Tunisia’s Islamist Leader

Ryan Mauro is a fellow with the Clarionproject.org, the founder of WorldThreats.com and a frequent national security analyst for Fox News Channel. He can be contacted at ryanmauro1986@gmail.com.


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The images of Tunisians taking part in their first free election are inspiring, but we must not become so caught up in the euphoria of the moment that we overlook the dangers posed by the victors. Partial results show an Islamist party named Ennahda winning 44% of the vote. It is led by Rachid Ghannouchi, a pseudo-moderate who has endorsed suicide bombings and whose pre-campaign rhetoric sounds more like Ahmadinejad than a modern-day Thomas Jefferson.

Ghannouchi, like any skilled office-seeker, modifies his rhetoric to fit his audience. He has earned the title of “moderate Islamist” in the media and his party’s candidate for Prime Minister, Hamadi Jebali, has met with top American lawmakers like Senators McCain and Lieberman and aides to Senator Kerry. Ghannouchi reassures his opponents that he can’t be compared to Ayatollah Khomeini. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, who nonetheless has led Turkey in an anti-Western direction, is his model. He praised Erdogan in a visit to the IHH in Turkey, the extremist group behind the Gaza flotilla.

The Ennahda Party can be referred to as the Muslim Brotherhood’s Tunisian branch. Ghannouchi sits on two organizations led by Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s most influential theologian and fiery anti-Semite. In 2001, Ghannouchi celebrated mothers who raise their children to become homicide bombers as a “new model of woman” and called on Muslims to support “the Intifada and the liberation of Palestine,” meaning the destruction of Israel. Ghannouchi sides with Hamas over the Palestinian Authority because he feels that Fatah has “given up the choice of jihad,” while Hamas is “maintaining the resistance.”

In 2002, Ghannouchi signed a statement along with the top leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah and Muslim Brotherhood endorsing jihad against Israel because the Zionists seek to “destroy the entire Islamic ummah.” It also called on Muslim nations to refuse to sell oil to the U.S. Ghannouchi continues to happily talk about a future without the state of Israel, referencing Hamas’ late spiritual leader’s projection that its destruction will happen by 2027. Ghannouchi optimistically says current events make him believe it may happen sooner.

His animosity extends to the West. He preaches that the West “implanted” Israel as part of a scheme to divide and dominate the Islamic world. The West “imposed secularism and partition upon us,” he says. He supported Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait and condemned Saudi Arabia for hosting forces from “Crusader America.”

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  • ObamaYoMoma

    The images of Tunisians taking part in their first free election are inspiring…

    Maybe inspiring for a moronic Wilsonian neo-con blinded by PC multiculturalism like the writer of this article, but with all due respect free elections in the Islamic world are recipes for the reinforcement of Islam. Indeed, that's why we call it the Islamic world. As a matter of fact, Western-style democracy in the Islamic world is absolutely impossible in the long run in any event, as the freedom and liberties it embodies leave the doors wide open to its ultimate demise, as Islam will not allow any other form of governance unless it is totally suppressed.

    It is led by Rachid Ghannouchi, a pseudo-moderate…

    Is there really any other kind? Indeed, not even this writer's celebrated model of moderation, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, who is a self-proclaimed so-called “moderate” Muslim (the only kind), is what he claims to be. Indeed, I hate to rain on this writer's very naïve parade again, but Jasser is either a non-violent stealth and deceptive jihadist exploiting this writer's idiotic adherence to PC multiculturalism to the hilt, or otherwise he is a blasphemous apostate. Nevertheless, the last thing he is, is a moderate Muslim as the existence of so-called moderate Muslims and a moderate Islam is a hideously false PC multicultural myth, and in the case of Jasser, given the publicity that he constantly seeks, he is very obviously the former, a non-violent stealth and deceptive jihadist. In fact, Jasser's taqiyya has been laid bare and exposed by many in the anti-jihad movement already such as Robert Spencer, Debbie Schlussel, and Pamela Geller. Yet, nonetheless this naïve writer holds Jasser in such high regard that he writes articles for him praising his fraud.

    He praised Erdogan in a visit to the IHH in Turkey, the extremist group behind the Gaza flotilla.

    Actually, IHH is not an extremist group at all. Instead, it is an ALL MAINSTREAM ORTHODOX MUSLIM group. Indeed, ALL MAINSTREAM ORTHODOX MUSLIMS wholeheartedly support the Islamic world's permanent jihad being waged perpetually against the Jewish unbelievers in Israel, and any that don't are blasphemous apostates that per the dictates of Islam should be executed.

