Democracy and pluralism are running wild in Arab Spring Tunisia. Here are two more stories updating this story. “Tunisia: Salafis attack cities, 86 arrested,” from ANSAmed, June 12 (thanks to Insubria):
(ANSAmed) – TUNIS – Salafis have gone on the rampage in many Tunisian cities, with the destruction of property and the setting on fire of police stations, party and union headquarters and even a lorry transporting alcoholic beverages. The rioting started over the night in Tunis and then spread to many other cities in the country (such as Sousse and Jendouba), which saw extremely violent episodes fostered by hundreds of Salafis. In some situations the police were forced to shoot into the air in the attempt to quell the rioting, such as in the Ettahir municipality, where in this way they managed to prevent a group of policemen from being attacked by hundreds of Salafis armed with clubs and stones. The extremists’ protest began in the northern outskirts of the capital and especially in Marsa, where the gallery of art is located which – through its exhibition of works held to be immoral by Salafis – sparked their reaction. From Marsa the rioting spread to the southern suburbs to the edges of Carthage, where the presidential palace is located, under military guard the entire night.
In Sousse this morning, the Salafis used incendiary bombs to attack the main building of the Fine Arts Institute, and it was by pure chance that the staff already at work managed to escape the flames. In Jendouba a number of headquarters of non-religious parties were set aflame, as was the headquarters of a union, the Regional Labour Union. The police station was laid to waste, as were a number of shops selling electronic devices. According to the initial statements from the Interior Ministry reported by Reuters, 86 people have been arrested so far. (ANSAmed).
“Tunis: Salafis run wild, soldiers guard presidential palace,” from ANSAmed, June 12 (thanks to Insubria):
(ANSAmed) – TUNIS, JUNE 12 – The Carthage presidential palace was guarded the entire night by soldiers while clashes were underway between Salafis and the police in the Marsa area.
Carthage and Marsa are only a few kilometres away from each other and, over the night, concerns arose that the Salafis might move towards the presidential palace to continue their acts of destruction.
In Marsa, one of the most well-known areas of Tunis and where many foreigners reside, the attacks by the Salafis were halted by youths from the area who formed a human chain, thereby stopping them from laying waste to buildings and businesses. The Salafis, after having destroyed a number of works of art in an art gallery that they held to be immoral, directed their anger at the Marsa police post – attacking and sacking it. For security reasons the police ordered the evacuation of the Plug, one of the most popular bars in Marsa. The area youth, through word of mouth via the internet and text messaging, urged the population to stay indoors, especially women.(ANSAmed).