“Many of them want to return, and we can’t prevent a Tunisian from returning to his country.”
European authorities say the same thing about people whose roots in the country to which they wish to return are far less deep. The objection to this line of reasoning is that in joining the Islamic State (note the mention of “Daesh” on the placards the Tunisian women are holding in the photo), these Tunisians and Europeans have explicitly or implicitly declared their allegiance to the caliphate, a government that denies that Muslims owe loyalty to any other government, and considers itself to be at war with those other governments. They are, in effect, combatants of an enemy state, and should be treated accordingly.
“Tunisians protest against return of militants fighting abroad,” AFP, December 24, 2016:
Hundreds of people gathered outside Tunisia’s parliament on Saturday to protest against letting militants who fought abroad to return to the country.
“No to freedom for terrorist groups!” protesters chanted.
Some held placards calling for “political will against terrorist groups”.
Organisers said 1,500 people attended the rally.
It was held on the same day authorities said they had arrested three alleged militants connected to the suspected Berlin Christmas market attacker, Tunisian Anis Amri.
Protesters slammed Rached Ghannouchi, head of the Islamist Ennahda party, who has in the past supported the idea of allowing Tunisian militants who “repent” and renounce violence to return home.
President Beji Caid Essebsi said earlier this month that Tunisia would refuse to pardon Tunisians who fight for militant organisations.
“Many of them want to return, and we can’t prevent a Tunisian from returning to his country,” he told AFP, “but we will be vigilant.”
Following a storm of criticism in the press and on social media, on 15 December he told Tunisian local television that “we will not be indulgent with the terrorists”.
More than 5,000 Tunisians are fighting for militant groups abroad, mainly in Iraq, Syria or neighbouring Libya, according to a UN working group on mercenaries….