Back to Square One...

         It is the closed circle where after almost 18 months of the start of the so-called "Tunisia's Revolution", we're suffering the same insecurity, chaos and terrorism. What is most ridulculous is a curfew in June 12, 2012 since the last curfew in March 2011!

Let's go back to the so called "Tunisia's first free and fair elections"

Going back to  October 2011 we all remember the broadcast of the film “Persepolis” on October 7th followed by riot police responded to a public protest against Nessma TV. Then, the elections had taken place in October 23rd.

During November, we witnessed a tremendous socio-economic destruction following flooding. Besides, the major issues were concerning women as Souad Abderrahim's statement that single mothers are a disgrace to Tunisia and “do not have the right to exist.” made a controversy and was followed by women's demonstration for the maintenance of their rights and liberties.

In December, protests continued in front of the Constitutional Assembly in Bardo for different reasons, Religion, Secularism, unemployment etc..

Following the new year in January: in addition to the events of the courthouse where Tunisian TV executive Nabil Karoui was to be tried for blasphemy and disturbing public order, a controversy was also about  Moncef Marzouki's presidential cabinet that included in total 17 counselors and ministers.Another controversy has emerged about Rached Ghannouchi's trip to Qatar.

During February, Wajdi Gounim's visit to Tunisia engendered human rights campaigns consolidated by Marzouki's statement : "Ghoneim is abnormal and those that invited him are bacteria.” The same month, Tunisia hosted the inaugural summit of the Friends of Syria conference.

In March: Hundreds of women gathered at the first international conference of Hizb Ettahrir in Tunis entitled “Caliphate: A shining model for women’s rights and political role," then around 4,000 people gathered on March 15th in front of the National Constituent Assembly, calling for the implementation of Shariaa law in the new constitution. During the Independence day, on the other hand, Anti-Shariaa demonstration was organized. In the same period, the student board elections resulted in the victory of the leftist General Union of Tunisian Students UGET over the General Tunisian Union of Students (UGTE). With a lot of suspense, Anonymous hacked the website of Ennahda. Let's not forget the Bourguibist parties gathering in Monstir.

In April, the major event was the violent clashes that occurred in the streets of downtown Tunis during Martyr's Day. The following day, opposition representatives of Tunisia’s National Constituent Assembly organized a march on Habib Bourguiba Avenue to demonstrate their discontent with the previous violent treatment of protesters by police.Moreover, two new major parties emerged out of parties's fusion; the Social Democratic Path and the Republican Party. Continuing the game of suspense, the email of Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali was hacked by Anonymous.

In March the Labor Day was a major event.

In May, a controversy emerged over the salary raises for Constituent Assembly members.

Well, June has started with the confiscation of two cameras of the journalist Ramzi Bettibi while reporting on the trial of police officers and security officials in a military tribunal of El Kef and last night a curfew is ordered by the Ministry of Interior like in January 2011!!

Many of my friends around the world concerned about news in Tunisia were asking about the last events and again as mainstream(national & international) in Tunisia doesn't provide a complete and detailed package of the story, I hope you'll get better understanding of events after reading this article.

It started by an art exhibition at Ebdelia at La Marsa which has taken place from June 1st to10th like every year. Suddenly, during the closing day of the exhibition, some salafists came with a bailiff and asked for the remove of some paintings from the exhibition. Actually, this is very healthy to express their discontent except the fact that why they waited of the closing day? then why they turned out their accusations to violence?

First, they said this picture is indecent because it is showing nude woman!!

They said these pictures are a mockery of Salafists

and this picture is unacceptable too for them according to their own interpretation since the name of God is spelled out with strings of ants (I would like to emphasize on correcting the New York Times's Post saying that it's spelled out using "insects"). Being accurate is very important in interpreting such picture, we have a Surat in the Quran about the ant called Surat An-Naml (The Ant) - سورة النمل and this animal is always affiliated to hard work which can change the interpretation of the picture.

Then at night (Still on Sunday), a whole campaign calling for violence was lunched on facebook diffusing these pictures and accusing the Gallery of assault on the sanctifies and insulting Islam.


This picture is taken from a shop of women's underwear

Then, this picture on the right has been diffused with the accusation that it was exhibited at Ebdelia. It is showing the Kaaba, caricaturing Mecca and picturing the prophet which is very provoking to Muslim holiness. Though this painting is the work of a Tunisian artist, it has been confirmed today that it was exhibited in Senegal not even in Tunisia! 

Well, now you can just have these pictures on facebook because the website of the Gallery of "Printemps des Arts" was censored and the Gallery is closed by the government after being destroyed by the so called "Salafists" or radical Muslims.

Then, during these three days , several events have been following this social media rumors and temptation such as the attacks on the courthouse at Sijoumi, 4 offices in total of Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT) in different regions, some opposition's offices like Republican Party's offices and several Police stations by mobs throwing stones and firebombs and hurling rocks and gasoline bombs. The attackers were not only Salafists as media (especially international media) tried to depict it but they were radical Muslims, criminals, teenagers and maybe figures of the old regime (will be known hopefully after investigation). I consider what happened as organized crimes because it was occurring at the same time in different regions targeting specific sites which engendered a 22 years old dead young guy in Sousse.

Yesterday, a press conference has taken place where the Minister of Culture Mahdi Mabrouk, who opened the exhibition and didn't show any discontent of the exposed art, announced that the Ministry of Culture will lodge a complaint against the organizers of the exhibition! Mr. Mehdi  has said that while they support freedom of expression, they are opposed to any insults to religion.
Interior Minister Ali Larayedh accused "extremists from the right and left" of being behind the violence.

The Interior Ministry also said 162 people had been detained and 65 members of the security forces had been wounded trying to quell the riots but didn't declare no statistics of people injured whether they were Salafists or others!!

As a result, the government imposed nighttime curfew on the capital and other cities on 9pm which has been announced at 8pm!!

This morning, in a press conference chaired by Ghannouchi, he declares several interesting things such as a call for a protest on Friday to protect the revolution and Muslim values!

On the other hand Salim Abou Ahmed Ayoub is calling for demonstrations against insults to the faith on Friday after the prayers because it's our holy day in Islam. In other words, it means that Al-Qaeda is calling on Tunisians to rise up against Ennahda since Abu Ayoub is the second responsible of Al Qaeda in Tunisia.

To sum up, the result of all these consecutive events which emerged from diffusing rumors and incitement to violence via videos on YouTube and pictures on Facebook, is eventually the decline of tourism and accordingly the collapse of the economy. Nevertheless, I would like to inform whoever is planning to come to Tunisia that I was hanging out in Tunis today and everything is more than normal. Besides, most of the touristic places are outside Tunis.


In addition, the event is based on a politicized division under the pretext of religion, the misunderstanding of freedom of expression on both sides, the lack of an explicit law of blasphemy and not to forget the propaganda of the media!!

To be continued...



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