Hizb al-Nahdah

Allen Fromherz

in Islamic Studies

ISBN: 9780195390155
Published online June 2012 | | DOI:
Hizb al-Nahdah

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Hizb al-Nahdah, which translates to “Renaissance Party” in English or “Parti de la Renaissance” in French (the second language of Tunisia), is a political party in Tunisia. Although described as “Islamist,” the Hizb al-Nahdah officially presents itself as a moderate and distinctly “Tunisian” party, a party based on Islamic values but not committed to instituting every aspect of Sharia, or Islamic law, to the letter. Compared to other Islamist parties in the Arabic-speaking world, Hizb al-Nahdah’s platform is relatively secular. Hizb al-Nahdah has often compared itself to the religion-rooted, but also secular, Christian Democratic Party of Germany. The current leader of Hizb al-Nahdah, Rashid al-Ghannouchi (Rashid al-Ghannoushi, Rached Ghannuchi), has said that he does not advocate the idea of joining a unified Islamic caliphate based on Sharia law. Hizb al-Nahdah’s moderate position must be understood in the particular context of Tunisian society. A large proportion of Tunisians, especially in the coastal cities of Tunis, Sousse, and Sfax, identify as secular in outlook. These secularists have expressed some concern that Hizb al-Nahdah has presented mixed messages, a moderate and relatively secular one to residents of the coastal cities and another more conservative one to the more traditional inhabitants living inland. Hizb al-Nahdah has tried to distance itself from the Hizb al-Tahrir, the pan-Islamic and Islamist revolutionary party that embraces the idea of a caliphate and the strict institution of Sharia law.

Article.  2571 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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