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Future of Political Islam in Tunisia
Many journalists, politicians, observers and experts link the Tunisian Islamic movement with the Islamic Al-Nahda (Renaissance) Movement led by Mr. Rashid Al-Ghanoshi
Sunday, September 10,2006 00:00
by Ali Bin Said, Ikhwanweb


 Many journalists, politicians, observers and experts link the Tunisian Islamic movement with the Islamic Al-Nahda (Renaissance) Movement led by Mr. Rashid Al-Ghanoshi, which is a political extension of both the Islamic group in Tunisia, established in the late 1960s and early 1970s and the Islamic Trend Movement whose establishment was declared in 6th June 1981 in the era of former president Habib Bourguiba, and all this is a big mistake on political, methodical and historical levels, as the Al-Nahda (Renaissance) Movement is just one of the most important political representations of the Tunisian Islamic movement, and this latter one is considered well-established in contemporary history of Tunisia since beginning of the century and before it as well, since conquring the country and bringing Islam to it, including efforts, theorizations and diligences and a field actions done by the movements of reform and liberation in early 20th century.


That is because the Islamic movement is primarily any Islamic action emerging from every active movement for religion and mankind, based on Islamic moderate thought, without confining religion to small places of worship or within framework of rituals that don’t links- through complete representation of Islam- people’s religion with the daily action of the toiling human being for the happiness of all people, nay everything in the world whatever differences are (1).



Al-Nahda (Renaissance) Movement reality, Past and Present


After the 1990s ordeal, the Al-Nahda (Renaissance) Movement, the biggest opposition party on political and public levels, witnessed great changes, as the leadership went abroad ( after more than 7000 exiled persons left the country fleeing hell of detentions and escaping with their cause in order to show it to the international public opinion and to keep the cause’s media dimension....) at a time daily life, police stations and prisons exhausted the elements inside the country, through a terrible and daily blockade and after all stabbed the Al-Nahda (Renaissance) members in the back, something that continued to the extent that the repression machine began devouring other movements in succession, and the beginning of emergence of the politically, security and financially influential mafia gangs.


In early 2004, the movement started restoring its political force, through making Al-Nahda (Renaissance) members get out of the coma which accompanied them during the first period of the current decade and getting rid of the 1990s framework ( avoiding what’s political and involvement in social activities and earning their livings and leaving the arena of others including Leftists, Nationalists, Salafi and opportunists belonging to the ruling party and those searching for gains ...), specially after many leaders left prison, and there was much talk about a dialogue between the authorities and Al-Nahda (Renaissance) and its political allies- or to be more accurate those approving its political agenda- in addition to the fall of the Tunisian authority’s agenda in front of opposition options (employees’ refusal to participate in the consultants council, many sectors moved in defense of demands of their affiliates - syndicate moves in secondary and higher education – street and students reaction on inviting Sharon to visit Tunisia - student movements and return of politics inside the universities fences - struggles of journalists and lawyers .....) and consequently the movement got out of a previous dark and hard stage to another one presaging a new dawn for Islamists and for the country at large.


Previous Stage

1- the so called youth leadership (the elements of the leaderships are mostly the elements that were leading the Islamic student movement institutions in early 1990 and during the confrontation in 1991 ) this leadership couldn’t- even according to some Islamists and for many reasons- draw all the Islamic spectrum in the country of emigration (and not even amid lines of emigrants, leaving this to the Salafist movement specially in the lines of the guest workers in Italy....) and it didn’t bring in a media success (channels of Zaytona and The Opinion stopped- no intellectual, political or even cultural periodicals were officially published by the movement whether it was optional or out of inability), in addition occurrence and recurrence of some resignations (like MUrsil Al Kubaisi - Bu Abdullah Bu Abdullah in addition to Al-Hashemy Al Hamedi, leader Saleh Karkar and preacher Khamis Al Magari and who became closer to the Jihad Salafist movement(2) ...) and inability to direct those inside the country. Add to this the success of the security Ghosts and Spies Groups affiliated the authorities (they succeeded in hedging sedition and tightening the grip on people, to the extent that a chief of a security service confirmed in a private chat with one of his friends that the special security services were behind aggravating the crisis of Mr. Karkar’s family in addition to the commercial mechanism of the security tragedies in the Tunisian security services, and especially in countries of Belgium- Switzerland- Italy .....) including surveillance of activities, causing sedition and attempting to destroy the unity of the Al-Nahda (Renaissance) in particular and the Islamic one in general.

