Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought

Rachid al-Ghannuchi

Rashid al-Ghannushi (born in 1941), is a Tunisian politician, co-founder of the Al-Nahda Movement and serving as its "intellectual leader".
Al-Ghannushi was born outside El Hamma, in the governorate of Gabès in southern Tunisia. He received his certificate of attainment degree, equivalent to the Baccalauréat, in 1962 from the University of Ez-Zitouna. He entered the school of agriculture at Cairo University in 1964 but, following the expulsion of Tunisians from Egypt, he left for Syria. He studied philosophy at the University of Damascus, graduating in 1968.

In April 1981 Al-Ghannushi founded the Islamic Tendency Movement Ḥarakat al-Ittijāh al-Islāmī, which later became the al-Nahda (Renaissance) Party). The Movement described itself as specifically rooted in non-violent Islam, and called for a "reconstruction of economic life on a more equitable basis, the end of single-party politics and the acceptance of political pluralism and democracy." By the end of July, Al-Ghannushi and his followers were arrested, sentenced to eleven years in prison in Bizerte, and were tortured. Both the religious and secular community, including numerous secular political organizations, rallied in his support. He was released in 1984, but returned to prison in 1987 with a life sentence, then was again released in 1988. He moved to Europe as a political exile, where he lived for two decades.
He attended The Islamic Committee for Palestine conference in Chicago in 1989. Following the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Al-Ghannushi denounced King Fahd of Saudi Arabia for the "colossal crime" of inviting the U.S. to deploy forces. He also called for a Muslim boycott of American goods, planes and ships.

Al-Ghannushi continued to criticise Tunisian politics and the regime of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Following the Arab revolution, in which Ben Ali was ousted, Ghannushi returned to Tunisia on 30 January 2011, after spending twenty two years exiled in London .

Since the 1970’s, Mr. Ghannouchi has authored numerous works on a wide range of contemporary political issues, including the compatibility between Islam and democracy, secularism, civil society, modernity, religion and pluralism, Islam and the West, human rights, the rights of women, the rights of minorities, coexistence between faiths and political developments in the Arab and Muslim worlds.

Ghannushi was named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2012 and Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers and was awarded the Chatham House Prize 2012 (alongside Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki) by Prince Andrew, Duke of York, for "the successful compromises each achieved during Tunisia's democratic transition".

Website: www.rachedelghannouchi.com

This CV was partly taken from Wikipedia, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashid_al-Ghannushi