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Rashid Al Ghannoushi

Birth:1941

Death:

Leader of Tunisia's Islamic movement. Widely considered to be a radical in his native Tunisia but elsewhere Sheikh Rashid Ghannoushi has been hailed as a proponent of Islamic democracy and pluralism. After returning from France to Tunisia Ghannoushi became active in Islamic missionary and social work. He founded the Islamic Tendency Movement (ITM) for which he was imprisoned in 1981 by Habib Bourguibas' government. The Sheikh continued his Islamic studies while in prison and began to translate and publish works on Islam and democracy and women's rights in Islam. During a brief release from prison, in 1984, Ghannoushi attempted to transform ITM into a viable political party under the name of Hizb al Nahda (Renaissance Party). But the Tunisian authorities scuttled his effort by banning the party and imprisoning many of its leaders. Ghannoushi was sentenced to life in prison for his alleged collaboration in a plot to overthrow the government. He was subsequently released in the government's 1988 amnesty reprieve. A prolific writer and leader of Tunisia's exiled Islamic movement, Rashid Ghannoushi has now moved to London. He currently sits on the Fiqh Council of Europe under Yusuf al-Qawadari.

Compiled by:M. Nauman Khan / Ghulam Mohiuddin

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