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.

 

Blair calls on West to combat ‘growing’ danger of Islamist extremism

No Qatar ‘concessions’ on end of dispute with fellow Gulf states

Bahrain expels representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani

Netayahu to Abbas: Does you want peace with Hamas or peace with Israel?

Dubai's Emaar posts huge Q1 profit

Witnesses in Morsi trial: Hamas and Hezbollah attacked Egypt prisons

Family of detained Al-Jazeera reporter in Egypt call for his release

Bomb targets convoy of Education Minister in north Iraq

After Ervin scandal, Iran Prisons Chief becomes Head of Justice Department

Egypt FM travels to US as Washington relaxes hold on military aid

US diplomat visits Libya amid political upheaval

Jarba asks Saudi Arabia to increase support for Syria rebels

Better late than never: Erdogan offers condolences over mass WWI killings of Armenians

Hezbollah veto dashes Geagea dreams of presidency

UN aid chiefs make impassionate call for Syria access

Police brigadier general killed in Cairo bomb attack

11 new MERS infections registered in Saudi

EU denounces Syria plans for June 3 election

Iran envoy row fails to make headway at UN

Amnesty: Qatar fails to protect domestic workers

US will deliver 10 Apache choppers to Egypt to counter terrorism

US expresses horror at South Sudan violence

Egypt's next president will have to deal with frustrated workers

Rival Palestinian leaders agree on national unity govt

Jumblatt backs lawmaker Henri Helou for Lebanon presidency

Global chemical watchdog: Syria weapons handover at 86.5 percent

Kerry ‘prefers’ Cold War-like situation to current complex challenges

Israel to call up Christian Arabs for military service

Egypt prosecutors submit new evidence in Jazeera trial

Families of Iran prisoners break silence over abuses at notorious Evin

Lebanon sends rare aid to its territory in Syria

Iran divorce rate increases amid slow population growth

Suspected militant attacks kill four Yemen officers in two days

Distrust casts shadow over South Kordofan peace talks

Ali Tarhuni heads Libya constituent assembly

Washington revisits story of Syria chemical weapons

PM Erdogan to tour Europe for expat presidency votes

Erdogan to May Day protesters: Give up on your hopes of Taksim!

Palestine plays down threat to dismantle PA

South Sudan army battle rebels as insurgents target oil fields

Two Somali MPs shot dead in 24 hours

MERS death toll keeps climbing in Saudi

Court deals blow to US administration on drone attacks

Berber protesters clash anew with Algeria police

US has 'indications' of new chemical attacks in Syria