Self-government depends on government of the self. If Tunisians can allow themselves be whipped up into a fury of this degree over a movie shown on TV, it obviously bodes ill for the future stability of the country. More on this story. “Tunisian police fire tear gas at film protesters,” by Bouazza ben Bouazza for the Associated Press, October 14:
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) “” Tunisian police used tear gas Friday to disperse thousands in the capital in the latest protest over the airing of “Persepolis,” an animated film that Islamists have called blasphemous.
The demonstrations are ratching up before Tunisia’s landmark Oct. 23 election for a constitutional body that will determine the future of this North African nation that overthrew its longtime dictator in January.
Worshippers poured out of al-Fatah mosque in downtown Tunis and began protesting after the imam preached against “Persepolis,” calling it a “serious attack on the religious beliefs of Muslims.”
Priorities. This also bodes ill for the future of the country.
Marjane Satrapi’s award-winning adaptation of her graphic novels about growing up during Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution contains a scene showing a character representing God. Depictions of God are considered sacrilege in Islam.
The film won the jury prize at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.
The preacher in Tunis questioned the timing of the broadcast by a private TV station during such a sensitive period before the election.
When would be a good time?
Police stopped the marchers with tear gas Friday as they headed toward the Nessma TV station.
They already tried to torch it once.
Station chief Nabil Karoui has since apologized for airing the film earlier this week, calling it a “mistake.”
There have been other protests against the TV station in the cities of Sousse, Monastir, Sidi Bouzid and Beja. Police arrested 50 demonstrators in Tunis on Sunday after they tried to attack the station.
There have been a rise in attacks against perceived symbols of secularism by hardcore Muslims in Tunisia ahead of the elections. Once suppressed by the former regime, conservative Muslims are increasingly making themselves heard in the country’s politics….
We tried to tell you.