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.

 

Egypt declares three-month state of emergency in Sinai

Lebanon army attacks Islamists as violence spreads to Tripoli souks

Iraq MPs divide over Kurds deployment to aid Kobane

Punishment for sexual assault in Iran: Execution of victim!

Morocco fossils: A rare and vanishing treasure

Germany offers to help Armenia forge peace with Turkey

Libya wakes up from ‘Dubai dream’ to face Somalia-like ‘failed state’

South Yemen separatists vow to intensify secession protests

Relatives of Iraq massacre victims: Blackwater guards should be killed

Ghannouchi makes it clear to Tunisia: It’s either political Islam or Daesh!

Deadly clashes erupt after army raid in northern Lebanon

200 Iraqi Kurd fighters to travel through Turkey to Kobane

Coalition strikes in Syria eliminate more than 500 jihadists in one month

Ahead of elections, new clashes remind Tunisia of need to fight terror

Saudi Arabia jails mothers for preparing sons to wage jihad

Jury finds Blackwater guards guilty of 2007 'massacre' in Iraq

Iraq Kurds approve reinforcements for Kobane

Israel classifies car crash as ‘hit and run terror attack’

Turkish woman arrested for stepping on Koran

Erdogan criticises US for airdrops on Kobane

Iraq schools provide shelter but late to open for classes

Syria air force shoots down two of three 'IS warplanes'

Egypt court rules on ‘Nasr City terror cell’

Fire from Egypt wounds two Israeli soldiers near border

By hook or by crook, settlers notch up property gains in East Jerusalem

Turkey envoy meets leader of parallel government in Libya

Israel arrests seven Palestinian fishermen off northern Gaza

Khamenei to Abadi: Iraq can beat 'Islamic State' without foreign troops

Saudi special court rules in cases of riots and terrorism

Libya army scores small victory in Benghazi

Only in Libya: Government calls for civil disobedience

Kasserine reaps bitter harvest from Tunisia revolution: Poverty and terrorism

Iraq Kurds set to vote on deployment of Peshmerga forces to Syria

Islamic State ‘share in US weapons’ embarrasses Pentagon

Alderton: Morocco unrivalled business gateway to sub-Saharan Africa

Protests over IS turn Istanbul University into war zone

Turkey eyes stricter punishment against lawbreakers at protests

For Sudan President: Promises are something and re-election is something else

Iran returns Abadi to ‘house of obedience’

From traditional military to counterinsurgency force: Syria army grows more capable

South Sudan rivals accept 'responsibility' for civil war

British drones in Iraq also used for Syria surveillance

Turkey launches new wave of wire-tapping arrests

Rise of Shiite militias challenges government authority in Iraq

Syria Kurds show impressive resistance to ‘Islamic State’ in Kobane