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Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda party proves political Islam is dangerous

Rached Ghannouchi, Tunisian Islamists, Tunisia, Tunisian, Hamas, Hezbollah, Gaza, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Palestinian, Islamist Ennahda, Europe, Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera, COVID-19, Islamist rule, President Kais Saied

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Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda party proves political Islam is dangerous

Tunisians are suffering from series of socio-economic issues, while the country possibly heading towards the fate of a failed state. Bearded mullahs are to be held responsible for such situation in the country, as the Islamist Ennahda party has been in power for two years and, if the country’s collapsing economy and failure to handle the coronavirus pandemic prove anything, it is that modern states need brainy technocrats, not Islamist mullahs. Under the garb of so-called democratic Islamic, Ennahda has been copying the same misdeeds of Lebanese Hezbollah and their Iranian masters. One needs to understand, there is distinctive difference between Islamic and democratic rule. None of the countries that follow Islamic rule are upholding democratic procedures. While a Shiite Iran, for example, which follows Islamic rule has become a terror-patron state, on the other hand, Pakistan, that follows Sunni Islamic rule is copying Iran’s rogue policies of patronizing terror, while both the nations can be termed as failed states. In Tunisia, the Islamist Ennahda party has been fooling the people with their dangerous banner of “democratic Islamic”. In the reality, Ennahda has only enforced cruel Islamist rule by ignoring democratic norms. It has been a pretention of the Tunisian Islamists.

Events in Tunisia have reinforced what many warned might happen with the involvement of the Muslim Brotherhood in that country’s governance.

Tunisians — like the citizens of several Arab countries before them — have now thoroughly seen through the charade that is the Brotherhood and its slogan, “Islam is the solution,” which is no more than a figment of jaundiced imagination designed to hijack emotions, and in reality resolves nothing on the ground.

Let us not forget what Hezbollah did in Beirut in 2006-2008, when Prime Minister Saad Hariri wanted to discuss restricting weapons to only the Lebanese Army, and controlling the airport. Hezbollah took over Beirut by force, despite having representatives in parliament. Similarly, just think of what Hamas has done in Gaza, and how its hunger for power has far exceeded the priorities of Palestinian unity and the Palestinian cause. In fact, Hamas has turned into an effective Iranian proxy, which has now no more real desire of taking care of the Palestinians. Instead, Hamas wants to help Iranian regime by declaring war against Jews in the Middle East and eliminate Iran’s enemies in the region.

Here we also need to feel worried at the recent statement of Islamist Ennahda’s ideologue Rached Ghannouchi’s statement. While commenting on situation in Tunisia, Ghannouchi told The Times of London and Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that Muslim refugees would flood into Europe if democracy were not restored in Tunisia. Here, Ennahda leader played the democracy card knowing full well how sensitive Europeans are to this, he thought he might succeed in blackmailing the international community, although, under the pretext of democracy, Ghannouchi wants to bring Tunisia under rogue Islamist rule. Ghannouchi also tried to hide his party’s misdeeds and mismanagements, which resulted in Tunisians been flooding into Europe for the past two years — the very period when he and his party have been in power. Only in Italy, almost 14.5 percent of migrants who arrive illegally are from Tunisia.

Moreover, Rached Ghannouchi’s Islamist Ennahda party is accused of accepting dubious foreign funds and anonymous donations before the 2019 elections. According to media reports, major portion of such fund were sent to Ennahda with the goal of helping it in grabbing power and enforcing cruel Islamist rule.

We also have extremely worrying news from Tunisia. According to media reports, there were 6,798 protests in Tunisia in the first half of 2021, and 15,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the same period. There was a 200 percent increase in COVID-19 infections and an economic contraction of 21 percent from April 2020 to the first three months of 2021, creating unemployment at a rate of 17.8 percent. Most tragic of all, there were 78 cases of suicide attributed to poor living conditions in the first half of this year. No doubt, blames for such agonies of the Tunisian people fall squarely on the shoulders of Islamist Ennahda party. Of course, the people of Tunisia did not hesitate to realize the simple fact, Islamists are of no good to any nation and that is why they took to the streets in protests. Now President Kais Saied is forced to act in order to save the country. The Islamists did not anticipate that President Saied would act courageously and quash all suggestions of a coup. He even took the opportunity to quote the French statesman Charles de Gaulle: “Why do you think that, at 67, I would start a career as a dictator?”

And, as for Ennahda’s threats of terrorizing Europe and violence in Tunisia, those are nothing new or unexpected. Those are common ploys of Islamist parties to divert attention from one problem by creating another.

As the New York Times correspondent Vivian Yee put it in her report from Tunisia: “… a decade of stubborn unemployment, rising poverty, metastasizing corruption and political deadlock — and now the pandemic — have wiped out faith in the government.” Yee said nearly every Tunisian she spoke to seemed pleased, many even enthusiastic, with what Saied had done. That is quite a testament to just how fed up the people were with Ghanouchi and his Islamist party.

Tunisians certainly deserve better than what they have endured. Those who are questioning actions of President Kais Saied, he certainly is doing the right thing by adhering to the principles put into practice by the much-revered President Habib Bourguiba — the nationalist leader who put Tunisia on the modern path to progress. Islamist Ennahda party should be uprooted from Tunisia and it is time for the people to reject these Islamist monsters.

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An internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, research-scholar, counter-terrorism specialist, and editor of Blitz. Follow his on Twitter Salah_Shoaib

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