“We are a party that can find a balance between modernity and Islam,” Ghannouchi said.
Tunisia is gearing up for their first free elections since the fall of former president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.
Some think Islamist group Ennahda is proving the label “Islamist” doesn’t equal “hardline.”
Leader of Ennahda Rachid Ghannouchi was exiled from the country during Ben Ali’s reign, but returned after he was overthrown.
“Ben Ali did everything he could to convince the West that we are a terrorist group but he couldn’t do it,” he said.
Of the over 100 political parties expected to participate in the October 23 elections, Ennahda has the largest support group.
Ghannounchi stressed freedom for women and a commitment to modernity under an Ennahda-helmed government. He has many women on his staff, and compares tourist policies to that of Turkey.
He pointed to his time in Europe as to how he would deal with relations with the West.
“We will maintain the relations with our traditional partners such as Europe, but we will seek to improve them in order to get advanced status,” he said.
(muslimvoices.org / 04.10.2011)