THE Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID) in Washington DC is hosting a global webinar profiling Rached Ghannouchi, the 81-year-old leader of Tunisia’s main opposition party Ennahdha.
The webinar will be hosted on Tuesday September 19. For South African audiences the event commences at 5pm. The main objective of the webinar is to shed light on the life and constant struggle of Ghannouchi in Northern African politics.
Panellists participating in this webinar include Prof Nader Hashemi, director of Georgetown University’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Prof Andrew March of the University of Massachusetts, Prof Monica Marks of New York University and Larry Diamond of Stanford University.
An ardent critic of current Tunisian President Kais Saied, Ghannouchi was arrested at his home during Ramadaan earlier this year and remains in custody. Members of the political opposition, activists, lawyers and radio hosts have had to bear the brunt of President Saied’s brutal crackdown on any opposing voice, publicly labelled as ‘terrorists’ in his widening efforts to impose a dictatorship.
The party and its supporters say the unexpected arrest is politically motivated with counterterrorism prosecutors building its case on an investigation into alleged ‘provocative’ comments by Ghannouchi. Ennahdha is a self-styled Muslim democratic party with its roots firmly planted in political Islam, having played a dominant role in Tunisian politics since the 2011 Arab Spring protests which led to the toppling of then long-time leader President Zine El Abidine ben Ali.
Some critics of Ghannouchi are of the opinion that the leader has had too much faith in a democratic rule. They also allege that he had not campaigned 2019 elections aggressively enough, leading to the resignation of more than 100 senior members from Ennahdha in 2021.
The role that Ghannouchi still plays in the Tunisian political landscape however remains significant. The webinar seeks to address these and other important issues.
The webinar ID is 892 7282 5487 and questions may be directed by email to the moderator Dr Radwan Masmoudi: email@example.com
The link to register for the webinar is: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_SoCHvEG4Ti-YdFbbMpS96g#/registration