In this book, Azzam Tamimi introduces the thought of Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi, the renowned Islamist political activist who heads Tunisia's most important - albeit banned - Islamist political opposition to the current authoritarian regime of Zine Abidine Ben Ali. Ghannouchi is the leader of a school in modern Islamic political thought that advocates democracy and pluralism. He believes democracy to be a set of mechanisms for guaranteeing the sovereignty of the people and for supplying safety valves against corruption and the hegemonic monopoly of power. While insisting on the compatibility of democracy with Islam, he believes that because of their secular foundations contemporary forms of liberal democracy may not suit Muslim societies. He insists,
however, that Islam is compatible with Western thought in matters concerning the system of government, human rights, and civil liberties.
Readership: Students and scholars of Islam, political science, and world affairs.
Azzam S. Tamimi, Center for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster
"Overall, Azzam Tamimi's book succeeds admirably. He presents an intimate, revealing portrait of Rachid Ghannouchi as a passionate advocate for deeply held Islamic beliefs and as a Tunisian deeply concerned about the autocratic nature of the current regime. Tamimi's insightful profile has raised the standard for future scholarly works on the development of political Islam in North Africa." - The Journal of North African Studies
"Tamimi's unrestricted access to Ghannouchi over several years has added a richness and depth to this work." - The Journal of North African Studies
"This book is a serious contribution to the literature on liberal (and illiberal) trends in contemporary political Islam, and
will be a useful reference." - Middle East Journal
"Azzam Tamimi's careful study of Rachid Ghannouchi's political thought demonstrates a serious effort to reconcile Islam with Western democracy." - Middle East Journal
"... written by an author who is passionate about his subject ... worthwhile reading for anyone with an interest in Islamic philosophy and politics." - Democratization