03 February 2012 1:23 am | | 4


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Hizb Ettahrir members brandishing flags with Islamic oath

Hizb Ettahrir, a global Islamist network that has been denied legal recognition as a political party in Tunisia, organized a demonstration today in downtown Tunis. Approximately 150 Hizb Ettahrir activists – adherents to a strict, conservative interpretation of the Quran, and advocates for the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate – protested against the official visit of the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde in front of the iconic municipal theatre located on Avenue Habib Bourguiba.

Dozens of teenage boys dispersed leaflets for Hizb Ettahrir to pedestrians as they passed by, but were unable to explain the motivations surrounding the organization of the protest. The verbose pamphlets denounced the interim government for upholding democracy as a political system, and advocated for a purely Islamic model of governance based on the Quran.

The document also denounced the Tunisian government’s commitment to building cooperative relationships with Europe and the United States – citing grievances stemming from the presence of American soldiers in Muslim countries and the colonial exploitation of Tunisia by France.

Hizb Ettahrir Supporter

Adal Bin Ibrahim, one of the Hizb Ettahrir demonstrators present at the protest, renounced capitalist and socialist economic models - and all policies involving the acquisition of American debt - as forms of, “economic colonialism.” He expressed his belief that the only correct economic model is that of the “Islamic economy.” When asked whether this economic model entailed a system of Islamic finance, he responded that Islamic finance – as conceived in the Arab gulf – was merely a capitalist pretext justified by misinterpretation of Islamic doctrine.

Bin Ibrahim explained that their organization advocates for a complete departure from the, “debt-based economic policies,” of the former regime.

The peaceful gathering ended abruptly with arrival of security forces, which firmly ushered the demonstrators from the thoroughfare. As he was forced from the avenue, amidst cries of “God is great (Allahu Akbar),” by fellow protestors, Bin Ibrahim grumbled, “witness the old dictatorship of the new regime.”

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Comments (4)

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  1. Sadriano says:

    @Bekay:
    “So where is your protest when Hizb Ettahrir “has been denied legal recognition as a political party in Tunisia”?”

    You are barking up the wrong tree here my friend :)

    What legal right is that? HTH were denied recognition because their main objective is to abolish democracy. It’s very very simple, besides even if they were recognized they wouldn’t have participated in the election just encouraging people to boycut the elections.

    Maybe you don’t think the auther is very objective, neither are you.

    • Bekay says:

      I disagree on your first point. So what if they’re anti-democratic; does that mean their voice/opinion should not be allowed to be expressed or can only pro-democracy voices be heard in a democracy? How can there be a debate about the merits of democracy if all opposing opinion is suppressed? I thought that’s exactly what the bastions of freedom of speech were struggling for, because if it’s the case of suppressing any dissenting opinion, then this is no different to a dictatorship. Of course there are exceptions, e.g. those calling for violence etc, but HT are not in that category.

      As to your second point, you are certainly correct :) But then I’m not pretending to be anything other than someone coming from a particular standpoint, so was just pointing out a double standard as I saw it.

    • Jawaad Ali says:

      Democracy is an evil system that was created to accommodate Capitalism. To claim that this same democracy is the panacea for mankind problems is a very flawed argument: it is tantamount to indoctrinating unaware readers into a ‘sound bite’ narrative whereas the failure of the democratic capitalist system is quite evident for any unbiased observer. It is obvious people in so called Western democratic countries are suffering from the failure of Democracy & Capitalism. However what beggars belief is the attitude of some so called Muslim intellectuals who still insist that this same evil system (which is on the verge of collapse) will solve problems in the Muslim lands. Ironically if democracy was born in ancient Greece, then it has being buried there as well: the new governments in Greece & Italy have been engineered by the Eurocrats in Brussels, while the masses wishes were ignored.

  2. Bekay says:

    Firstly, a correction: Hizb Ettahrir are not “Salafists” – a simple Google search would have established that. Secondly, reading the author’s bio suggests he is not an authority on Islam, so his opinion on what constitutes a “strict, conservative interpretation of the Quran” is largely meaningless. Thirdly, though I don’t share Tunisia-Live’s secular perspective, I welcome and respect your contribution to sharing news and knowledge. What I don’t welcome or respect is your hypocritical stance on groups such as Hizb Ettahrir. Your Opinion pages are full of Editorials reminding us that the aims of the revolution included freedom of speech and pluralist politics. So where is your protest when Hizb Ettahrir “has been denied legal recognition as a political party in Tunisia”? Why do you not defend their right to participate in the debate on Tunisia’s future? You do yourself and all Tunisians a disservice by supporting a legacy ruling of the Ben Ali regime that you claim to despise.

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