2-Stagnation inside the country and getting involved in daily social life, inability to take the initiative, despite conviction of lack of organization, under the current regime, and inability in imposing a set of options, and waiting for so long and in a strange manner hoping that events develop to the favour of the Islamic project as a whole, without following up current affairs even those outside the political affairs, and stopping short of recruiting those in the lines of workers and students ( 400 thousand students in this year, expanding labor sections amid excessive layoffs done by the regime that closes enterprises ....) and young farmers (development of peasant activity, and growth of a number of peasant enterprises in early 21st century).



The New Stage

The movement leadership’s good management of the process of meeting opposition trends ( the Democratic Progressive Party led by Mr. Ahmed Nagib Al Shabi - the Tunisian Communist Labor Party led by Mr. Hima Al Humami- the democratic bloc for labor and freedoms led by Dr. Mustafa bin Jaafar - the Conference for the Republic led by Dr. Al-Munsif Al Marzouqi), a return of media and political activation inside the country, and return of the internal harmony among Islamists, and the political discourse of the abroad command developed, and movement has a media care for daily affairs in Tunisia, and  good management of media and intellectual battles, to the extent that an advisor to president bin Ali was quoted more than 3 months ago saying: " ...The Al-Nahda (Renaissance) is the only party that exercises politics in the country... "(3) in addition to the regional and international dimensions, after the progress of the Islamic movements in Egypt, Morocco and Palestine, in addition to measures taken in Libya and Algeria towards issuing an amnesty on activists of the Islamic movement. The leadership abroad found itself reaping fruits of its resolve regarding the cause and not to be overridden by despair and fading, like some organizations which met this after facing a long ordeal in mid 1990s or due to obscurity of the future course of the political horizon in the country, saying the authority is despite its weakness is always able to revive itself.


The Islamic prisoners ( a number of them were released) as compared with turning all the country into a big prison in which all people live, and those who refused demands of pardon and apology, despite the offered temptations, and they accepted isolation and slow and systematized killing and realized attempts of hedging sedition among them, despite schemes and hundreds of plotters and sneakers ( including an incident in which a prisoner of conscience notified Dr. Al-Munsif Bin Salem that the authority will put a narcotic material in food, to mutilate him in a dirty and mean operation .. to the extent that the prisoner suggested on the doctor that he tastes the food before him every time and this was what happened exactly ....) in addition to factors of frustration prepared by the authorities as it imposed a complete isolation form mankind like the one recently released, Mr. Hammadi Al Gabali who asked in 1995 whether Saddam Hussein got out of Kuwait?


Those who were released and stuck to- despite daily repression and blockade, their principles and their faith in the cause of their freedom and the necessity of giving a legal legitimacy to their movement, and even legize all outlawed political powers, and they did tedious and hard commercial although some of them are university graduates and are academically distinguished. Even several books can’t describe and detail their suffering to earn living for their children and their families.


Those who sacrificed for the struggle and support, including politicians, human rights activists, journalists and lawyers, who supported and backed families despite the continuous and organized repression and organized and periodic intimidation (operations of attacking activists, exercising pressure on many prisoners’ wives to divorce them from their husbands)



Several Challenges facing Al-Nahda (Renaissance) Movement in the future

A-Arrangements of the Current Ordeal


Many Islamists in the Al-Nahda (Renaissance) Movement are not right when they think that they will be in a comfortable situation when the current regime falls or at least the emergence of the dawn of freedoms, which is currently taking shape with the narrow-mindedness of the current authority and the nature of the regional and international preparations, because the 15 year long ordeal has dangerous and destructive responsibilities on the future of the Islamic movement in Tunisia and all the country in general.

