Monday, January 31, 2011

Crowds cheer return of exiled Islamic leader - says they have nothing to fear - Video


Experts say Mr Ben Ali used a fear of Islamists to seduce Western allies keen for a bulwark against terrorism in a volatile region, and win their blessing despite widespread repression.

Islamist Swa-mist ~ for Muslim leaders ~ God is in a Swiss bank account! And the Islamists want to take that away!!

On one side we could easily blame the despots who run the Islamic world ~ on the other side there must be some reason that time and time again ~ Muslim countries end up as dictatorships. And for this you have to look at the people. It is obvious that they support dictatorships. Take the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights, which places Islam [rights of group] over humanity or individual rights. Then they wonder why their talismanic governments ~ imbued with all their special Shariac powers fail them every time.

One day Muslims will grow tied of this yo-yo system of government ~ Islamic revolution after Islamic revolution ~ but we can't stop the world because they insist on backwardness ~ we need to get off their energy and move our societies on ~ energy technology-wise. That's our oil well.



''Some Western media portray me like [Ayatollah] Khomeini, but that's not me,'' he said.

Mr Ghanouchi said he wanted his party to help Tunisia carry out democratic reforms, but he was not interested in standing in elections expected in coming months. ''I am not going to run for president of Tunisia, nor as a minister, nor as a parliamentarian.''

TUNIS: The leader of a long-outlawed Tunisian Islamist party has returned home after two decades in exile, saying that his views are moderate and his Westward-looking country has nothing to fear.

Rachid Ghanouchi, 69, and about 70 other exiled members of Ennahdha, or Renaissance, flew home from Britain two weeks after the autocratic president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali was forced from power by violent protests.

At the airport on Sunday thousands of people welcomed him, cheering, shouting ''God is great'' and drowning out his attempt to address the crowd with a megaphone.

Mr Ghanouchi rejected any comparison to more radical figures, including the hardline father of the Iranian revolution.

''Some Western media portray me like [Ayatollah] Khomeini, but that's not me,'' he said.

Mr Ghanouchi left the country as Mr Ben Ali came to power in 1987. With Mr Ben Ali gone, Ennahdha has moved quickly to carve out a place in the political scene, taking part in demonstrations and meeting the Prime Minister.

Some Tunisians fear that a revival of Islam could hurt their hard-won gains and quality of life, or inspire a movement like the al-Qaeda-linked network that has waged an insurgency in neighbouring Algeria. But while Ennahdha was branded an Islamic terrorist group by Mr Ben Ali, it is considered moderate by scholars. Experts say Mr Ben Ali used a fear of Islamists to seduce Western allies keen for a bulwark against terrorism in a volatile region, and win their blessing despite widespread repression.

The ban on Mr Ghanouchi's party has not been lifted, but the new interim government has been more tolerant of it.

Mr Ghanouchi said he wanted his party to help Tunisia carry out democratic reforms, but he was not interested in standing in elections expected in coming months. ''I am not going to run for president of Tunisia, nor as a minister, nor as a parliamentarian.''

In 1991 Mr Ghanouchi was convicted in his absence to life in prison, as were most of the party's leaders. Mr Ben Ali banned the party, accusing it of conspiring to kill him and establish a Muslim fundamentalist state. Ennahdha denied those accusations.

Mr Ghanouchi compared his politics to those of the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Despite Mr Erdogan's Islamist roots, he has been widely viewed as a pragmatist largely loyal to the legacy of Turkey's founding father, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who sought to create a secular, modern state.

AP

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