A supporter of Tunisia's Ennahdha Party puts up a poster in Tunis on September 1, a day before campaigning was to start for the country’s presidential election. (Khaled Nasraoui/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Tunisia and Ennahdha at a Crossroads

Al-Arab, London, August 28

Ennahdha, the Muslim party of Tunisia, does not have a national vision. As a religious group, it does not recognize the Tunisian state, homeland or society. Therefore, its coming to power means the destruction of the state, the nation, and society. It is no longer convincing for Ennahdha to choose between the prime ministership and the presidency as a position of power. The movement wants both. Without control over the entire country, it will not be able to fulfill its ultimate vision. If the movement suffers from splits within and does not have the popularity to qualify itself as an alternative political force for all Tunisian parties, it will cease to exist. Therefore, the upcoming elections are of utmost importance. If these elections conclude that the movement cannot win a leadership position and a large share of seats in parliament, it would threaten to explode from within. This is because the Ennahdhists cannot stay united behind their leader, Rachid Ghannouchi, unless his promises to attain power are met. The Tunisian political forces that stand against the oppressive Ennahdha project must understand this. It is true that Ennahdha activists have not yet rebelled publicly, but this doesn’t mean their leadership is robust. The situation is more fragile than we think. Ennahdha leaders may search for other political options that are more useful to them and turn to violence if all else fails. The movement has done this in the past. It has also looted the Tunisian treasury by compensating its former members by passing laws that recognize these terrorists as political prisoners. The Tunisian people have been defrauded under the banner of truth and justice. Today, Tunisia stands at a crossroads in the course of its faltering revolution. Either it conquers Ennahdha, which is more dangerous to the people’s freedom, wealth and prosperity than the former Ben Ali regime, or it can bury itself by submitting to Ennahdha and recognizing it as an inevitable part of the Tunisian political system. In my view, eight years after the Jasmine Revolution, Tunisians are aware of the Ennahdha risk. This is because Ennahdha’s revolution was far from ideological; it was political. Not to mention that Ennahdha revealed its true face by ruling Tunisia for three years. Regardless of their slogans, the Ennahdhists are harming Tunisian society with a desire for revenge. Ennahdha is preparing to settle its scores with the Tunisian people, especially women and minorities. We must fight the movement back. – Frouq Youssef (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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