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Tunisian Salafists attack bar, call drinkers 'infidels'
Meat cleaver-wielding Salafists attack hotel bar in Tunisian city of Subaytilah in growing struggle between ultra-conservative Muslims and their more secular-minded compatriots
Ahram Online , Friday 14 Dec 2012
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Tunisia
Relatives and friends carry the body of policeman Anis el-Jlassi during Jlassi's funeral as they proceed to Karma Cemetery in Kairouan December 11, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)

Ultra-conservative Salafist Muslims attacked a hotel in the Tunisian city of Subaytilah on Thursday, police sources and eyewitnesses told AFP.

An estimated 15 Salafists destroyed the hotel's furniture and bar and burned a vehicle parked in front of the building. Bearded men threatened hotel guests with meat cleavers and called them "infidels," eyewitnesses said.

The eyewitnesses could not confirm if there had been any injuries because they had left the area before the police arrived.

The interior ministry has not issued an official statement.

The North African country has witnessed numerous violent incidents linked to hardliners, prompting opposition activists to accuse the Islamist-led coalition government of not doing enough to rein them in. There has been a complex domestic struggle over the role of religion in government and society during the post-revolutionary period.

The bar-related incident in Subaytilah comes after a similar attack on a bar in Sidi Bouzid. Bottles were smashed and customers were chased away with cries of "God is Great" and "drinking is forbidden."

Sidi Bouzid, the birthplace of the uprising that toppled former president Ben Ali last year, is a stronghold of the Salafist movement, which has grown increasingly assertive in recent months.

Violence later spread to the capital where there were clashes between alcohol sellers and Salafists, wounding a police commander.

Ennahda, a moderate Islamist group lead by Rachid Ghannouchi, formed a coalition with two non-religious parties and has promised not to ban alcohol, impose the veil or use sharia [Islamic law] as the basis of Tunisian law.

It is under pressure from both Salafists calling for the introduction of Islamic law and secular opposition parties determined to prevent this.

Ennahda's stance carries weight. Its secretary-general, Hamadi Jebali, is prime minister, and the party controls more than 40 percent of the seats in the constituent assembly. Salafists are not fully represented by any bloc in the assembly, but have stepped up street protests to press for their demands

Secularists fear that Ennahda has been too soft on the Salafists who since the revolution have attacked or threatened theatres, cinemas and journalists, and most recently Tunisia's tiny Jewish community.





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Bheilil
26-03-2013 03:32am
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Sale race
Vive bourguiba
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Mohamed Benamor
24-02-2013 03:25am
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the salafists
these poeple who claim to be moslems, Islam is a religion of peace and understanding,not destruction and hatrated, "lakoum dinoukoum wa lia dini" that's what the coran said , if you do not want to drink alcohol do not drink, but leave the poeple alone who want to drink, it is between them and god, these salafists want to be gods on earth, they are just criminals not represntative of Islam. They make Islam look bad, I am ashamed of these individuals who claim to be moslems.
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Yousef
15-12-2012 01:48pm
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Correction
Please correct your information! This truly does harm tunisia's tourism! The ministry of Interior has indeed issued a statement saying all it was, was a fight between a group of men and one of the workers there. It had nothing to do with alcohol! The car was burnt as a result of the fight and the a small part of the building was also set on fire because Of The car that was burnt. I repeat, they didn't go in calling them infidels and it wasn't about alcohol!
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CHE
16-12-2012 08:25pm
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IS IT THE FOOD THEZ DID NOT LIKE?
The dress and the swords are standard attire of salafists. Were you witness?

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