Divisions within the Tunisian Islamist Party Around Islamist and Ultra-Conservative Protest Plans?

News article, posted 06.22.2012, from Tunisia, in:
Asma Ghribi
Divisions within the Tunisian Islamist Party Around Islamist and Ultra-Conservative Protest Plans? (Photo: Tunisia Live)

Suumary: The Interior Ministry, headed by Islamist Ennahdha member Ali Laarayedh, discouraged protests and declared that no authorizations had been granted for marches in downtown Tunis on June 15th, despite calls by Ennahdha and Salafi heads. These heads included the prominent president of Ennahdha Rached Ghannouchi as well as Adel Almi, Salafist figure and president of the Moderate Association of Awareness and Reform.

According to Tunisia Live,  the Ennahdha-led Ministry of Interior's discouragement of protests seemed to contradict Ennahdha president Ghannouchi's call for protests in defense of sacred values (See: Ennahdha Leader Rached Ghannouchi, Calls Upon Followers to Protest on Friday). However, as Tunisia Live points out, "the wording of the Ministry of the Interior’s press release stated that it did not authorize any 'marches,'" meaning that protests could remain solely within the Kasbah.

Adel Almi, head of the self-described Salafi Moderate Association for Awareness and Reform,  "took pains," according to Tunisia Live, to emphasize that the protests will remain within the borders of the Kasbah. Almi told Tunisia Live, “We are not going to walk in groups to the Kasbah. We will walk there individually to avoid creating any unusual movement in the country.” Almi described the protest aimed to push the Constituent Assembly to codify protection of “the symbols of the Muslim Tunisian people."

Tunisia Live confirmed that "representatives of Islamist organizations like the Front of the Islamic Associations and the Moderate Association of Awareness and Reform, as well as representatives of the Ennahdha party and the Reform Front Party, confirmed to Tunisia Live that they will be participating in a symbolic demonstration tomorrow after the Friday prayer, from 1:30 to 4 pm at the Kasbah, the seat of Tunisian government."