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TUNISIA: Returned exile insists ‘I’m no Khomeini’

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In his first interview after returning to Tunisia on Sunday, the leader of a long-outlawed Islamist party told the Associated Press that critics should not compare him to the father of Iran’s Islamic Revolution.

“Some Western media portray me like [Ayatollah Ruhollah] Khomeini, but that’s not me,” Rachid Ghannouchi said.

Ghannouchi returned to his North African country after more than two decades in exile in Britain. He said his political movement, Nahda, wants to reinforce women’s rights.

Ghannouchi was able to return home two weeks after autocratic President Zine el Abidine ben Ali was forced from power by violent protests.

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Ben Ali’s ban on Ghannouchi’s party had not been lifted officially, but the new interim government has tolerated it.

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Exiled Muslim leader arrives home after 22 years to throngs of supporters in Tunisia

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske


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