Islam and Democracy in Tunisia

Issue Date July 2018
Volume 29
Issue 3
Page Numbers 5-8
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Read the full essay here.

On the occasion of Tunisia’s historic May 2018 democratic local and municipal elections, political theorist and Ennahdha party president Rached Ghannouchi argues that the solution to extremism is more (not less) freedom and democracy. Ghannouchi makes a case for the full compatibility of Islam and democracy, emphasizing Islam’s lack of hierarchy, support for pluralism, and opposition to compulsion in religion. He also appeals for the inclusion of religion and religious actors and institutions in democratic efforts.

About the Author

Rached Ghannouchi is cofounder and president of the Ennahdha party in Tunisia. A leading political theorist on Islam, pluralism, and democracy, he spent twenty-two years in exile before returning to Tunisia in 2011 to take part in the country’s historic democratic elections. The text that follows is his keynote address to the Ninth Assembly of the World Movement for Democracy in Dakar, Senegal. It was delivered on his behalf on May 9 by his advisor on U.S.-Tunisian relations Radwan Masmoudi, president of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID).

View all work by Rached Ghannouchi