Islamist chief vows crackdown on Salafists

2012-09-21 14:15
AFP

AFP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tunis - The veteran leader of Tunisia's ruling Islamist party told AFP that the authorities would crack down on hardline Salafists after deadly violence around the US embassy, saying they pose a threat to the country's freedoms and security.

"Each time that parties or groups overstep our freedoms in a flagrant manner, we have to be tough, clamp down and insist on public order," Ennahda chief Rached Ghannouchi told AFP in an interview.

"These people pose a threat not only to Ennahda but to the country's freedoms and security."

Ghannouchi denied that the Ennahda-led coalition government had been lax in its failure so far to arrest Salafist leader Seif Allah Ibn Hussein, suspected of organising the violent protest last Friday at the US embassy and adjacent American school in Tunis.

Now slain al-Qaeda leader Osama "bin Laden remained at liberty for years without the world's intelligence agencies capturing him, so it's not surprising that someone can go into hiding," he said.

"But the police will hunt him down until he has been arrested."

The Ennadha-led government has come in for strong criticism in the Tunisian press for failing to arrest Ibn Hussein, also known as Abu Iyadh, when he delivered the sermon at a Tunis mosque earlier this week.

Ibn Hussein, who heads the extremist Ansar al-Sharia movement, preached at the Al-Fatah mosque in the heart of the capital on Monday surrounded by his followers, and then left, despite a heavy security deployment around the building.

During his sermon, he accused the police of provoking the protesters who attacked the US embassy, and called for the resignation of Interior Minister Ali Latayedh, an Ennahda member.

Security measures

As fears mounted of fresh violence after the mainly weekly Muslim prayers this Friday, Ghannouchi said that from now on the security forces would deal firmly with any breaches of public order.

"The police have learnt the lesson and I don't think there's going to be any repetition [this Friday]," he said.

The interior ministry banned all demonstrations on Friday after receiving a tip-off about preparations for violence over a US-made anti-Islam film posted on the Internet and cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed published by a French weekly.

Tanks and barbed wire were deployed around the French embassy, which closed on Friday as a precautionary measure, while French schools in the former colony have been shut since Wednesday.

"We don't like to see the capital looking like this, but they are provisional security measures which will be lifted soon," said Ghannouchi.

The ageing Ennahda leader, who is thought to have a large influence on government policy, stressed that his party was not calling its supporters to take to the streets, but "to defend the Koran and the Prophet by peaceful means."

"By writing novels, by making films, songs, works of art [they can] present Islamic civilisation in a favourable light, instead of these negative acts, of screaming and violence, which do not serve Islam but rather its enemies."

But Ghannouchi also deplored the caricatures of the Prophet published by satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday.

"We have expressed our indignation at the cartoons, which are an attack on the belief of Muslims, and which incite hatred and war," he said.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  us  |  tunisia  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

13 summer safety tips

Summer time and the burning is easy. Get some great tips to ensure sunburn doesn't spoil your holiday!

 
 

I love summer.24

Stay in shape this summer
Ultimate fails compilation 2014
This sleeping bulldog is you during the holidays
This man's reaction to his Christmas present is priceless!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Short term gratification seems like fun at the time; just remember that your boundaries are down right now and there s a tendency...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.