Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tunisia’s Islamists lash out at anti-Semitic comments

Bikya Masr

"ALGIERS: Tunisia’s Islamic party Ennahda condemned the use of anti-Semitic slogans as a top Hamas official arrived in the country on Monday. The chants left the local Jewish community alarmed, but the Islamists said that the use of the anti-Semitic chanting is unacceptable.

The small group of ultra-conservative Muslims have been voiceful in the past few months in the country, attacking universities and demanding a more conservative implementation of Islamic law in Tunisia.

Rachid Ghannouchi reiterated the policy of his Ennahda party, which heads the country’s new government, that Tunisia’s Jews are “full citizens with equal rights and duties.”

“Ennahda condemns these slogans which do not represent Islam’s spirit or teachings, and considers those who raised them as a marginal group,” Ghannouchi said in a statement.....

University professor in Tunis, Michel Jabar, told Bikyamasr.com via telephone that “this small group should not be seen as representative of the Tunisian people.”

He added that “Tunisia has long been secular and is now dealing with the dichotomy of religion and government, which thus far has been done in a positive way. Look at the results, still 60 percent of Tunisians are not wanting an Islamic state.”"

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