'Tunisia's ruling party promotes Wahhabi extremism'

'Tunisia's ruling party promotes Wahhabi extremism'
Sat Nov 16, 2013 20:21:54

A prominent Tunisian cleric has warned that country’s Ennahda ruling movement is spreading Wahhabi extremist ideology throughout the country which was the birthplace of the pro-democracy Arab spring in 2011.

Sheikh Farid al-Baji said that Ennahda, also referred as Renaissance Party, “does not believe in democracy and is trying to gradually destroy country’s ruling system and political and social organizations, because they are clearly aligned toward Wahhabis,” Middle East online quoted him on Saturday.

He said Wahhabi preachers have been widely present in mass media in Tunisia and they have been welcomed by country’s authorities. “This is really dangerous, because the ruling party is trying to change beliefs of Tunisian people who are known for their moderation“.

“We have always been suffering from Wahhabi ideology. Wahhabis are extensively active and finance tens of different groups which attracts the poor to join them,” the cleric added.

Baji has been launching a campaign against Wahhabis in Tunisia and has repeatedly warned about dire consequences of neglecting their relations with Salafist extremist.

In one of his speeches he warned that Wahhabis are changing from ‘Takfir’ level, declaring a person unbeliever, to ‘explosion level’ and they will make the country collapse.

Born in the 1980s, the Salafis are essentially an extension, an appendix of Wahhabism, itself an artificial religious creation which is widely believed to have been promoted and shaped by Imperial Britain in the 18th century as a tool to destroy the Ottoman and Iranian Empires from within, through the eroding and perversion of Islamic values, teachings and traditions.

Tunisia has been experiencing tension since the 2011 uprising that toppled former dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

The situation worsened after militants killed key opposition figure Mohamed Brahmi, a member of the opposition Popular Front, in July following the assassination of secular opposition leader, Chokri Belaid, in February.

Poor economic conditions have also been fueling the unrest in Tunisia, where inflation is running at around six percent and the budget deficit stands at around 7.4 percent of gross domestic product.


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