Tunisia's Ennahda Party: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing?

(Jerusalem Post) Oren Kessler - Western media routinely describe Tunisia's Ennahda party as "moderately Islamist." The once-banned movement's own past, however, reveals a tendency to violence, and its current platform raises serious questions. Ennahda, or "Renaissance," has its roots in the Islamist university groups that proliferated in the Muslim world's universities following the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Ennahda presents itself as nonviolent, but the movement's members have been implicated in both incitement and violent actions against Tunisian and foreign targets. The party supported the 1979 embassy takeover in Iran, and evidence suggests it was responsible for bombing four tourist hotels in the 1980s. In 1991 the party's founder and leader, Rachid Ghannouchi, called for attacks on U.S. interests in the Middle East in response to America's invasion of Iraq in the Gulf War. Ennahda's founding ideology was largely shaped by that of Sayyid Qutb, a leading ideologue of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. Ennahda still maintains ties with the Brotherhood.

2011-10-25 00:00:00

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