TUNIS, Aug 17, 2012 (AFP) -
TUNIS, Aug 17, 2012 (AFP) –
Here is a list of incidents linked to the ultra-conservative Muslim Salafists in Tunisia over the past 14 months, after they attacked a cultural festival in the north of the country late on Thursday:
– June 26: Around 50 members of the Salafist movement storm a cinema in a bid to stop the screening of the film “Neither Allah, nor Master” on secularism in Tunisia. Six are arrested. Two days later, demanding the six men be released, Salafist demonstrators attack three lawyers who have to be taken to hospital.
– October 7: Tunisian police break up a mob of angry Salafists intent on attacking TV network Nessma TV that aired a film on the Iranian revolution “Persepolis”, an award-winning animation film they say is offensive to Islam.
– November 28: Salafists start to disrupt classes at a university in Tunis, demanding a stop to mixed-sex classes and on full face veils for female students.
– March 26: Tunisia’s moderate Islamist leaders, who took power following last year’s ouster of strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali after a popular uprising, decline to adopt sharia law in the new constitution.
On March 25, at least 8,000 Islamists stage a mass demonstration in central Tunis to demand the adoption of Islamic law in Tunisia.
– May 21: Justice Minister Noureddine Bhiri threatens to punish Salafists who push their views on others too hard, after radical Islamists force a series of bars to close.
– June 10: Al-Qaeda’s chief Ayman al-Zawahiri urges Tunisians to rise up to demand the rule of Islamic law.
– June 11: Protesters suspected to be Salafists damage several works of art at an exhibition, in what appears to have been the latest in a series of attacks by Islamic religious hardliners on liberal or secular targets.
– June 12: The government condemns as “terrorism” a spate of overnight attacks on courts and other state buildings by gangs including Islamist hardliners. Salafists deny involvement.
– August 17: Some 200 hardline Islamists armed with swords and sticks attack a cultural festival in northern Tunisia, wounding five in the clash. It is the third time in three days that Salafists have disrupted cultural events, condemning some of them for violating Muslim sensitivities during the holy month of Ramadan.