Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi

Tunisia, 1941

Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi was educated at Tunisia’s Zaytouna University, and then continued to study philosophy in Cairo, Damascus and Paris. He then became active in politics by setting up the Islamic Tendency movement, before he became affiliated with the Ennahdha party. Because of his political activities he was imprisoned from 1981 to 1984, and again from 1987 to 1988. After his release, Ghannouchi left Tunis as a crackdown had started. He settled in London where he lived as a political exile for two decades, until his return in 2011, after the Tunisian revolution. Ever since the Tunisian revolution in early 2011, Sheikh Ghannouchi has played a key role in the success of the Ennahdha party as president during the 2011 elections and in the formation of the ruling Troika coalition. Ghannouchi has been an advocate of the compatibility between Islam and the principles of pluralism, freedom, modernity and democratic governance. His views and writings are influential in Tunisia and across the Arab and Muslim worlds.