Roundtable recording – Islamic State, Governance and Power-Sharing, with Reference to Rachid Ghannouchi’s Political Thought

Roundtable recording – Islamic State, Governance and Power-Sharing, with Reference to Rachid Ghannouchi’s Political Thought


Prof Andrew March – USA
A professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, he specialises in political philosophy, Islamic law and political thought, religion and comparative and non-Western political theory. Author of several books including, The Caliphate of Man: The Invention of Popular Sovereignty in Modern Islamic Thought (2019), and with Rachid Ghannouchi, On Muslim Democracy: Essays and Dialogues (Nov 2023)

Dr Ahmed Gaaloul
Former Tunisian minister; lecturer and writer in Islamic Studies, and an advisor to Rachid Ghannouchi.

Dr Daud Abdullah (Moderator)
Director of the Middle East Monitor; lecturer and author of several books, including, Engaging the World: The Making of Hamas’s Foreign Policy (2021).

Moadh Ghannouchi
Son of Rachid Ghannouchi and former Chief-of-Staff Nahda Party, Tunisia.

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Special message by Shaykh Rachid Ghannouchi from prison to The Cordoba Foundation roundtable

Friday, February 16, 2024

I am in prison today because I called for the values of national democracy, which is part of universal democracy, and because the conflict in Tunisia is a conflict between democracy and non-democracy.

Some of the enemies of democracy rely on modernity as a basis to exclude Islamic opponents. We in Tunisia were founded on the values of Islam, and we do not find any justification to exclude those who disagree with us or those who believe in Islam with a different vision, because we do not see that there is an official spokesman for Islam.

I am in prison because a significant portion of the so-called Tunisian modernists are non-democratic. They call for a democracy that is just for them, an exclusionary democracy. Whereas We are in a struggle for a Tunisia for all and for a democracy that includes everyone inside Tunisia and outside Tunisia.

The country today is governed by the dualism of good and evil, right and wrong, patriotism and treason. This is the essence of the coup of July 25, 2021: the monopoly of patriotism, the monopoly of Islam, and the monopoly of righteousness. Therefore, the existing regime is in a relentless war against democracy in all its meanings. This approach cannot bring Tunisians together because God created people different.

The current system sees difference as a curse, but we see it as a mercy.

Palestine exposed the shortcomings of democracy within the framework of the nation state.

Democracy, as a mechanism, is one of the best mechanisms that the human political mind has produced for consensus and reaching settlements between differences and a way to resolve disputes away from violence.

But when democracy is confined to a particular group and is imprisoned within the trenches of nationalism, race, and colour, its mechanisms break down in more than one case – especially in the face of major challenges such as the Palestinian question.

The flaw, then, is not in the idea of democracy, but in the idea of the nation-state outside the framework of ethics and the values of equality for all human beings. There is no framework for ethics outside the framework of man as God’s khalifa / vicegerent on earth, the one who is entrusted to look after this world. Therefore, we demand democracy and add it to our understanding of Islam so that it emerges from the confines and the narrowness of the individual and the group to the vastness of humanity.

Shaykh Rachid Ghannouchi

Event Update: Gaza Genocide – Breaking the Cycle of Israeli War Crimes

Event Update: Gaza Genocide – Breaking the Cycle of Israeli War Crimes


Honourable Faiez Jacobs – South Africa
A South African Member of Parliament of Greater Athlone for the ruling African National Congress (ANC).  Born and bred Capetonian serving communities on the Cape Flats, he previously served as the Secretary of the ANC in the Western Cape until 2019. He has been a long-standing advocate for the freedom of Palestine and is currently involved in passing a bill in Parliament in support of Palestine.

Shaykh Dr Yasir Qadhi – USA
A resident Scholar of the East Plano Islamic Center in Dallas, the Dean of The Islamic Seminary of America, and the Chair of the Fiqh Council of North Africa. Shaykh Al-Qadhi is one of the few people who has combined a traditional Eastern Islamic seminary education with a Western academic training of the study of Islam.

Tayab Ali
Director of the International Centre for Justice for Palestinians and an internationally recognised Solicitor Advocate. His practice encompasses criminal and civil/public law in both the UK and international jurisdictions. He is a Partner at leading London Law firm Bindmans LLP.

Antony Lerman
An Honorary Fellow at the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish-Non-Jewish Relations at Southampton University, he is the former director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research; and author of Whatever Happened to Antisemitism?: Redefinition and the Myth of the ‘Collective Jew’. Lerman specialises in the study of antisemitism, the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, multiculturalism, and the place of religion in society.

