Tunisian Jewish Community Leader Sues Salafi Preacher

News article, posted 04.19.2012, from Tunisia, in:
Tunisian Jewish Community Leader Sues Salafi Preacher (Photo: AP)

Summary: According to Tunisia Live, the prosecutor of Tunisian Court First Instance has officially accepted Bismuth’s complaint and has opened an investigation into the alleged encouragement of violence against Jews.

At the same time, Bismuth has been making the rounds of prominent political figures, emphasizing the desultory effect that such calls to violence can have on foreign investment and tourism.

After a meeting with current President of the Constituent Assembly, Mustapha Ben Jaafar, Bismuth said, “We have a celebration [Passover] coming and a group of families from abroad booked rooms in a Kosher hotel in our country, but they canceled at the last minute [after the March 25th Salafist protest]… that is to say, what happens in the street does not just concern the Jewish people, it concerns everybody.”

According to Tunisia Live, Bismuth “has garnered declarations of support from the Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, the head of the recently elected National Constituent Assembly Mustapha Ben Jafaar, the Minister of Religious Affairs Nourredine Khadmi, and Rached Ghannouchi, leader of the Islamist Ennahda political party.”

According to Tunisia Live, Bismuth has also met with and received support from the Imam of the prominent downtown Tunis mosque Al-Fateh, known for its very conservative members and alleged involvement in “Salafist” activities. Following the meeting, Minister Noureddine Khadmi (of the Ministry of Religious Affairs) said, “The Jewish community in Tunisia is living here on the principle of equal Tunisian citizenship. Harming any monotheistic religion is in contradiction with the rules of Islam and is inconsistent with the Tunisian spirit that is characterized by civilization, openness and peaceful co-existence.”