Rached Ghannouchi announced that the Tunisian Ennahda party that he leads will experience sweeping changes in its leadership and structure during the summer. These changes include a complete division between the political institutions of the party, its charities and its missionary arm in accordance with the resolutions of the party’s tenth conference.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Ghannouchi stressed that Ennahda and moderate parties in the region are “a real alternative for militant groups such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda and groups that temporarily emerged in the form of violent reactions to temporary political phenomena such as the suppression of religious practice or the persecution of Sunni Muslims in Iraq or fears of political isolation”.
He stressed that Ennahda has “evolved from a totalitarian Islamic movement into a national civil party that is compatible with the state and society”. He continued by saying that after the “fall of the dictatorship and the recognition that Islam and Arabism is the identity of the state (Tunisia), the party’s use of mosques and its politicisation of them is no longer justified”. Ghannouchi also said that the era of totalitarian communist, nationalist and religious movements had ended.
Ghannouchi denied that the movement would transform into a secular party and said “We have never said that the party has changed from an Islamic party into a secular party, and the regulations of our conference did not discuss the abandonment of Islamic points of reference.”