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Tunisia, a testing ground for an alliance between the muslim brotherhood and jihadists

Wednesday 31 January 2018, by siawi3

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Tunisia, a testing ground for an alliance between the muslim brotherhood and jihadists


Hala Abdennour

Political Islam in general and the Muslim Brotherhood ideology in particular can lead to terrorism. There are many examples of connivance between the Muslim Brotherhood and jihadists and Tunisia seems to provide a testing ground for this alliance.

Four dates to be retained:

No sooner was he elected Mohammad Ghannouchi granted an amnesty to political prisoners, including Seif Allah Ben Hassine (aka Abu Iyadh), convicted of terrorist activities and who on his release immediately founded Ansar Al Sharia.
Not only did the Ennahda government (24/12/2011-13/3/2013) tolerate this movement, but several party members attended their meetings, as Seif Allah Ben Hassine preached freely in mosques and his organization multiplied their “humanitarian” actions across the country.
After the attack against the American embassy, the assassination of Chokri Belaïd and subsequently of Mohammed Brahmi, two major figures of the secular opposition, Ansar Al Sharia pursued its activities in Tunisia.
One month after the last assassination evidence of Ansar Al Sharia’s implication was brought to light. Ansar Al Sharia was designated as a terrorist organization and banned.

Why was there such a delay in discovering this when it was well known that Ben Hassine was one of Bin Laden’s right hand men? Was the Ennahda government unaware that this organization is led by an extremist who preaches violence?

As Richard Spencer observed in The Daily Telegraph when he posed the question about the murky relationship between Ennahda and Ansar Al Sharia, was it necessary to wait until Ben Hassine had recruited and trained many young Tunisians who would go on to carry out other terrorist attacks at the Bardo Museum and in Sousse before neutralizing him?

Can Ennahda and its leader Rached Ghannouchi be trusted when Ghannouchi continues to appeal to certain Western intelligentsia despite his blatant double speak, for example in a video which circulated on social networks and in the main media in Tunisia and France? Yet again, on 25 August, Rached Ghannouchi demanded that Tunisia take back jihadists returning from Syria. He was quoted in the newspaper “Ettounsiya” as saying that showing clemency to terrorists returning from Syria would enable them to free themselves from the dark and obscure thoughts which they adopted out of ignorance and naivety.

Today Rached Ghannouchi states that his is the only party capable of countering the jihadists, because they can tell the difference between extremists and moderate Muslims. In fact Ennahda are not moderates, it is an extremist party whose aim is to establish an Islamic state and apply the Sharia. The truly moderate Muslims are those who believe that religion is a personal matter and must not be instrumentalized by politics. They are the ones, and no one else, who will be able to counter the extremists through a tolerant Islam.

Yes, we can say that the main rampart against Islamist violence is a non political Islam, i.e. the exact opposite of the Muslim Brotherhood.