Rachid Ghannouchi: A Democrat within Islamism (Religion and by Azzam S. Tamimi

By Azzam S. Tamimi

Tamimi introduces the idea of Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi, the popular Islamist political activist who heads Tunisia's such a lot important--albeit banned--Islamist political competition to the present authoritarian regime of Zine Abidine Ben Ali. Ghannouchi is the chief of a college in sleek Islamic political inspiration that advocates democracy and pluralism. whereas insisting at the compatibility of democracy with Islam, he believes that as a result of their secular foundations, modern varieties of liberal democracy would possibly not go well with Muslim societies. Ghannouchi insists, even though, that Islam is appropriate with Western suggestion in issues in regards to the procedure of presidency, human rights, and civil liberties.

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Still seemingly influenced by his former Nassirist background, and in spite of showing signs of disenchantment earlier in Egypt, he identified with the Syrian Nassirists, who campaigned for restoring unity between Egypt and Syria. During the period he spent in Damascus from 1964 to 1968, the Ba'th rule had still been in its early stage and had not yet taken full control. Syria was still in the "liberal age" in the sense that a reasonable margin of freedom, which was to be lost in later years, still existed.

His assessment was that the philosophy lessons were damaging in two ways. On the one hand, they offered contradictory answers to the problems faced by the pupils, who were still unable to choose between such answers because they lacked the cultural standard on the basis of which a choice could be made. On the other hand, they offered the pupils answers to problems that were not theirs, but that were the product of other societies that had cultures and circumstances completely different from those of Tunisia.

Although the country had no parliament at the time, the state had still not imposed itself completely on society. The entire Syrian society was intensely politicized and the Syrians utilized rather well the margin of freedom available to them. Students demonstrated, engaged in open debates, and even clashed on campus over ideological or political differences. 36 Intellectual Debates At Damascus University, Ghannouchi found himself in the midst of a raging intellectual battle. A fierce conflict had been going on among students belonging to different political trends.

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