02 November 2012 12:05 pm | | 15


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Nasreddine Aloui (R) waves a kafin on 9 P.M. program as Interior Minister Ali Laarayedh (L) looks on

The latest in a string of “Salafist” confrontations occurred during last night’s broadcast of 9 P.M., when Nasreddine Aloui, the Imam of Ennour mosque, called on all “Salafist” youth to prepare to sacrifice themselves in a fight against the ruling party of Ennahdha.

The inflammatory comments began when Aloui accused Ennahdha of cracking down on Salafists in order to garner popularity. He continued by accusing “the whole [Tunisian] security apparatus of being an instrument for the United States government.”

In response, Minister of Human Rights and Transitional Justice Samir Dilou, who was also a guest on the show, accused Aloui of “using his position to incite violence.”

The exchange took a new level of dramatics when Aloui retorted “yes, I am inciting the people.” He then pulled out his kafin (a white burial shroud) and told viewers, “I prepared my kafin, and I invite all young Salafists to prepare their shrouds as well” in a fight against “Ennahda and other political parties that are trying to prepare their electoral campaigns at the expense of the Salafists.”

The increase in tensions began last Saturday when a group of men, identified by security forces as “Salafists,” attacked alcohol sellers in the neighborhood of Dour Hicher. The clashes resulted in the injury of Wissem Ben Slimen, head of the Manouba National Guard unit, and one alcohol vendor.

Relative calm returned to the neighborhood until Tuesday when the police arrested three men that were identified as “Salafist leaders.” The arrests outraged other neighborhood “Islamists” and sparked an attempted siege on the national guard unit. By the end of the attack, two police officers were injured, and two Salafists were killed, including the Muezzin from the neighborhood’s Ennour mosque.

Later that night, unidentified men burned several retail kiosks in front of the Ennour mosque.

On Wednesday, police were on high alert, and local schools remained closed. Palpable tension gripped the neighborhood as pick-up trucks, filled with bearded youths, patrolled the neighborhood streets, but no further incident took place.

The recent series of Islamist attacks prompted President Moncef Marzouki’s Wednesday decision to extend the state of emergency by three months. Security presence in the capital has been heightened since the September 14 attacks on the U.S. embassy and the American School in Tunis.

Farah Samti contributed reporting

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Comments (15)

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  1. Paul Murray says:

    “If” the governemnt is cracking down on Salafists it is because they (Salafists) are disruptive and do not know how to peacsefully co-exist with others who hold different beliefs and attitudes, not for political gain.

  2. george says:

    It’s very simple, all the Salafists and their leaders should go to jail. The Islamist Ennahdha party should be disolved and its leaders put under house arrest,all their violent activist members should be put behind bars. Now Tunisians are free from all trouble and they can run their free and fair elections with all the secular, progressist and modernist on board. Good Luck Tunisians.

  3. Publicola says:

    » … Why can’t the Islamic world produce a person as brilliant and generous as Steve Jobs?

    Let me suggest six reasons why we may not be able to do so.

    …A nation cannot progress if it uses an educational system whose main focus is religion …

    Secondly, Islamic nations … believe in the unknown and disregard reality
    by permitting religion to dominate all aspects of scientific inquiry …
    we remain obsessed with the taboos, heresies and errors of every useful science and do all we can to suppress legitimate questions …

    Thirdly … If something fails, then its failure is due to the fact that … Satan and his devilish schemes have caused it to fail …

    Fourthly, the religious speech in Islamic countries tells us not to be impressed or admire the lives of other peoples,
    peoples who have struggled against cancer, walked on the moon and invaded outer space,
    peoples whose fleets roam the seas and whose aircraft rule the skies …
    we go to them … searching for medical cures, using their cars and airplanes,
    and continue to criticize them day in and day out in secret and in public,
    although we use all of their tools and inventions. How hypocritical!

