First Published: 2012-03-27

 

Tunisia Jews: Caught between Salafists’ threats and authorities’ indifference

 

Religious affairs ministry, several political parties denounce anti-Semitic slogans chanted at weekend protest demanding imposition of sharia.

 

Middle East Online

‘Outcasts’ in their country

TUNIS - Tunisia's religious affairs ministry and several political parties Tuesday denounced anti-Semitic slogans chanted at a weekend protest demanding the imposition of sharia, or Islamic law.

"The call to fight against the Jews is absurd. The ministry rejects this attack against all Tunisian citizen," it said in a statement, stressing that "Tunisian Jews are full citizens".

Tunisia -- a Muslim majority country of more than 10 million -- is home to a Jewish minority of about 1,500.

The threats were made at a rally in Tunis on Sunday demanding that sharia become the main source of legislation in the new constitution currently being drafted, media reports said.

A similar incident took place in January during a visit to Tunisia by Palestinian Hamas leader Ismail Haniya.

This is the first time in Tunisia that the incitement to kill Jews happens “on the public highway in broad daylight”, activists said on Facebook.

They condemned the indifference of the Tunisian Ministry of the Interior, headed by Ali Laarayedh, one of the leaders of the ruling Ennahda party, to the "unrestrained behaviour of the Salafis." They also warned against the targeting of Tunisia's Jews with “terrorist attacks”.

The leftist Ettajdid party in a statement also condemned "the calls to violence, hatred and even murder from fanatical Salafi groups that have again targeted citizens of the Jewish faith".

Ettakatol, a junior partner in the governing coalition led by Islamist party Ennahda, voiced similar sentiment.

"These are unacceptable slogans and we reiterate our solidarity with the Jewish community", its spokesman Mohamed Bennour said.

The presidency of the National Constituent Assembly voiced its "deep concern" and denounced the "slogans aimed at sowing discord within the Tunisian society of all races and backgrounds."

The leader of the Ennahda party, Rached Ghannouchi, on Monday vowed that "Tunisia guarantees the rights of all citizens. We defend all minorities including the Jewish minority".

The representative of the Jewish community, Roger Bismuth, was received Tuesday by Speaker Mustapha Ben Jafar.

"I told him that what happened has consequences both inside Tunisia and abroad. We need tourism, the season is starting and what happened is not good for tourism," Bismuth said on radio Mosaique.

 

Turkey warns Syria against protecting Kurds

Two hardline Syria rebels announce merger

IS kills 25 Iraqi militiamen near Kirkuk

Sudan frees dozens of activists detained after protests

Saudi Arabia to host first Arab Fashion Week

Somalia appoints new police, intelligence chiefs

Iran plane crash rescue search halted for second night

France reaffirms commitment to Iran nuclear deal

Abbas warms up to Moscow amid cold US-Palestinian ties

Israel strikes 'historic' gas contract with Egypt

Are Iranian satellite channels aiding regime change?

Israel pounds Gaza with air strikes after rocket attack

Iraq orders deportation of French jihadist

Pro-Assad militias to enter Syria's Afrin

Three Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai

Israeli, US officials meet over gas row with Lebanon

Iran's supreme leader says progress needed on justice

Syria Kurds claim striking positions in Turkey

Netanyahu warns Iran, brandishes piece of metal

66 feared dead as plane crashes in Iranian mountains

Saudi women to open businesses without male permission

Netanyahu slams 'outrageous' Holocaust remark by Polish PM

Israeli air strikes kill 2 in Gaza

Six suffer breathing difficulties after Turkish shelling in Afrin

Russian mercenaries - a discrete weapon in Syria

Iran protests ban on wrestler who threw bout to avoid Israel

Fears of expanding Syrian war could trigger peace deal

Battle to free Mosul of IS 'intellectual terrorism'

Turkey frees Garman-Turk journalist after one year without charge

Turkey hands life sentences to 3 journalists for Gulen links

Turkey, US agree to ‘work together’ in Syria

Thousands protest corruption in Tel Aviv amid PM indictment call

Prominent jihadist commander killed by rival Syria rebels

300 Russians killed in Syria battle last week

Tillerson, Erdogan have ‘productive, open’ talk

Iran raises rates, freezes accounts in bid to shore up rial

Kremlin says five Russians killed in US Syria strikes

Oman FM in rare visit by Arab official to Jerusalem

Senior IS leader extradited to Iraq from Turkey

Strikes hit another hospital in Syria's Idlib

Churches snub Jerusalem reception over tax dispute with Israeli authorities

Tillerson says US never gave 'heavy arms' to Kurdish YPG

Captured foreign IS suspects claim innocence

Yemeni mother awaits death penalty for spying for UAE

Fuel shortage shuts down Gaza's only power plant