When It Comes to Defining Moderate and Radical Islam, Who Decides?

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi with Ennahda party leader Rachid Ghannouchi and Ennahda party vice-president Abdelfattah Mourou, Rades, Tunisia, May 20, 2016 (AP photo by Hassene Dridi).
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi with Ennahda party leader Rachid Ghannouchi and Ennahda party vice-president Abdelfattah Mourou, Rades, Tunisia, May 20, 2016 (AP photo by Hassene Dridi).
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One of the secondary effects of the terrible shooting in Orlando, Florida, has been to relaunch the debate on whether public officials have misidentified the terrorist threat at home by failing to call it “radical Islam” or “Islamic extremism.” At another point along the spectrum of Islamic political activism is Tunisia’s Ennahda party. Often described as a “moderate Islamist” party, its leaders recently decided to separate Ennahda’s political and religious activities, going so far as to ban party leaders from preaching in mosques or holding positions in religious associations. That raises the question of whether a party whose followers would […]

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