×

From Political Islam to Muslim Democracy

The Ennahda Party and the Future of Tunisia

Women draped in Salafi, Palestinian, and Tunisian flags walk the streets in Tunis, January 2013. Anis Mili / Reuters

Ennahda, one of the most influential political parties in the Arab world and a major force in Tunisia’s emergence as a democracy, recently announced a historic transition. Ennahda has moved beyond its origins as an Islamist party and has fully embraced a new identity as a party of Muslim democrats. The organization, which I co-founded in the 1980s, is no longer both a political party and a social movement. It has ended all of its cultural and religious activities and now focuses only on politics.

Ennahda’s evolution mirrors Tunisia’s broader social and political trajectory. The party first emerged as an Islamist movement in response to repression at the hands of a secularist, authoritarian regime that denied citizens religious freedom and the rights of free expression and association. For decades, Tunisian dictators shut down all political dis­course in the country, forcing movements with political aims to operate

Loading, please wait...

To read the full article

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.

Continue