- The movement has lost many of its leaders ( Al Hamedi - Karkar- and other leaders who withdrew silently and without making any buzzing ..), and the leadership lost the charismatic role towards the members of the Islamic movement as a whole including its affiliates, supporters and sympathizers with it, even the Tunisian political spectrum, something it enjoyed throughout the 1970s and 1980s and it was one of the most important factors of the strength of the movement which was well-established during the 1980s.

-The authorities ability in parallelizing the Al-Nahda (Renaissance) Movement inside the country, and the submission of many elements, and the stagnation of most activists in the middle  leaders inside the country, disappointed greatly the youth and people as regards Islamists in Tunisia, something that can’t be easily sent to oblivion, despite the relativity of that argument, as the authorities failed actually in eliminating the movement according to its recognition, and erred in estimating many things and the nature of the active body of the Islamists, while the fall of several or some elements on the long road of struggle is considered something natural in every party or movement, and it may be considered a healthy factor, given that the body has got rid of paralytic inheritance which not liable to continue struggle in all ordeals and stages.


-Weakness of the leadership and stopping the process of recruitment; this means lacking youth currently in the lines of the movement; the last recruited members were the 1991 secondary stage pupils; this means that the younger affiliated member in the movement is at least 30 years old.

- The process of political and cultural and realistic reparation for groups of the groups of prisoners, or even for all the country, as a complete stage of the country’s history can’t be sent to oblivion, without understanding what took place in it as regards political, cultural and syndicates aspects, and exceeding this to a distinguishing way of reading, understanding and analysis, so as to be in touch with the society. It is not possible for an Islamic leader to interact with the reality without being well-informed about history and writings of the democratic bloc or Green Party file, or what happened inside the work union or in most of its sectors and its regional unions, or even the files of the sectors of tourism, farming and trade, in addition to changes all over the world, and arrangements of globalization, and toppling Saddam Hussein’s and occupation of Iraq, and developments of the Palestinian cause and other topics and files.


The social legacy of the hard destructive ordeal, as groups of Islamists entered prison when they were young men after losing their jobs and education require jobs and to be included in a society that they left in an image and they found it in another image, to the extent that a leader was amazed at his 16 years old daughter who uses the Internet and computer very quickly, and plays Paraball’ for a long time and uses the mobile skilfully while he can’t- for health reasons- even hold a newspaper, let alone holding a book; to give another example, a prisoners thought that that the dialing code in the capital is 01 (which was the capital’s code key in early 1990s, the two numbers of greater Tunisia, that became 71 or 70 or 79 now ) when he wanted to call his family to tell it that it left prison.



-The current security services worked on infiltrating lines of the Islamists including activists and middle leaders, through methods of exercising pressure, bargaining, intimidation and using many cards, and infiltrating families of the Islamic leaders, and bargaining on passports and card 03 and business licences and jobs, this means there is a great challenge in testing the lines, although the Islamists in the next stage have nothing to hide after the destructive repercussions of the secret working in the period before the ordeal.


The Political Ideological Other

The Al-Nahda (Renaissance) Movement was in 1991 the strongest in politics and it was in the field level in syndicates, suburbs in all cities villages and countryside; it was respected by both the enemy and the friend; nowadays, it is absent or forced to be absent in most arenas and forums; all refuse making a coalition with it for fear of it and for fear of the existing authority and its tyranny; consequently, it is facing a great challenge of reassuring its supporters before its enemies, and the confirm its capabilities, according to a Leftist who said this in a forum of 18 October Movement. It is easy that the Al-Nahda (Renaissance) returns as a strong movement but it should as a movement that respects, appreciates and defends the political and ideological other for the sake of the country and to be in harmony with the tolerant principles of Islam, instead of monopolizing it or considering itself Islam’s mouthpiece.


-The Authority: The Islamic movement must balance its readiness for reconciliation and dialogue without reservation for the sake of the country and between cutting short a dialogue with an authority that will argue just for gaining time, and in attempt of breaking the current coalition; actually, there should be a rational and firm framework with every new authority according to people’s interest and and establishing the principle that the authority doesn’t concerned the movement which gives a priority to welfare of the country and freedom and decency of its citizens and the necessity of establishing a healthy political life and an honored closure of past files with all political partners.


