Ghannouchi, Khashoggi and other goals

Mashari Althaydi
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It’s as if the scene is repeating itself. It’s as if we’re at the beginning of media chaos and flaring Brotherhood incitement; the season of the Arab Spring or Arab chaos.

In the past two days, Rached Ghannouchi spoke before his supporters from the Tunisian Ennahda Movement, the special Tunisian version of the Brotherhood. Ghannouchi likened the consequences of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder to the atmosphere which prevailed in Tunisia after Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in December 2010 sparking a revolution in Tunisia.

Speaking before his movement’s cadres, Ghannouchi said: “The global political atmosphere currently resembles the tragic scene which was witnessed in 2010 when young man Bouazizi set himself on fire and when he brought about all that regional and international sympathy and highlighted the circumstances that brought him into that scene.”

His statements are clear and the investment is clearer. It’s by the same party via the same approach and aims to serve the same purpose. A shocking death is being fully exploited and used to invoke feelings of anger in politics and to gain supporters and harm rivals. The rivals here, according to the Muslim Brotherhood, are the Arab countries that reject their project.

Due to the pressure which Ennahda Movement is feeling on the internal and external levels, its leader is trying to ignite the spark again using the Jamal Khashoggi case

Mashari Althaydi

It’s been several years since the collapse of the Brotherhood project, the so-called Arab Spring, which received western leftist support, of primarily President Barack Obama. People woke up and revolted against the Brotherhood’s plans especially in Egypt and against the Khomeini projects in Bahrain – projects that came under the pretext of the Arab Spring. Ghannouchi and his comrades in Tunisia tried to adapt with the changes.

Today, due to the pressure which Ennahda Movement is feeling on the internal and external levels, its leader is trying to ignite the spark again using the Jamal Khashoggi case, and he is trying to expand the network of allies in the Arab region and besieging states that oppose the Brotherhood project and primarily Saudi Arabia.

Within this context, I remember the moment of great exposure in the “Arab Spring,” that dangerous stance which Ghannouchi made during a lecture at the Washington Institute in Washington in 2011 as he called for a revolution in Gulf countries and hopefully stated the “Spring”, i.e. chaos, will make its way to the Gulf’s kingdoms, as he put it. At the same time, he said he and his movement, Ennahda, did not mind an Arab-Israeli reconciliation. Notice that he was talking at that particular timing with America and at a think tank that’s affiliated with the Jews!

He then tried to contain the anger which his remarks sparked. In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper in December 2011, he directed anger at the “institute” because it violated the condition of not publishing the content of the forum he had attended! Then he tried to flirt with Gulf countries saying: “We hope this (in reference to reform and not the revolution) takes the easiest of paths.” This “easy” approach was definitely not seen in the Egyptian case!

Fouad Mansour Kacem, one of Ennahda Movement officials and its former leader in France, spoke in detail about Ghannouchi’s support of Saddam’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Ghannouchi also greatly admired Khomeini whom he views as his “spiritual father” as seen in his book “Public freedoms in the Islamic state” that was published by the Center for Arab Unity Studies in 1993.

Oh how much tonight resembles yesterday Mr. Rached. Just like the attempts failed yesterday, they will fail today.

This article is also available in Arabic.

Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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