    Ghannouchi sides with Hamas over the Palestinian Authority because he feels that Fatah has “given up the choice of jihad,” while Hamas is “maintaining the resistance.”

    The word “resistance” in essence really means jihad. Indeed, ALL MAINSTREAM ORTHODOX MULSIMS support the resistance, i.e., the permanent and perpetual jihad being waged against the Jewish unbelievers in Israel, as they also support the permanent and perpetual jihads being waged against the Hindu unbelievers in Kashmir, Jammu, and India, the Buddhist unbelievers in Thailand, the Christian unbelievers in the Philippines, the atheist and Orthodox Christian unbelievers in Chechnya and Russia, the animist and Christian unbelievers in Cote D'Ivoire, Nigeria, Sudan, and Somalia, the Orthodox Christian Serb unbelievers in Bosnia and Kosovo, etc., etc., etc. Including the stealth and deceptive non-violent jihads being waged against the West mainly via mass Muslim immigration for the purpose of demographic conquest.

    He supported Saddam Hussein​’s invasion of Kuwait and condemned Saudi Arabia for hosting forces from “Crusader America.”

    I wish the USA had supported Saddam's invasion of Kuwait too and had further urged him to oust the Saudis, as Saddam was also threatening to do, especially since Saddam was secular. Indeed, had the first Bush administration not been so incredibly incompetent or worse thanks a lot to James “F—k the Jews” Baker, who was and still is a moron, it could have easily used Saddam as a convenient proxy to severely harm the global jihad, as the Saudis are still the biggest lynchpins of the global jihad in the world today. They are also James Baker's law firms biggest clients, which further explains why James Baker and the Bush family have always been the Saudi's biggest lapdogs.

    These actions not only intimidate those opposed to Islamic extremism, but also allow Ennahda to portray itself as a comparatively “moderate” force.

    You really mean those opposed to Islam, as Islamic extremism is MAINSTREAM ORTHODOX ISLAM, as the fundamental mission, sole purpose, and main goal of MAINSTREAM ORTHODOX ISLAM is to make Islam supreme throughout the world via the imposition of Sharia.

    In any event, what is happening in Tunisia today is what the inevitable outcome of Wilsonian neo-con fantasy based delusions of democratizing the Islamic world would end up becoming.

  • StephenD

    “Ghannouchi… called on Muslim nations to refuse to sell oil to the U.S. He preaches that the West “implanted” Israel as part of a scheme to divide and dominate the Islamic world.
    We must wage unceasing war against the Americans until they leave the land of Islam, or we will burn and destroy all their interests across the entire Islamic world,”

    Does anyone still think we can “win hearts and minds?” There is no dealing with Islamists. We can do business with them but that is it. Trust them? NEVER! Invest in them? For what? When a country shares our values and has a Constitutional system of laws equal to all in its society which values Personal freedom and Idividual responsibility, THEN we can deal with them as equals. Otherwise, they want to see us as their enemy…we should do no less toward them.

  • A.R Momen

    You should expect the worse (for you) to come.Just remember how the US and the colonial Zionists in Palestine have been warmly embracing the corrupt tyrant Ben Ali -in spite of the continuous rhetoric speeches on equity and human rights- .Haven't the European observers told the press about the transparent elections in Tunisia ,so why are you angry .Tunisians know who is Ghannouchi and why he has been expelled by the hero of the Great Escape .Who are you to teach the Tunisians what to do ?You have the right to feel unrest ,now as you feel your dear tyrants collapsing one after another .It's time to ask the root question WHAT ARE YOU STILL DOING IN THE MUSLIMS" TERRITORIES?

    • ObamaYoMoma

      It's time to ask the root question WHAT ARE YOU STILL DOING IN THE MUSLIMS" TERRITORIES?

      I just wanted to run this by you to see if you approve. How about the USA occupying the Mideast oilfields and confiscating the immense unearned oil wealth of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf State Emirs in order to stop them from using those resources perpetually to wage jihad against the West per the dictates of Islam. Approve or disapprove?

  • Anonymous

    This Article is so Biased no to mention the “Save Israel” banner on the side.

    What ever happened to the neutral Press?

    • StephenD

      This isn't "The Press" as in a Newspaper you dolt. Do you expect a Gay and Lesbian Web Site to post stories lauding the benefits of traditional marriage? How about CAIR’s web site advocating for co-ed bathrooms or for the recognition of Israel by the so called “Palestinians?” But you're right, there is a "bent" to the stories here. They tend to be in favor of the truth.

  • xlent

    "moderate isslime" is an oxyMORON