    Fifthly, we can see that Islamic nations have used … illogical excuses
    to push art aside and intentionally hide it from their people …
    This has led to creating shaken and disturbed personalities and spirits …

    Finally, Islamic nations generally tend to
    dwell in the past at the expense of the present and the future …
    now such countries seem frozen in time …

    We must turn the page on extolling religious dogma that breeds ignorance and a disgust for the future … «

    from: “When Will We See Another Steve Jobs?”
    by: Khalid Alnowaiser (Saudi attorney)
    in: Huffington Post – 03rd November 2011
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-khalid-alnowaiser/steve-jobs-innovation_b_1074126.html

    • Habib says:

      For your information mr know it all

      Steve Job is of Arab desecend Syrian parents with Arab Dna

      now LET ME ASK YOU ONE QUESTION

      what did you achieve yourself did you go to the moon did you cure cancer?

  4. Samir says:

    The antics of these crazy people are not widely reported internationally. Unless the government cracks down on them, it is only a matter of time before they start on the tourist areas, in which case there will be headlines across the world. What will happen to the hundreds of thousands employed in tourism?

    Oh beloved Tunisia! What are they doing to you?

  5. Terry says:

    I like the ‘sacrifice yourself’ part! So, let the people of Tunisia choose peace over violence and let the Salafists go off and ‘sacrifice themselves’. They are nothing but BULLIES!Attacking INNOCENT people, causing CHILDREN not to be able to go to school, burning buildings, all because THEY are nothing more than barbarians!Isn’t all this DISRESPECTFUL to Mohammad?
    These ‘thugs’ do not represent RELIGION, they represent SHAME on their people and their country.

  6. Publicola says:

    » … The fundamentalist seeks to bring down a great deal more than buildings …

    Such people are against, to offer just a brief list,
    freedom of speech, a multi-party political system, universal adult suffrage, accountable government, Jews, homosexuals, women’s rights, pluralism, secularism, short skirts, dancing, beardlessness, evolution theory, sex . . .

    The fundamentalist believes that we believe in nothing.
    In his world view, he has his absolute certainties, while we are sunk in sybaritic indulgences.

    To prove him wrong, we must first know that he is wrong.

    We must agree on what matters:
    kissing in public places, bacon sandwiches, disagreement, cutting-edge fashion, literature, generosity, water, a more equitable distribution of the world’s resources, films, music, freedom of thought, beauty, love.

    These will be our weapons.

    … by the unafraid way we choose to live shall we defeat them.

    How to defeat terrorism?

    Don’t be terrorised. Don’t let fear rule your life. Even if you are scared.

    … If terrorism is to be defeated, the world of Islam must take on board the secularist-humanist principles on which the modern is based, and without which their countries’ freedom will remain a distant dream. … «

    from: Salman Rushdie. Joseph Anton – A Memoir. Jonathan Cape, London, 2012 – pages 624 – 625

    • exult49 says:

      It is almost incredible to see what happens in a progressive and tolerant country.
      Unbelivable to realize that the spring revolt generates such a intellectual abortion.

      Salafites should be deported to the middle east countries and left there to die.
      In a democratic and progressive state as the Bourguiba’ s years this “racaille” should have been chastizied.
      Freedom of speech, religion etc. ara not empty concepts. Ignorance and unemployment are killing this country. Stupidity does the rest.

  7. dabbbouz says:

    This is a simple incident on live television…it is a simple incident, but a revealing one…We have to learn that there are some idiots out there that will utter stupidities and that people should be mindful that post 14th of January we will have similar incidents.

    I hope he get’s prosecuted for his threats.

    But to my fellow Tunisians, know that this is normal. We just have to be the smarter ones.

    For those who have fox news, try to listen to their crap, it is even worse than what we have in Tunisia, yet every American lives his/her daily live without paying too much to the extremists.

  8. angela says:

    Moncef needs to do more than extend the state of emergency. So what happens when a group of people openly threaten the government and the people then….does any one know….(what makes me howl with laughter is how the US got brought into this when many countries like China are giving millions to the government…anything for a fight though). Gpd help Tunisia

    • dabbbouz says:

      Moncef?…are you guys BFFs ?

      • angela says:

        Do you have any BFF’s Fox news is disgusting but no one is going to grow a beard and join a group of dangerous nasty pig like people, then take to the streets because of something Shaun Hannity has to say. Although there are people who really rally for these right wing idiots in the US….So not sure why the comparison as there are many white Supremacist groups who support the news chanel. There fore it is influential. Just like the guy with the shroud can affect people especially young people, who are frustrated right now. I am not sure making light of this situation is going to help at all.

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