Tunisia’s Ghannouchi says Islamists will eventually dominate Arab world

By Reuters Staff
November 29, 2012

(Rachid Ghannouchi, the leader of Tunisia’s ruling Islamist Ennahda party, speaks to supporters in Cité Fouchana in Tunis October 21, 2012. REUTERS/Anis Mili)

The leader of the Tunisian Islamist party that rose to power after the first Arab Spring uprising last year said this week that Islamist movements would eventually emerge triumphant throughout the Arab world after a difficult transition period.

Rached al-Ghannouchi, whose Ennahda party governs with two junior leftist partners, said secular groups should join forces with Islamists to manage the first phase after autocratic rulers were removed.

But in the end, Islam will be the “reference point”.

“The Arab world is going through a transition phase which needs coalitions to govern, which brings together Islamist and secular trends,” Ghannouchi said in an interview during a trip to London where he spoke at Chatham House.

“These coalitions will lead to eventual rapprochement between the Islamists and the secularists.”

However, he added Islamists would have the upper hand.

“There’s a true way that Islam represents the common ground for everyone … Eventually Islam becomes a reference point for everyone,” he said.

Read the full story by Dasha Afanasieva here.
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