In a popular meeting in Sousse on November 12, celebrating his party's relative victory in the Constitutional Assembly elections, Hamadi Jebali of Enahdha party, very probably tunisian next prime minister in Tunisia, has announced that he and his party will be "the 6 th islamic Rightly Guided Caliphs", promising also that this tunisian Caliphate will, enlighten the worrld, as did the Jasmine revolution. "My brothers, this a historic moment. Our party starts a new civilization if God wills. It is a new Righteous Caliphate, God willing. My brothers, I feel divine signals of it. I see hints from God !"
The term Caliphate refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah (community). Its head is the Caliph, a monarch, usually chosen among pious imams. The five Rachidin Caliphs (Righteous) are those who came first in the islamic era. called Righteous, or Rightly Guided for being acknowledged as being absolutely pieous muslims who spread islamic civilization worldwide by means of their wisdom and faithfullness to islam's humanitarian message and dedication to the islamic principles of justice, equality, honesty and truthfulness.
He also promised that Jerusalem will be liberated from jewish occupation. The liberation process will start from the tunisian Caliphate! pointing to a palestenian guest woman present in the meeting: "They say (Enahdha opponents) that this is a religious speech. I say, indeed, IT IS a GODLY speech. our sister's presence is a sign from God. There are divine signals in this very moment. Brothers, God willing, The liberation of jerusalem starts here. From tunisia will start a new civilization: the 6th Righteous Caliphate"
Uproar in tunisian blogosphere and facebook pages in reaction to these strangely hilarious, out of time statements. Hamadi Jebali also added "I see many Godly signs in this meeting". Someone ironically commented " I was almost expecting him to perform a miracle for the audience!". To make things worse, Jebali's speech came only a few days after another controversial declaration of an Enahdha party member, that met tremendous criticism..and sarcasm. Souad Abdelrahim, a pharmacist invited to join Ennahda for her modern looks (not veiled) and elected for the Constitutional Assembly, seems also to be very conservative and ...intolerant, at least in social matters.
In a radio intervention, she rudely stigmatized single mothers, (who have children out of marriage), firmly rejecting proposals that the govenment gives them social rights, helps them rise their children: " These women have a morality issue, low ethics. The government must not encourage immorality. They should rather be "corrected" (sic)(ok I could not find the exact translation!). They should better find a husband!".
Her words just echoe Rached Ghannouchi's previous typically harsh statements: "children of single women are BASTARDS (yes, bastards). and must not be adopted (it 's blasphemous)", "Habib Bourguiba (first Tunisian president) is a Zionist. Just a dictator like Ben Ali". For those who may not know, Bourguiba is considered by the majority of tunisians as the builder of modern tunisia. He is called the "historic leader" who emancipated women, and made education free and widespread in tunisia.
Outcry also about the tunisian ironic situation, where, since the revolution, the level of unemployment has risen to 1 million, prices soaring, and victims of floods are still occupying schools and public buildings, while at the same time, its head of government talks about liberating Palestine and of receiving signs from God! what is more strange, is that these statements are in sheer contradiction with Jebali's and Ennahdha's promises throughout the electoral campaign, that Ennahdha is a secularist and modern party, with an islamic reference, aiming to preserve and even consolidate Tunisia's modernism, and not aiming to establish a theocracy. They often cited the Turkish government as a reference. Promises that were often attacked by opponents as insincere, carrying much double language. An accusation made the more legitimate after this speech and others by Ennahdha leader Rached Ghannouchi, who often mocked secularism or laicity in popular meetings, and hinted that secularists are "blasphemous, strayed from the right path of islam", "orphins of France!"
other commenrators doubt Jebali's perception of reality, suggesting he probably has personality troubles, after 17 years of imprisonment, including years of solitary confinement! DMP (Pole) party, has officially issued a statement saying jebali is not the suitable person for the prime minister post. More impotantly, Ettakatol party has declared withdrawal from party discussions held with Ennahdha, to form a government. Moderate commentators say that Tunisian parties, including Enahdha, after decades of dictatorship and undergroung activist, need to review and modernize their political approaches and ideologies, to be closer to the people s day to day life and concerns.
It must be understood that the Tunisian revolution sprang spontaneously without ideological or religious motivation. It was mainly secular and civil, claiming democracy, freedom, dignity... and jobs. Tunisians are certainly Muslims and proud of it, but they stick to a moderate, modern, tolerant Islam, which they consider their real nature.
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