Officially Ghannouchi is a moderate. So is any Islamist who isn’t currently sawing someone’s head of. And so he’s getting quite an honor.
Tunisian parliamentarians, senior U.S. officials, diplomats, Middle East experts, media representatives, and a wide array of friends of Tunisia gathered on February 25th, 2014, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC to celebrate the country’s historic constitution and to honor and recognize the efforts and leadership of Mr. Rached Ghannouchi, leading Islamic scholar and President of the Nahdha Party in Tunisia.
Over 150 guests attended the event (who’s who in Washington DC). Among the main speakers at the Banquet Dinner to welcome and honor Mr. Rached Ghannouchi to Washington DC were Gerald Feierstein, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, John Esposito, University Professor at Georgetown University, Bill Lawrence, President of American Tunisian Association, John Duke Anthony, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, Carl Gershman, President of the National Endowment for Democracy, Lorne Craner, President of the International Republican Institute, and William Taylor, V.P. at the US Institute of Peace.
When the United States was a little more serious about national security, it refused to even let Ghannouchi into the country, let alone show up to honor him.
During the Gulf War, he did the usual “Death to America” thing expected of all moderates.
According to Ghannouchi, the Muslims now faced “Crusader America,” the “enemy of Islam,” and Saddam had taken a necessary step toward unity, “joining together two Arab states out of twenty-two, praise be to Allah.”
Ghannouchi also threatened the United States. Speaking in Khartoum during the crisis, he said, ” 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.
After the war, Ghannouchi requested a U.S. visa. His request was denied.
Sheik Ghanushi, began by blessing the mothers of the suicide bombers: “I would like to send my blessings to the mothers of those youth, those men who succeeded in creating a new balance of power… I bless the mothers who planted in the blessed land of Palestine the amazing seeds of these youths, who taught the international system and the Israeli arrogance, supported by the US, an important lesson. The Palestinian woman, mother of the Shahids [martyrs], is a martyr herself, and she has created a new model of woman…”
The Arab Spring “will achieve positive results on the path to the Palestinian cause and threaten the extinction of Israel,” Ghannouchi said. “I give you the good news that the Arab region will get rid of the bacillus of Israel. Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the leader of Hamas, said that Israel will disappear by the year 2027. I say that this date may be too far away, and Israel may disappear before this.”
And his rise in Tunisia during the Arab Spring was nothing short of disastrous.
In the video, which was first broadcast last April and re-broadcast October 9th, Ghannouchi said, “The secularists are still controlling the media, economy and administration. Therefore, controlling them would require more time.” He added that “the police and army’s support for Islamists is not guaranteed, and controlling them would also require more time.”
The Ennahda leader said, “We’ve met with Hizb ut-Tahrir, and the salafists, including Sheikh Abou Iyadh and Sheikh al-Idrissi.”
Abou Iyadh, also known as Seif Allah Ben Hassine, is currently wanted by Tunisian police in connection with the September 14th attack on the US embassy.
This is the sort of man being honored.