Rachid Ghannouchi keeps Indian Islamists at arms’ length while on govt. invitation

Rachid Ghannouchi keeps Indian Islamists at arms’ length while on govt. invitation

Rachid Ghannouchi keeps Indian Islamists at arms’ length while on govt. invitation

New Delhi: Rachid Ghannouchi, the chnakya of the Arab and Islamist politics and the chairman of Tunisia’s Ennahda party has been invited to India by India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). He is leading a huge delegation of his party leaders, former and existing ministers in Tunisia’s democratically elected governments and other dignitaries.

He is expected to hold meetings with Indian government officials besides delivering public talks in Indian capital New Delhi.

Today he delivered a public lecture in Jawaharlal Nehru University’s (JNU) Faculty of International Studies. The well attended meeting had only one speaker and that was none other than the maverick Rachid Ghannouchi.

“The reason behind the success of Tunisian revolution is due to several reasons and the most important of them is the homogeneity of the population”, said Ghannouchi. He also talked of his oft-repeated sagely words that in Tunisia we didn’t try to impose sharia as the majority of the people are not in its favor.

Rachid Ghannouchi of Tunisia Ennahda2Sometimes ago, in one of his articles, Ghannouchi said, “Despite what some believe, there is no “Arab exception” to democracy, nor is there any inherent contradiction between democracy and Islam. The Middle East can indeed achieve stability and peace through a process of democratic reconciliation and consensus. But the road will be long and involves the challenging work of building institutions, healing old wounds and forging compromise around shared values. The path that Tunisia has taken can guide others”.

But it is amazing that despite being one of the leading Islamist figures in the world, the septuagenarian Islamist didn’t try to reach out fellow Islamists in India. He didn’t meet Jamaat-e-ISlami Hind leaders whose founder Syed Abulala Maudoodi played an important role in evolution of political Islam.

May be he doesn’t find Islamists in India on the same page as Tunisia’s Ennahda.

A disappointment for India’s Islamists will be the fact that the visiting dignitary didn’t really speak a single word about the Indian Muslims and their plight. What he talked about was how great Indian democracy is and how a small nation like Tunisia can benefit from it.

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