Update on Tunisian government’s reaction to extremism

As I noted last week, some members of the Tunisian government seem to be taking a harder line against religious extremism. The latest example comes from Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, who spoke yesterday in a ceremony honoring two women who stood up to a group of Salafists who had dishonored Tunisia’s flag.

The Associated Press reports:

Tunisian President Marzouki warned fundamentalists Monday against any attempt to destabilize the country or to use violence for ideological reasons, a clear allusion to Salafists, whose activity has increased as of late.

“It will not be tolerated for anyone to impose his views by force, to treat others people as apostates (infidels), or to harm Tunisian citizens for ideological or political beliefs of any kind,” he warned.

Marzouki’s speech was aimed at calming criticism that the government has been unwilling to condemn acts committed by religious fundamentalists in recent months, a common complaint by secularists in Tunisia.

4 thoughts on “Update on Tunisian government’s reaction to extremism

  1. Not only was the ceremony covered widely on local news, but it was broadcast in full on national television (TV1) immediately following the widely-watched evening news at 8pm. They really wanted to make sure the message was received!

    • Excellent point. This was very much a public relations event. I didn’t watch the event, but one criticism was that the government was noticeably absent. Is that the impression you had? That it was a Marzouki event, not a Tn Govt. event?

      • Very much the Presidency & armed forces in evidence. There may have been some ministers in attendance, but I didn’t spot them if so (I don’t recognize all of them yet, alas).

  2. I missed the evening news, but I’m told the Interior Minister made some kind of presentation today to Khaoula Rachidi.

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