Dr Daud Abdullah
Director of the Middle East Monitor and author of several books, including, Engaging the World: The Making of Hamas’s Foreign Policy (2021). From 2003-2011, he was a part-time lecturer at Birkbeck College, University of London and from 1990-1993, he lectured at the University of Maiduguri, Nigeria. He has been a guest lecturer on Islamic and Palestinian affairs at many universities in the UK including Queen’s University in Belfast.

Baroness Jenny Tonge
Former Lord’s health spokesperson; was a Member of Parliament for Richmond Park in 1997. She was the Liberal Democrat spokesman for international development for 7 years, and has been a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Population, Development and Reproductive Health since 1997. In 2008, she took part in the Gaza Flotilla which broke through the blockage to deliver humanitarian aid. She has received several awards for her support for the Palestinians.

Dr Ghada Karmi
A Palestinian academic, physician and author. Currently, she is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter. Born in Jerusalem, Karmi was forced to leave her home with her family as a result of Israel’s creation in 1948.

Mysara Ibrahim
A British Palestinian, originally from Gaza City whose family members have been killed recently in the barbaric Israeli bombardment. He is a specialist in education diplomacy.

Dr Anas Altikriti (moderator)
Founder and CEO of The Cordoba Foundation. He is the former President of the Muslim Association of Britain and a leading figure in the international Anti-War movement and an Anti-Racism campaigner. He currently hosts a podcast, The London Circle, on Al Hiwar TV addressing issues relating to British takes on local, continental and global affairs.

From Srebrenica to Gaza: The Fading Promise of “Never Again”

From Srebrenica to Gaza: The Fading Promise of “Never Again”

In the shadow of the Holocaust (1933-1945) and the solemn promise of ‘Never Again,’ Raphael Lemkin, a Jewish Polish legal scholar, introduced a haunting term to encapsulate the horrors of mass murder: genocide. Lemkin described it as a deliberate scheme to obliterate the very essence of national groups, causing them to wither away like plants afflicted by an unremitting blight.

Since the coining of this term, the world has regrettably borne witness to genocide on multiple occasions over the past seven decades. In our recent history, during the Bosnian War (1992-1995), the Srebrenica massacre in July 1995 left a scar on humanity’s conscience, with the systematic brutality and organized annihilation of 8,000 Bosniak Muslim men and boys by Bosnian Serbs and the Bosnian Serb Army of Republika (VRS).

The civilian death toll in Gaza has reached a staggering 8,100, surpassing even the horrors of Srebrenica. Yet despite the mounting casualties, Israel continues its relentless bombardment, rejecting even a UN call for a ceasefire. This merciless assault against the Palestinian people shows a callous disregard for human life and international law. It echoes the very definition of genocide coined by Raphael Lemkin: the destruction of a people. We cannot remain silent witnesses to this unfolding tragedy. The time is now to speak out against these atrocities and demand an end to the violence.

It is painfully evident that the world has failed to internalize the lessons of the Holocaust. ‘Never Again’ remains trapped in the annals of history, forgotten and neglected, while the Palestinian genocide rages on, a grim testament to the world’s inaction.

The promise of “never again” rings hollow as the Palestinian genocide continues unabated. The lessons of the Holocaust remain trapped in history books, reduced to platitudes rather than calls to action. While the world stood idly by, “never again” became “again and again.” Gaza burns, the civilian death toll climbs, and Israel rejects ceasefires. If “never again” still means anything, the time for action is now.

Dr Anas Altikriti
Founder and CEO

Dr Abdullah Faliq
Managing Director

Islamophobia is a global threat

Islamophobia is a global threat

UN International Day to Combat Islamophobia – 15 March 2023

With the world coming to terms with crimes of past and present committed for various reasons, and with culprits of those crimes brought to account, there remains the crime of discrimination against Muslims for their faith. Those perpetrating hatred of Islam and Muslims are yet to receive the same recognition as other tendencies of hate, discrimination and prejudice.

Not only is Islamophobia still officially unrecognised in many parts of the world, many continue to deny any such phenomena even exists, or go further to give succour to Islamophobes and Islamophobic tropes.

The 15th of March is a day to uphold campaigns against Islamophobia and to call out Islamophobes everywhere for what they truly are; ignorant at best, racists and more at worst.

The Cordoba Foundation has long been working with partners to combat Islamophobia through research, advocacy and raising awareness. The International Day to Combat Islamophobia is a step in the right direction and we hope it will refocus our efforts to confront the real impact of Islamophobia in our communities.