Australian MP Michael Danby questions leader of Tunisia's governing Islamic party - Dr Rached Ghannouchi
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 01:01
Federal Member for Melbourne Ports
Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group, was present in Tunisia some weeks ago. Hamas’ s activities were raised by Australian MP Michael Danby when he questioned the head of the new Tunisian governing party, Ennahda, Rached Ghannounchi, at a meeting in the Tunisian capitol on Tuesday 24th of April.
Mr Danby was in Tunisia as an executive member of the International Movement of Democracy, who had come to Tunisia to examine the essence of the Arab Spring and to meet Tunisian democrats including Ennahda activists.
Dr Ghannouchi is head of the moderate Islamic party Ennahda, which shocked observers by winning power in Tunisia, a country of 11 million Sunni Muslims.
Ghannouchi, the party head of Ennahda, reacted calmly to Danby’s question about the presence of Hamas in Tunis.
Rached Ghannouchi highlighted Ennahda’s quick reaction to Hama’ slogan’s and placards about Jews. Ghannouchi said the Hamas expression’s were unacceptable to Ennahda and Tunisians, and “Jewish citizens were to be treated equally in Tunisia” he said.
Ghannouchi gave 3 instances when his party had expressed solidarity with Tunisian Jews;
• First, when Ennahda approached the Tunisian Jewish community after the unacceptable anti-Jewish placards by Ismail Haniyeh , head of Hamas.
• When after the Tunisian elections the head of the local Jewish community came to him to congratulate Ghannouchi on his election victory. Ghannouchi said Tunisian Jews understood the difference between moderate Islamists and Salafists . Ghannouchi made favourable comparisons and parallels between his party and the Orthodox Sephardic party Shas.
• Finally he said he had enjoyed the presents of wafers the Jews make during the Passover period, which were presented to him by the Tunisian Jewish people.
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