First Published: 2013-01-23

 

Series of attacks against Tunisia shrines continues: Sufis accuse Wahhabis

 

Sufis say another one of their shrines in Tunisia has been torched, pinning blame on foreign-backed Salafists.

 

Middle East Online

35 attacks in seven months

TUNIS - Sufis said on Wednesday that another one of their shrines in Tunisia has been torched, pinning the blame on foreign-backed Salafist ultra-conservative Muslims.

In the 35th such attack in seven months, unidentified assailants on Tuesday night hurled Molotov cocktails at the Sidi Ahmed Uwerfelli shrine in Akuda, 140 kilometres (85 miles) south of Tunis.

"The people behind all the attacks are Wahhabis," a Salafist branch of Islam rooted in Saudi Arabia, Mazen Sherif, the deputy head of a Sufi union set up to counter the attacks, told a press conference in Tunis.

"This is just the beginning. They will go on to destroy the (Roman) sites in Carthage, El Jem and Duga. Then they will force men to grow beards and women to wear the hijab (full veil)," he said.

According to his union, which urged Tunisia's Islamist-led government to take effective action, such attacks are financed from abroad.

Since the early centuries of Islam, Sufi orders have always aroused suspicion among orthodox Muslims.

Several shrines dedicated to Muslim saints have been torched or looted in recent months in Tunisia, in acts blamed on hardline Salafists whose radical version of Sunni Islam does not tolerate saints or shrines.

Tunisian opposition and civil society groups blame the Ennahda party for showing complacency towards the Salafists.

Salafists, whose numbers in Tunisia are estimated at between 3,000 and 10,000 people, are accused of organising a series of violent attacks since the revolution ousted dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali two years ago.

They are suspected of masterminding September 14 attacks on the US embassy in Tunis to protest against an anti-Islam film produced in the United States. Four assailants were killed in clashes with security forces.

 

Jordan bows to IS demand

Israel retaliates against Hezbollah attack

Nine killed in luxury Tripoli hotel attack

Obama, Saudi king discuss IS fight, Iran

Can Iraqis trust their government to rebuild their country?

Hezbollah missiles threaten to spark new war in volatile region

In new website, France warns would-be jihadists: You will die alone

Sheikh Ali Salman rejects charges as trial opens in Bahrain

Protesters try to storm UN headquarters in Gaza

UN peacekeeper killed in southern Lebanon amid border clash

Kobane in ruins after symbolic blow to jihadists

Hezbollah claims attack on Israeli military convoy

Somali PM proposes new cabinet list

Syria opposition groups, Assad representatives meet in Moscow

Yemen’s Huthis free top presidential aide

French FM urges international cooperation against extremism

Clock ticking towards 24-hour IS deadline to kill hostages

Three killed in Tripoli luxury hotel attack

UN harshly criticises Turkey for deterioration of human rights

‘Islamic State’ gives Jordan 24 hours before execution of hostages

Ex-Shebab chief urges others to surrender in first public appearance

Bomb kills and wounds three terrorists in Egypt's Alexandria

Three killed in protest against MINUSMA in Mali

Humanitarian crisis looms for thousands of families in southern Iraq

Rockets fired from Syria explode in Israeli-occupied Golan Heights

Egypt Grand Mufti condemns actions of Muslim Brotherhood

Residents trickle back to Kobane after expulsion of jihadists

Obama comes to Saudi with heavyweight delegation

Cash-strapped UNRWA halts Gaza house repairs

Saudis pledge allegiance to new king on Twitter

Erdogan says Turkey opposed to Syrian Kurdistan

Baghdad flights suspended after ‘arms fire’ hits flydubai jet

'Constructive spirit' at Libya peace talks

US says Syria’s Kobane not fully liberated from IS

Egypt court orders release of Mubarak sons pending retrial

Drone targets Qaeda suspects in crisis-hit Yemen

Saudi Arabia seeks greater American role in Middle East crises

Iraq army announces liberation of Diyala from ‘Islamic State’

Tunisia parliament delays confidence vote on new government

After 4 months of fighting, Kurds expel ‘Islamic State’ from Kobane

Libya warring factions meet in Geneva to resume peace talks

Assad: US idea to train rebels illusionary

Tunisia's Ennahda rejects Essid cabinet line-up

Alleged Algerian jihadist arrested in Morocco

UN Security Council to on Yemen crisis