in the UK and two weeks after the Tunisian leader Zine El Abidine Ben was forced from power in the events which triggered the “Arab Spring.” The GMBDW recently reported that Mr. Ghannouchi had met with the US State Department and been on tour in the US in spite of his long history of extremism and support for terrorism. Earlier this month, we reported that Mr. Ghannouchi had called the recent wave of stabbing attacks in Israel “a wake-up call for the nation’s youth and the world to save the Palestinians from the Israeli aggression. Last week, we reported that the International Crisis Group (CG) had awarded Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Ghannouchi the “Fred Cuny Award for the Prevention of Deadly Conflicts.” 

For a history of Mr. Ghannouchi’s extremism, go here.

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