-The Left: Here, there should be a methodic and clear differentiation between the radical opportunist Left which should be put in the same boat with the current authority and between a Left that kept away from authority and corrected its path, and it had heroic situations in support of people’s issues first, and even with the Islamists, like the bloc fighters, the communist Labor Party and the Democratic Progressive Party or some independent, human rights and media activists. In addition to this, there should be a realistic reassurance having proofs on the ground that the Islamists will respect the other whatever its position is, and that they support the decisions of the seventh conference in 2001. As for the challenge that the Left represents, it should be urged to test its lines so that it can meet and mke coalitions with it in the fight for freedoms whatever the current authority is.


-The Nationalists: Despite all the frustrations that this movement represented across its different shapes for all elites and leaving it for the Unionist to represent the national movement inside and outside the country, in addition to its passive attitudes in internal issues, and its lagging behind other national movements agenda in our Arab region, the only challenge is that the Al-Nahda (Renaissance) Islamists work for helping in making a huge test operation inside the Nationalist organizations in Tunisia, and hence making a coalition with the nationalist powers which stand as insurmountable barriers in front of tyranny; there is a big difference between many Nasserist unionist members and Tunisian Baath Party members on the one hand and those affiliated to Unionist or Tagamue Baathists like Al-Afif Al Bouni or Al-Midany Bin Saleh or Reda Al Malouli who implements the agenda of Bin Ali.


-The Liberals: The Islamists should be aware that many liberals in Tunisia are intellectuals who are not ready to sell their country or trade its freedom, regardless of the existing difference in the level of political and social project; consequently you should stand with them against authorities violations of freedoms, you should even urge them to cut relations with Western projects which are similar to past colonization which dream of a return.




Other Islamic Movements


The Islamic Left

Although, realistically speaking, this experience (the progressive Islamists) ended and faded, to the extent that its owners declared in 1989 that it ended, but some of its supporters are still active in the arena nowadays whether in academic study, political struggle or cultural and human rights work. As for the most important reasons for the end of this experience, it is due to the following:

-Its proponents couldn’t stick to its principles and due to the methodic differences between them; they were absent when the Al-Nahda (Renaissance) Movement was absent the political arena, under pressures of the security siege, and their current activity is confined to some cultural fields, in a narrow and elitist framework, despite multiplicity of fields and the intellectual value of the offered lectures and seminars.



-The political disagreement on the ground between the most important icons of that movement, Mr. Hamida Al Nifr kept away from the political field and his activity is confined to academic studies since he left the post of advisor of Education Minister. As for Mr. Salahuddin Al Gourshi, he is closer to human rights and humanitarian work, despite his coming closer to Western arenas, and Egyptian activist, Saad Eddin Ibrahim,  and Mr. Khamis Al Shamari and Mohamed Al-Sharafy and former Watad member student (4) Mohsen Marzouk. As for some others like Mr. Mohamed Al Qoumani and Abdul Aziz Al Tamimi, they have chosen the field of political struggle inside the Democratic Progressive Party. While others left the arena as a whole, and the experience is for them is just a distant pastlike Mr. Ziad Krishan who is nowadays close to the security leaders, who headed Manzil Tamim conference ( the group’s only conference) in the 1980s, while others chose the union activities as a whole.

-The authority is not serious in opening fields of political and cultural action (blockading the activity in the 1990s and media attacks, accusing the elements of secretly belonging to the Al-Nahda (Renaissance) like Mr. Anas Al Shabi (Al-Sahafa newspaper articles in the years 1993-1994 and 1995 )- Abdul Aziz Al Garidi (silly and free articles throughout the last 15 years and attacks Al Gourshi and the experience especially in his last articles ....) and Sadek Shaban ( he was quoted as saying all Islamists deserve prison because those who didn’t participate in an action have theorized, and what will these do except theorization is in Islamic thought). Practically speaking, although the experience ended, but some elements of the group have potentials in the field action to materialize a future of the Tunisian Islamic movement or to revive another Islamic political movement that can deepen the political experience of the Islamists in Tunisia.


