While enjoying a beautiful evening last night at the Select Beach restaurant in Gammarth, I couldn’t help reflecting on the irony of the current security situation. There, I was enjoying good music, the soothing sounds of crashing waves, and the beautiful night sky with hundreds of shining stars. All around me there were cheerful and pleasant people enjoying themselves.
If presented on a television screen, from the looks of how people were dressed and on what they were drinking, you wouldn’t be able to tell if we were in Paris or New York City…but I guess that’s what makes Tunis so special.
Although I wanted to take a break from the information overload that I’ve been experiencing since September 14th, I couldn’t resist reading one last article before we left the house on our way to Select Beach.
Entitled: Aggressive Salafist Islamists threaten Tunisia’s dream of freedom. The article highlights an incident that recently took place (9/4/2012) in Sidi Bouzid. Apparently, “80 Islamic hardliners arrived to smash up the Horchani Hotel, the only place in Sidi Bouzid where you could buy a cold beer.”
According to the article: “Bearded, angry young men threatened the few staff who were around at lunchtime with iron bars, broke windows, smashed up ornamental fountains and threw bottles of wine and spirits into the empty pool, which is now full of shattered glass.”
A sharp contrast indeed…
Dealing with the Vocal Minority
Awareness is empowering and as Expats we have to be aware of this growing issue. They are called salafists, ultra conservative Muslims, etc., but in the end they’re mainly angry men who feel it is their duty to make things “right“.
Ironically enough, Abdelfattah Mourou, a Tunisian lawyer and the co-founder of the Ennahda Movement offers a very insightful overview into the mindset & tactics of salafists.
- Salafists’ use violence to impose their ideas and opinions.
- Superficiality strengthens their ignorance. They do not read, do not think and do not accept those who disagree with their opinions.
- It is time for Tunisians to pay more attention to this phenomenon and for the authorities to act decisively and apply laws against all offenders. The state must be based on moderate tenets that respect differences within society.
Informed Expats do not stop living exciting lives simply because there are a few cowards who wish to impose their ideas through violence. Instead we simply adjust our activities and adapt to the current situation.
Now more than ever we have to help each other. The most effective way to help a fellow expat is pass on insightful, verifiable, and practical information.
Please continue to use the Tunisia Security Update blog as one of your many tools that empowers you to remain informed, prepared, and engaged. We are committed to passing as much useful information as we can through our various channels with the hopes that our Expat community remains aware and active.