Tunisian Women Stage Burqa Rebellion as Radical Imam Returns from Exile
Cheers and fears. Is there such a thing as “Islam lite?” Tunisia is about to find out.
A radical Islamic cleric who was kept out of power in his home country by Tunisian President/strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, has now jetted back from 21 years of exile in London. His followers PROMISE he will be a “moderate” influence in Tunisia, but there are many protesting because they don’t believe it. Is there such a thing as a “moderate” Muslim cleric, especially one who was banned from his homeland? Do you think Ben Ali had his reasons? We will find out. Tunisian women are now protesting imam Rachid Ghannouchi’s presence in the country. They have GOOD REASON to be very afraid.
Some signs at the airport: “NO Islamism, No Theocracy, No Sharia, No Stupidity”
His first interview on home soil: “Some Western media portray me like (Ayatollah Ruhollah) Khomeini, but that’s not me.” Believe him?
Rachid Ghannouchi, the leader of a formerly banned party, has returned to Tunisia after 21 years in exile.
More than 1,000 people gathered at the main international airport to welcome the leader of al-Nahda as he returned from the UK on Sunday, after the interim government pledged to allow his party and other movements banned under the rule of now ousted President Zine al-Abdine Ben Ali.
“I feel very happy today,” the 69-year-old said as he boarded the plane in London.
“When I return home today I am returning to the Arab world as a whole… I am still the leader of my party.
“If there are free and fair elections al-Nahda will take part – in the legislative elections, not the presidential elections.”
Ghannouchi’s party was branded an Islamic terror group and banned by Ben Ali, although he is considered a moderate by scholars.
Supporters crowding the arrivals area of the airport held up banners reading: “No to extremism, yes to
moderate Islam!” and “No fear of Islam!”
A group of about a dozen secularists were holding up banners reading: “No Islamism, no theocracy, no Sharia and no stupidity!”
Al-Nahda was the strongest opposition force in Tunisia before the crackdown that forced Ghannouchi out of the country in 1989.
Tunisia’s interim government has yet to set a date for new elections. Analysts have said al-Nahda could once again rise as a major political force.
However Ghannouchi, who is not related to Mohamed Ghannouchi, Tunisia’s current prime minister, has said he does not want to run for any public office.
The very-Westernized, modern culture of Tunisia is now being threatened. Women in Tunisia, who have been actively working in the movement to remove strongman “president” Ben Ali, are now holding rallies to criticize the return of Imam Ghannouchi. They are fearful that they will lose their fifty years of feminist progress. They will probably be back in burqas in no time. They should have THOUGHT about the consequences.
Read yesterday’s coverage here. Dominoes are falling. Tunisia is lost to radical Islam, just as Iran was lost in 1979.