EXCLUSIVE : Why is it wrong to consider Ennahdha as a moderate movement?

Tunis

In Tunisia, the Muslim Brotherhood party, Ennahdha, founded by Rachid Ghannouchi in 1981, is experiencing its worst days. After the President of the Republic Kais Saied removed the immunity of members of Parliament to allow the judiciary to proceed against them, dozens of members of the Islamist party would have managed to leave the North African country. Instead, however, the army has tightened controls at Tunis Carthage International Airport.

The Western media, in these hours, in the wake of the Muslim Brotherhood channels funded by Qatar, are falling into their trap, describing the Muslim Brotherhood group as “moderate” or worse still, “democratic.”

Forced into hiding during the Bourguiba and Ben Ali governments, Ennahda is today the most hated party on the Tunisian political scene. With 54 deputies out of 217 seats, the movement that calls itself “Muslim democrats,” while not governing alone, is the main obstacle to the Tunisian democratic process. Officially Ennahda advocates a “Tunisian way to Islam,” behind the acceptance of dialogue with the West. The Tunisia secular soul and civilian achievements, for example, on gender equality, have been gradually set aside to leave space for the Islamization of the country.

“We were amazed when last year in the center of Tunis, we found a cube representing Mecca, with veiled children, forced to go around it.” Says Mouna, a young mother living in the Tunisian capital who works in the bank. “It was a slippery process until a few years ago the veil was rare in our country. Now young Tunisians don’t feel safe going out without”. Adds the woman.

Another woman, Samira, working in a call center, explains that with Ennahdha, Tunisia’s culture and millennial history has been lost. “The Bardo, Carthage, Utica, have been completely abandoned. The history of Romans, Phoenicians, Jews, Byzantines, has been set aside in favor of Islam.” She affirms Samira, adding: “We are with President Kais Saied because from the beginning, he has been the guarantor of our values.”

The mother of a National Guard official who died in a terrorist attack in 2015 shouts her anger against the pre-paid media accomplices of these “monsters.” Pointing the finger at Ghannouchi and his gang of “corrupt,” he says: “they say they are democratic, but it is thanks to their money that our young people continue to die. We Tunisians are not terrorists, but we have been in a state of emergency since 2015. So there is evidence, Ghannouchi has to pay.”

In February 2009, the “moderate” Ghannouchi signed the so-called Istanbul declaration calling for the opening of a “third jihadist front” against Israel. The statement resulted from a conference held under the auspices of the Global Anti-Aggression Campaign (GAAC), an international group of Islamist scholars linked to the International Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi-jihadist scholars, including individuals designated as terrorists by Washington and the European Union.

In May 2013, Ghannouchi urged young Tunisians not to join the ranks of the jihadists in Tunisia but to go to Palestine. In a rare anti-Semitic speech, the leader of Ennahda called on Muslims to kill the unbelievers, stating: “We salute the heroes of the national army and police, as well as civil society for their confrontation with terrorist acts. However, we ask young people know that fighting Muslims is against Islam. And it is one of the greatest crimes.” The leader of the Islamic party said: “Our police are Muslim, our army is Muslim, and our society is Muslim. This so-called jihad is not in its place. Whoever wants to jihad must go to Palestine, not in Tunisian cities.”

A true Democrat would have condemned violence in all its forms, but for Ghannouchi, this is not the case: there are exceptions valid for his party’s purpose. The same reason why thousands of Tunisians have been recruited by fake humanitarian organizations linked to Ennahdha and the Muslim Brotherhood from Qatar to fight in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, and Iraq, by those who “moderately” is ready to do anything to recreate the Islamic State.

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