The Liberation Party


It is actually a branch of the party founded by Taqei Al-Din Al-Nabahany in Jerusalem in 1952, which many Tunisians joined, including Mr. Muhammad Fadel Shatara who joined the party in Europe, and returned to Tunisia and recruited some supporters topped by Mohamed Al Garabi, who succeeded him as chairman. The party still has many supporters, especially in cities of Qabalat, Manzil Bourguiba, Tadamun and Ariana. Despite the systemized repression exercised against the party affiliates in 1990 and 1991 in addition to trials in 1983 and absence of the student wing since early 1990s as the current activity is confined to studying past writings and attacking the Al-Nahda (Renaissance) Movement path, after it hid totally in mid 1990s, due to continuing administrative control and seditions and fragmentation.  This party poses a great challenge due to its intellectual narrow-mindedness, that its elements stick to ready intellectual and inflexible sayings, and showing discipline to decisions of the leadership outside the country.


The Islamic Front

This movement is closer intellectually, politically and organizationally from the Algerian Salvation Front, in addition to the fact that it practically represents a historical, not intellectual, branch of Tunisian Dawa Tableeg since March 1988, the date of issuing the constitutive statement, and forming leadership council headed then by Mr. Mohamed Khouga, after  establishing a region in Sfax and another in the capital, as the founder Mohamed Ali Al Harathi assumed responsibility of foreign relations enabling many elements to leave for Algeria and then to Peshawar in Pakistan. Despite arresting 120 elements affiliated to the front, this does not mean that it ended, although authorities claim this, and they claim that about 25 elements defected from the front and established the so called Takfir Wal Hijra (5).


Practically speaking, the future of this movement is obscure as it is difficult to restructure the front due to the development of situations in Tunisia and Algeria, in a way that does not serve the traditional slogans of the front, to the extent that its elements- after the 1990s hard experience- will find themselves closer to the thought, curriculum and policies of the Al-Nahda (Renaissance) Movement, or even a main branch of it, despite possible polemic that may occur between the two movements leaders around the future of the Islamic project in Tunisia.


The Salafist movement


This movement is considered one of the biggest challenges facing the Al-Nahda (Renaissance) Islamic movement as much as its political representation is concerned, due to the difference in reading and nature of formation and the strategic and tactical differences and the essence of means and methodology and the content of the message, viewing society and how to call and recruit it. This movement with all its branches emerged for several reasons and factors foremost among which are:

-The absence of Al-Nahda (Renaissance) Movement as the biggest political representations in the Tunisian Islamic movement, and the continuous security hunting for its supporters and sympathizers at that time and that some its elements and activists stopped the daily process of recruiting and making contacts with the public.


-Lacking Islamic writings, closing Al-Zaytouna and blockading everything Islamic, through curbing appearances of religiousness and Islamic dress, through periodically annoying women who wear it.


-The strategy of some security leaders that played in late 1990s, with the failure of the plan of final killing, on hunting the Islamic movement and fragmenting the Al-Nahda (Renaissance), and hence the containing the Islamic movement, as these security leaders resorted- due to their spite nature or their agenda or their political past whose failure is related to the rise of the Islamists (Wtad, Tod, Iraqi Baath and some of the Nasserists)- to show and create Islamic movements that fight the Al-Nahda (Renaissance) and involve it in trivial battles; some writings were encouraged and a space was given to this, but the development of International and regional situations ( 11 September and ensuing events like linking Al-Qaeda and Iraq events ) led to aborting these projects, to the extent that they backfired against the authority regarding the file they wanted to use against the moderate Islamic movement (why the authority closed some files in 2003 after beginning probes and torturing elements and then releasing them so that some of them go abroad, specifically to Iraq, in addition to involvement of some security leaders in the authorities in helping many elements in joining Al-Qaeda, and receiving financial commissions and security services, and providing security and documentary framework for this; the obscurity of closing the file of Mr. Nabil Ebeid of the State Security Service may be an evidence on this).


