His name is Rachid Ghannouchi and he is perhaps the most prominent political leader in Tunisia these days. He has been recognized by western media outlets as a moderate voice of Islam, someone who should have been cheered on during the Arab Spring. Just a couple of months ago, in fact, TIME suggested that Ghannouchi’s brand of Islam shouldn’t be cause for concern:
In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, Ghannouchi has emerged as the most influential voice of political Islam. As Islamist parties have won elections across North Africa and the Middle East, his message — that Islam is compatible with democracy and individual freedom — may assuage fears that radical theology could replace secular dictatorships in the Arab world. Ennahda handily won Tunisia’s first free elections last year; it also reached out to nonreligious parties to form a coalition and nominated a left-wing human-rights activist as President.
We have two words for the liberal western media: Wrong Again.
Here is a two-part video of Ghannouchi. In the first part, shot some time during the Arab Spring, he is asked about Hizb-ut-Tahrir, an entity that seeks to reestablish the Islamic Caliphate. Ghannouchi distances himself from the movement. Then, in the second part of the video – shot two days after the election of Mohammed Mursi in Egypt – Ghannouchi calls for the government of Egypt to be a government of the Caliphate and encourages Jihad toward Jerusalem.