News from the Arab Press

The Renaissance Party’s Secret Apparatus

By Asaf Zilberfarb | The Media Line

December 4, 2018

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Al-Ayaam, Egypt, November 30

“I can no longer keep my eyes closed to this… this is becoming too alarming.” This is how Tunisian President Beji Kayed al-Sebsi opened his remarks at a recent meeting pertaining to the existence of an underground intelligence and terrorist organization belonging to the Tunisian Renaissance Party. During this meeting, attended by representatives from Tunisia’s National Security Council, al-Sebsi was warned that his attempt to dismantle the movement poses a grave “personal threat” against him, which could cost him his life. But al-Sebsi remained undeterred. He repeated his claim that Tunisia’s greatest source of instability comes from its domestic enemies that wish to undermine the nation’s sovereignty from the inside. Security experts present at the meeting provided the president with evidence of a past attempt to take his life during a state visit of former French president Francois Hollande to Tunis in 2013. The attempt, which was successfully thwarted at the time, had been co-opted by the secret apparatus of the Renaissance party. Interestingly, once details of this meeting became known to the public, Tunisia’s Renaissance Party was quick to launch a smear campaign against the president. The movement’s leaders denied the allegations made against them and claimed that they are “full supporters” of the democratic process in Tunisia. This wouldn’t be the first time that the Renaissance Party makes use of doublespeak. When it appeals to the wide public, it makes use of terms such as “democracy” and “liberty.” But when it speaks to its affiliates in its inner circle, the party quickly adopts the rhetoric of its founding fathers, who sought to liberate the Arab world from non-believers. In public they preach acceptance; in private they preach jihad. This behavior is only expected of organizations of this sort, which drew inspiration from the Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and adopted a strategy of secret resistance. This party should be dismantled and outlawed before it causes irreversible damage. –Mashri al-Zayidi

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