Practically speaking, this movement is divided into many branches which can be called organizations:


Salafist Jihad : This movement believes in Al-Qaeda ideas and adopts its ideology, regardless of its organizational relations with it. Most of the members of this movement descend from Bizerte and slums in the capital (A-Tadamun- Moroug- Al-Zohour) and its elements believe in struggle within framework of Islamic nationalism and fighting the direct enemy first and then the secondary enemy, nevertheless, practically those elements have no future due to the nature of the Tunisian society and to the nature of the current social life and the return of the spirit of moderation among religious young men and mosques goers. The horizons of this movement are related to actions of Al-Qaeda on the international level, or eruptions of regional wars. Especially after its most important elements fled last December. The challenge that this Jihad movement poses can be raised through a democratic practice, and initiating discussions through seminars and corrective writings for to the Tunisian Islamic experience, and discussing the Islamists ideologies all over the Arab world, including Salafi and Al-Qaeda ideologies in particular.


Peaceable Salafist: It consists basically of some elements who are characterized by disliking every thing political, and adopt some of the sayings of Da’wa Tableegh group; most of the elements of this group were recruited from the official and security agencies (religious rituals administration) and those elements circulate suspicious documents like " invalidity of Al Ghannoushi’s diligence", and " the deviations of the Al-Nahda (Renaissance), Al Turabi and Muslim Brotherhood ...", and " Al Ghannoushi deviations". However, practically, the future of this movement is related to the future of the ruling authority .. And most of the elements are based in the capital (Rads – Bab Al-Gadeed), Monastir and Kairouan, although this movement may fade and vanish when the current authority ends, at least in its current representation and return of the Al-Nahda (Renaissance) Movement to politics inside the country and the nature of this return and how the leadership run its actions inside the society and the elite.


Reformist Salafist: This movement is touches the two previous movements as regards thought and exercise, and is closer to the Muslim Brotherhood thought and the Saudi version of religiousness ( Mohamed Abdul Wahab’s thought and Salman Al-Oda’s writings and Ayed Al Qarni and basically his book " Don’t be sad"). This movement draws many students, and a broad section of lower employees sympathizes with it. The interest in some of the writings is in the previous book fair and the intensive attendance of its supporters of this movement in the fair is an evidence on this; the supporters descend from Rads, the New City, Mnzil Bourguiba, Almlasin and southeastern cities basically ( Sfax - Qbis - Madnin – Matir).

Practically speaking, this movement will find itself in an objective, methodic and realistic coalition with the elements and supporters of the Al-Nahda (Renaissance) Movement, specially in a way enabling the latter to publish serious writings that interact with the public, students, workers, young men and religious people.


The Da’awa and Tableegh : It is an Islamic Da’wa movement that believes in spreading the Islamic mission and disregarding the political activity which enabled it to have a simple margin of freedom of activity in the 1990s, although 65 elements of its supporters were tried in Ariana city in late 1990s. The authority returned again and annoyed most elements of this group, and the state security service tried to infiltrate and recruit some elements, and the failure was apparent making the administration of borders and foreigners order not renewing the passports of most of the elements in 2003; this movement doesn’t pose a challenge or obstacle to an Islamic political movement or to the Al-Nahda (Renaissance) due to difference in activity, the Tableeghis are ready to hold a dialogue like what happened in mid 1970s and 1980s.


The Shiites in Tunisia : They appeared in early 1980s, and they were small group including Mubarak Al Badash a former member in the Islamic group in Tunisia, and he is one its most important members in Qabis city, and Al-Sayyed Al-Tigany Al-Samawi who wrote the book " then I got guided ", their number did not grow as a result to the political support that the Al-Nahda (Renaissance) Movement gave to the Iranian revolution through Al-Marifa magazine and the political demonstrations that the movement students held in the university, but as a result of the war with Iraq, and the movement’s reservation on the revolution’s path, the movement increased in number of supporters, who joined the Prophet’s family enterprise and the appearance of a student movement during this period called the Imam’s Path ( named after imam Khomeini ), then the movement spread after the ordeal of the Al-Nahda (Renaissance) Movement in early 1990s and the appearance of the security services in this arena, and the development of the official relations between the Tunisian and Iranian regimes, and the exchange of visits, the security services leaders received many Shiite elements particularly Al-Samawi and Badash, after appointing the latter as chairman of the organization in Tunisia, and his continuous travels to Libya (he always boasts that he contributed to closing the Al-Nahda (Renaissance) Movement’s office in Tehran). Bin Ali met Al Sayed Badash met in 2004, without declaring this officially. With the occurrence of some developments, the Iranian regime reconsidered on its light the policies related to foreign relations at the end of Khatami’s era, Mr. Emaduddin Al Hamrouni assumed top responsibility in the movement, or Siwar Basma instead of Badash who was previously dismissed.


