The Salafist side of Kas Saed

Imagine for a second you were transposed into the karmic driven world of Rakhed Ghannouchi. The President of Ennahdha, Rached Ghannouchi the truth, but it is rather part of one ummah.

It is this question that Mourad Zeghidi asked this morning, Tuesday 21 June 2022, during his daily at the IFM, one hour after the visit of the President of the Republic Kaïs Saïed to the airport to greet the pilgrims.

In response to questions from journalists during an impromptu press briefing, the president surprised everyone by evoking the Constitution and its famous Article 1 on state religion.

After repeating that a state cannot have a religion, he indicated that it is ummah who is muslim or not and that it is this ummah who will be accountable to God. “ This concept will be integrated into the new republic “, the President specified and confirmed in the process that” The state must work for the fulfillment of the goals of Islam and “shariaa” “

Specifically, Kaïs Saïed is in the process of succeeding alone, with the Islamists in Ennahdha, the extremist Islamists from Hizb Ettahrir and the terrorists Salafists from Ansar Chariâa having failed.

The ideological struggle between secularists and Islamists of all beliefs was around Shariâa and the concept of nation.

The secular republicans regarded and still regard Tunisia as a nation state, while Islamists of all beliefs regard it only as a unit of a great Islamic ummah stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

The names change, but the principle remains the same. For Ennahdha, Tunisia will work for the re-establishment of the Sixth Caliphate (words of Hamadi Jebali, head of the Islamist government 2011-2013); for Ettahrir it is only a wilaya (government), while for the Salafists it is imperative to return to the models established in the time of the Prophet.

What Kaïs Saïed said on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, does not differ in any way, in substance, from what the Islamists say, whether it is moderate or extremist.

It overrides the concept of citizenship to replace it with the ummah. He gets lost in vague linguistic descriptions and points out that Westerners define citizens on the basis of their nationality, whereas in Arabic they are defined on the basis of their gender (jensya). It is clear that he questions the very principle of citizenship and freedom of conscience, as the Tunisians in his eyes are part of this. ummah Islamic.

In conclusion, the Salafists dreamed of what Kaïs Saïed did.

This Salafist side of Kaïs Saïed is not surprising to informed observers. They guessed it from the day he went against heredity by claiming that the religious text is clear and unambiguous about this.

During his first days in the presidency, he multiplied his excursions to the mosque and the pictures that showed him pious.

Since July 25 and his so-called war against the Islamists in Ennahdha, several voices have been raised, including among the most secular intellectuals, to say that Kais Saïed is a true secular republican and that he is just a conservative.

The opposing voices may well indicate that the president has done nothing concrete against the Islamists in Ennahdha and that he is as Islamist as they are, but they were not audible.

This June 21 release should dispel the doubts. What Kaïs Saïed is proposing is in no way different from the goals of the Islamists, whether they are extremist or moderate.

Ennahdha feels like a minority and has diluted its wine and has done everything to give itself the image of a civil Republican and Democratic party comparable to Western Christian Democrats. The Islamist party lost enormously by adopting this moderate policy, and it was quickly released by the conservative and extremist Islamists. As early as 2013, the party accepted that sharia should no longer be mentioned in the constitution and that it should not even be a source of inspiration. Thanks to a general pressure and the defense of what is called the moderate Tunisian model, Ennahdha even accepted that an article defending freedom of conscience was included in the constitution.

The extremist Islamists were mad with rage, they shouted from the rooftops that Ennahdha deputies had turned their backs on Islam, but the text went through anyway.

The lay people could take the next step and try in vain to pass the law of equal inheritance.

With the constitution of Kaïs Saïed, it is a real step backwards that we are likely to register.

The leak this morning is not insignificant, it reflects his whole state of mind with the President of the Republic, who seeks to impose his text at all costs.

He leaves very little room for debate and intends to unveil the constitution on June 30 and have it validated on July 25 by a referendum. How can a nation’s most sacred text be discussed in just twenty-five days? Do citizens have the right to inspect and the opportunity to change articles?

The president pushes the question aside, for him the only sacred text is the Qur’an. As far as citizens are concerned, they are, in spite of themselves, part of one ummah and this ummah must bow to the directives of its leaders and sharia.

Can we say that we are moving towards a theocratic state? You might think so when you know that Sadok Belaïd, in charge of drafting the text of the Constitution, said that the chosen political system is new and does not exist elsewhere. The issue of separation of powers has already been removed. From now on, justice is no longer a power but a function.

It is a bit like what existed during the reign of the caliphates. With Kaïs Saïed, Tunisia takes a real leap back to the time of the Islamic epic, which conquered the countries (including Tunisia) with revenge and Islamized the people voluntarily or by force.

What Kaïs Saïed is preparing for us is, of course, an Islamization by force, as we are going to be part of a ummah future and no longer a nation state.

What about Tunisians who reject Islam, or who were not born Muslims, or even those who believe that religion is a personal matter and that the state should not interfere in it?

It must be acknowledged that the Islamists in Ennahdha, whom we denigrated morning and evening, and who were accused of all evil, did not go as far as the Salafist “caliph” Kaïs Saïed.

Raouf Ben Hedi

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