This imam manifests the totalitarian impulse within Islamic law. Totalitarian systems aim to control the very soul of the individual, and so individual expression that falls outside acceptable boundaries must be ruthlessly suppressed. The National Socialists in Germany are Sheikh Houcine Laabidi’s spiritual kin. More on this story. “Tunis: Imam of Tunis mosque, Blasphemous artists must die,” from ANSAmed, June 15 (thanks to Lachlan):
(ANSAmed) – TUNIS, JUNE 15 – As the city of Tunis recovers amid tensions from the wave of Salafi violence of the past days, a video is doing the rounds of the web in which Cheich Houcine Laabidi, the Imam of the Zitouna mosque, the most important mosque in the Maghreb, states that artist [sic] who create blasphemous works are “infidel” and therefore should “be killed and their blood be spilled”.
The wave of Salafi violence was triggered by an exhibition in an art gallery in Marsa (a municipality in the North of the capital), of works considered to be insulting of Islam and an attack on correct behaviour. The request to kill the artists involved was reiterated three times by Mr Laabidi during a sermon he delivered yesterday.
The mosque of Zitouna has only recently been authorised to recommence its teaching activities, after its school was marginalised first by Bourghiba and then by Ben Ali.(ANSAmed).