I put “Islamist” in quotation marks because Ghannouchi has reportedly stated his opposition to the imposition of Sharia in Tunisia, or at least has appeared to do so. How an advocate for political Islam can oppose Sharia is unclear.
In any case, there are no heroes in this story: one of those who were attacked complains that “we were treated like unbelievers, Zionists…”
“Tunisia: Ghannouchi’s Return, Opposers Attacked,” from ANSAmed, January 31 (thanks to Insubria):
(ANSAmed) – TUNIS, JANUARY 31 – A group of people who showed up yesterday at the airport in Tunis to peacefully protest the return of the leader of the Islamist movement Ennahda, Rached Ghannouchi, chanting slogans such as “yes to Islam, no to Islamism,” were attacked by his supporters, thousands of which had gathered in the arrivals area at the airport. A young Tunisian, Mehda Barsaoui, wrote to the newspapers about the incident today, saying that “we were treated like unbelievers, Zionists, young irresponsible people and that one day Allah will judge our mistakes”. Ennahda supporters started with insults and switched to physical attacks, said the young man, not only ripping the signs held by their rivals away from them, but also “slapping a woman and attacking another two friends”. “This is the freedom of expression of the Islamists,” wrote Barsaoui, “beating demonstrators and slapping women who were not in their place, since they should be at home taking care of the household chores.”