canada goose clearance sale Tunisian artists cry for help against religious extremists

Tunis (Reuters) A few hours before Lotfi Abdeli was due to stage his play in Tunisia, 100 percent halal last month, hundreds of Salafi Muslims who believed the show was offensive canada goose coats to Islam occupied the open air theatre and began to pray.

Women walk past cheap canada goose uk a poster of the play «Made in Tunisia, 100 percent halal» by Tunisian actor Canada Goose Jackets and playwright canada goose uk outlet Lotfi Abdeli in Tunis September 18, 2012. A few hours before Abdeli was due to stage his play «Made in Tunisia, 100 percent halal» Canada Goose Outlet last month, hundreds of Salafi Muslims who believed the show was offensive to Islam occupied the open air theatre Canada Goose Online and began to pray. The play, a satire about politics and religion, was cancelled. It was not the first time religious hardliners have stopped the plays of Abdeli, a Tunisian actor and playwright known for criticising ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben canada goose uk shop Ali before last year’s revolution. Picture taken September 18, 2012. To match Feature TUNISIA SALAFI/ART REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

It was not the first time religious hardliners have stopped the plays of Abdeli, cheap Canada Goose a Tunisian actor and playwright known for criticizing ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali before last year revolution.

Canada Goose Jackets At last week Hammamet festival, Abdeli, whose life has been threatened, was accompanied by personal guards.

am not afraid of threats or assault, but I do really fear for our freedom of expression and creativity, which is the only thing that we got out of the revolution, Abdeli told Reuters.

cheap Canada Goose am unhappy with the current situation for intellectuals in Tunisia: threats, beatings and being prevented from canada goose factory sale performing. I feel boxed into a tight corner but I will not remain silent.

The role of Islam in government and society has emerged as the most divisive issue in Tunisia in the wake of the popular uprising against secular strongman Ben Ali that sparked last year Spring

buy canada goose jacket The Islamist led government that won elections in October must tread a delicate line between conservatives who see the revolution as a chance to express a canada goose black friday sale religious buy canada goose jacket cheap identity suppressed by Ben canadian goose jacket Ali and secularists who want to broaden freedom of https://www.clevelandregionalmedicalcenter.com expression.

canada goose clearance Thousands of Salafis attacked the American embassy in Tunis on Friday to protest a film made in the United States mocking the Canada Goose Coats On Sale Prophet Mohammad that has sparked demonstrations around clevelandregionalmedicalcenter the Muslim canada goose uk black friday world. Four people were killed and dozens wounded.

canada goose coats on sale we are showing that it is uk canada goose essential to make insulting religion a crime, said Habib Kedher, a member of the Islamist Ennahda Movement.

THE SHOW MUST GO ON Many Tunisians fear that their North African country, long considered one of the most secular in the Arab region, may succumb to pressure to ban films, plays or musical performances, and to censor exhibitions.

canada goose store Religious hardliners have fanned those fears in recent weeks by successfully stopping performances on the grounds they violate Islamic principles.

Canada Goose Parka Culture Minister Mehdi Mabrouk said 12 artistic events were cancelled this summer for security reasons after canada goose store threats from Salafi groups. Canada Goose Parka He said he had filed six cases against groups who stopped showings.

Tunisian actor and playwright Lotfi Abdeli performs on stage in Tunis in this November 11, 2011 file photo. It was not the first time religious hardliners have stopped the plays of Abdeli, a Tunisian actor and playwright known for criticising ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali before last year’s revolution. Picture taken November 11, 2011. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

canada goose black friday sale am afraid of Salafis dominating the cultural landscape, Mabrouk told a news conference earlier this month.

Salafis, who follow a puritanical interpretation of canada goose Sunni Islam and want Tunisia to be ruled by Islamic law, prevented an Iranian Shi group from performing at a Sufi music festival in the town of Kairouan during the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

canada goose coats Another festival was cancelled in July in Sejnane, with organizers blaming radical Islamists who interrupted the event saying it was unacceptable during Ramadan.

canada goose In June, Salafi Islamists broke into a Tunis arts fair and destroyed a handful of works to protest against art they deemed insulting to Islam, then ran riot for days. One person was killed and more than 100 injured.

SMALL, BUT PASSIONATE, GROUP The incidents show how the Salafis can exert influence far greater than their relatively small numbers just thousands out of the total population of nearly 11 million.

canadian goose jacket The main Salafi organization, Ansar al Sharia, refuses to communicate with the media. But Ridha Belhaj, head of the Hizb Attahrir party which supports the imposition of sharia law, said some artists are deliberately provoking conflicts with Islamists in order to make the problem seem bigger than it actually is.

buy canada goose jacket cheap of these intellectuals are trying uk canada goose outlet to appear as the victims, he said. are against violence. We must not stop concerts, which would allow people to see for themselves how insulting these performances are.

Artists say canada goose coats on sale they want tougher Canada Goose sale punishment for those who impede artistic freedom.

Poet Sgair Awled Ahmed said he was beaten by a Canada Goose online group of bearded men last month because he wrote a poem criticizing Islamists.

people do not know the language of the pen or debate, but they know only the language of force, punching and beating, Ahmed said.

canada goose deals a black year for culture; our freedom of creativity is in critical state. The Salafis and Ennahda are sharing the role in stifling freedoms.

Canada Goose Outlet Slideshow (2 Images)

Ennahda, the moderate Islamist party leading the government, has promised canada goose clearance sale to support culture in Tunisia and not to impose the veil canada goose clearance on women or ban alcohol.

Canada Goose online But secular critics say it is turning a blind eye to the increasing pressures on Tunisians to conform to religious ways. Ennahda buy canada goose jacket has also come under fire from Salafis who say it fails to defend Islamic values.

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