Thursday, Mar. 29, 2012

Rachid Ghannouchi

Age: 70
Occupation: Leader of Tunisia's Ennahda Party

In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, Ghannouchi has emerged as the most influential voice of political Islam. As Islamist parties have won elections across North Africa and the Middle East, his message — that Islam is compatible with democracy and individual freedom — may assuage fears that radical theology could replace secular dictatorships in the Arab world. Ennahda handily won Tunisia's first free elections last year; it also reached out to nonreligious parties to form a coalition and nominated a left-wing human-rights activist as President.