Ennahda’s democratic Islam: between pragmatism and neo-political Islam

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Hajar, Yasmine Jamal
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Recently, the Tunisian Islamist party Ennahda has announced a break up with Political Islam and the start of new phase of Democratic Islam (al-Islām al-dimuqrāṭī). This study is questioning the emerged concept of Democratic Islam. Making use of primary and secondary materials, the author will indulge in the history of Ennahda with focus on the political shifts the party has undertaken since its initiation in the early seventies. The author will also analyze the political attitude of the party in the context of post-revolution. This study could be described as a comparative one as it will include a comparison of Ennahda’s ideological thoughts with the authentic thoughts of the Ikhwani ideologues, Hasan Al-Banna and Sayyed Qutb, to analyze the changes that have been conducted by the party under its new claimed ideology. The purpose of this study is to show whether the step undertaken by Ennahda through adopting the so-called Democratic Islam is a sign of neo-political Islam or it is just a pragmatic step taken by Ennahda to yield itself to realpolitik, aiming at consolidating itself in power and not to repeat the years of political exclusion under Bourguiba and Bin Ali. Keywords: Ennahda, Tunisia, Pragmatism, Political Islam, Islam, Democracy, Democratic Islam, Ikhwan, Realpolitik.
Second semester University: Carthage University
political parties, Tunisia, Islam, Islam and politics, democratisation, democracy