However, Al-Samawi and Badash are still the famous names in several well-known Shiite websites like Al-Mustabsiroun website). The movement supporters are based in suburbs of Al Manihla, Rads, MIrnaq, and states of Sfax, Jundubah, Madnin and Baga, and some of its current elements have relations with the security services, foremost among them is Mohamed Al Hanshiri, who moves in on purpose from residence to another and makes contacts with the middle leaders in the Al-Nahda (Renaissance) aiming to recruit them, it is Tunisian security trend known for years, so that the movement loses its leadership balance in the future.

The challenge posed by the Shiite movement is linked with the future of political life in the country and the nature of the Al-Nahda (Renaissance) Islamists reading to the future path of the Iranian revolution and its presence in the region, and the arrangements of the Iraqi and Lebanese political status quo as well; add to this  the nature of understanding of the movement writings as regards the doctrinal issue and the response of the Western and the Arab regimes strategy to the sectarian file as a factor of spreading sedition inside Arab countries and the Nation as a whole.



The Al-Nahda (Renaissance) Movement, the strongest candidate for leading the movement of political Islam in Tunisia, still in need of a review and an investment of its course in the exile for the sake situations inside the country, as being an influential player among the public, and pushing ahead for restoring the confidence of its supporters and allies, and necessity of actual and field presence through being aware of the development of events, and the regime’s extreme weakness, and its decreasing options, and that the real battle is in building the next stage to bring the country out of the bottom, to which the constitution party send it, through a political realism that understands the international and Arab with the public opinion for people’s interest and to enable them to defend their interests and vital fields, regardless which party is assuming power, in addition to keeping away from relying on the current authority which marked by weakness and maneuver.


As for the future of the political movement, it is related to the dynamism of the historic leadership whether now or in the next stage, through restructuring the leading establishments and the relation between the political field and the Da’wa and cultural fields, and making good use of the historical experience of the movement, and the exile’s experiment path, and the ability of presenting young leaders, who witnessed tragedies inside the country, to assume responsibility of the movement, in a complete interaction with the Arab arena, and the outright adoption strategically and in the field to the demand of unifying the Arab Maghreb as a first step and initial and implicit framework for the Arab and Islamic unity, after reaching an ability of actual presence, and a quick effective adaptation, through a presence on the ground in interaction with the new developments in the internal arena, at any temporary and circumstantial change on the part of the political authority, which is its instant position at best, due to opposition capabilities, and the nature of public reaction and changeable regional and international situations, and the dependence of Bin Ali’s regime on many security agencies that observe every thing.





(*) Tunisian writer and researcher.


[1]  See part three of our political study on the status quo of the political parties and movements in 2005 TenisNews, 9 January 2006.


2 To understand the nature of the disagreement between Mr Khamis Al-Magari and Al-Nahda (Renaissance) movement leadership, you can see the appendix of Tenis News dated 14-3-2006.


3 While evaluating holding Information Summit inn Tunisia and the ensuing actions on 18th October 2005.


4 He is now close to US studies centre and plans to revive Al-Kawakby forum in Tunisia.


5Shaban says in his book whose content was taken from Tunisian police headquarters "… The Takfir Wal Hijra group defected from the Islamic Front and it is a small group that represents a branch of the Al-Nahda (Renaissance) and the organization was headed by Hassan Al-Haramy. The 25 supprters of this movement were tried"

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Posted in MB and West , Islamic Movements , Political Islam Studies  
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