The leader of the Jewish community in Tunisia, Roger Bismuth (pictured), has been talking tough: he intends to take a Salafist preacher to court. The preacher called for a war against the Jews at a demonstration last weekend, Tunisialive reports:
The President of the Tunisian Jewish Community Roger Bismuth has expressed deep concern over the security of Tunisia’s Jewish Community, and has called on the government to take immediate action against those who incite hatred against others.
During Sunday’s Salafist demonstrationon Avenue Habib Bourguiba, one Salafist preacher shouted “young people rise up, let’s wage a war against the Jews,” to a cheering crowd chanting “God is great.”
Bismuth announced that he will be taking legal action against the Salafist preacher. “We can’t have this violent speech in our country… it is not the first time this has happened… it is totally unacceptable and I am going to take him to court,” said Bismuth.
While Bismuth told Tunisia Live he has been unable to meet today with Prime MinisterHamadi Jebali, he paid a visit to the President of the Constituent AssemblyMustapha Ben Jaafar, who strongly condemned the Salafist preacher.
Mofdi Mossadi, a spokesman for Ben Jaafar, told local radio station Mosaique FM that Ben Jaafar strongly condemned verbal abuse against Tunisia’s Jewish community and that it was critical that hateful rhetoric end.
During a press conference yesterday, Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of Tunisia’s Islamist political party Ennahda, promised to defend the rights of all of Tunisia’s minority communities. “Tunisia defends the rights of all citizens. We will fight for the rights of all our minorities, including the Jewish minority,” Ghannouchi said.
According to Tunisian State News agency, TAP, the Ministry of Religious Affairs has also condemned “all calls to fight Jews,” and deemed the incident on Avenue Habib Bouguiba to be an “isolated act.”