The General Manager of Nessma TV, Nabil Karoui, apologized today after two days of protest in various parts of Tunisia.
Protests broke out in Tunisia after the private Tunisian TV channel aired the French-Iranian movie “Persepolis,” which depicts the struggle of a young Iranian girl with her Islamic beliefs. The literal personification of God in the movie spurred the anger of conservative populations and Salafists in Tunisia.
In the private conversation that he had with the Tunisian News Agency (TAP), Karoui says that such incidents will not happen again. ”I apologize to the Tunisian people for the broadcast on Nessma TV of the film considered controversial and blasphemous, representing the divine being in the French-Iranian animation ‘Persepolis,’ and I consider this a mistake that will not be repeated,” Karoui told TAP. ”I am sad and pained.”
Karoui said that the person responsible for choosing to air the show did not indicate that it depicted god in literal form, which is against Islamic practices. He considers such a depiction unfit for family viewing. He said he did not bother to personally check the film beforehand because it had already been shown in several Tunisian cinemas and received no negative reaction.
The issue has become a matter of dispute in the young revolutionary nation between Islamist and secularist parties that are running for the upcoming elections of the constituent assembly this October 23rd.
“I listened with amazement to the interpretations provoked by the broadcast of the film which claimed that through this broadcast we meant to spread prejudice against Islamists against Islamists in Tunisia, particularly Ennahda,” said Karoui.