Radicals Consolidate Wins in Tunisia


Verified Military
Aug 14, 2007
Al-Nahda, Hezb Ennahda, or just Enahda is claiming to have taken victory in Tunisia's first elections, adding to the list of "Arab Spring" revolutionary nations that have thrown off their former dictators, and replaced them with the foundations of an Islamic Republic.

Interesting to note how Reuters and the Associated Press have decided to refer to the Enahda political party as "moderate", being extra careful to insert the term into every article covering this party's rise to power.


(Reuters) - Moderate Islamists claimed victory on Monday in Tunisia's first democratic election, sending a message to other states in the region that long-sidelined Islamists are challenging for power after the "Arab Spring."
Official results have not been announced, but the Ennahda party said its workers had tallied the results posted at polling stations after Sunday's vote, the first since the uprisings which began in Tunisia and spread through the region.
"The first confirmed results show that Ennahda has obtained first place," campaign manager Abdelhamid Jlazzi said outside party headquarters in the center of the Tunisian capital.
As he spoke, a crowd of more than 300 in the street shouted "Allahu Akbar!" or "God is great!" Other people started singing the Tunisian national anthem.
Mindful that some people in Tunisia and elsewhere see the resurgence of Islamists as a threat to modern, liberal values, party officials said they were prepared to form an alliance with two secularist parties, Congress for the Republic and Ettakatol.
"We will spare no effort to create a stable political alliance ... We reassure the investors and international economic partners," Jlazzi said.

And, here is the AFP, referring to the "moderate" Ghannouchi. Ghannouchi was previously banned from Tunisia for being too radical, and lived in the UK for many years.

TUNIS — Rached Ghannouchi, whose Islamist Ennahda party dominated Tunisia's first free elections, is a former radical preacher with a new moderate face -- once persecuted but now a kingmaker.
The 70-year-old returned from two decades in exile to Tunisia on January 30, two weeks after the ousting of his arch-enemy Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in a popular revolt in which Ennahda stayed on the background.
But even before his rapturous welcome drew comparisons with Ayatollah Khomeiny's 1979 return to Iran, Ghannouchi sought to allay fears of a hidden radical agenda, repeatedly insisting: "I am not a Khomeiny".
He has since stressed that Ennahda was a moderate force akin to the ruling Justice and Development (AKP) party in Turkey, another Muslim majority country which like Tunisia to date, has a secular state.
"People must accept that there are different versions of political Islam," he said recently.
"We are much closer to the AKP of Turkey than we can ever be to the Taliban or Bin Laden."
And here, another group of moderates firebombed a television station after it aired an image of Allah on T.V.:

I LOL'd at "Occupy The Media: Tunisia Edition"
one group estimated to be as large as 100 men rioted — torching the home of Nabil Karoui, the TV station’s top executive. Witnesses said the rioters arrived in taxicabs, armed with Molotov cocktails and knives.
Maybe this is a good thing. Islam is making it's stand now, therefore allowing us to clearly identify them as our enemy so we can destroy them.
Bring it on bacon haters!

There's that word again. I guess that's been universally agreed upon; when we refer to this group, we're going to refer to them as moderate. I just didn't get the memo. FWIW, I hope they have toned themselves down, but I don't think they have.

The burden of proof that they will be moderate is on them, and the international gauntlet has been thrown down. Let them come forward and be part of the international community. Until then, there will be many who doubt.
My Arabic professor is from Tunisia and is extremely pleased with the turnout. It's at least some form of democracy, which is what the West wanted anyway. I don't think anyone expected them to not go in the direction of Islam. I think we should just let them be.
This seems to me about the perfect time to wait and see this play out before jumping to any conclusions.