Tunis: Police on Friday fired tear gas at
hundreds of people demonstrating against a private television
station accused of blasphemy for airing a film with an image
The demonstrators, mainly conservative Muslim Salafists,
protested against Nessma television for the second time in a
week after it broadcast "Persepolis", a globally-acclaimed
animated film on Iran`s 1979 revolution.
The demonstration had begun peacefully at a central Tunis
mosque after Friday prayers, with men and women chanting
against Nessma. Traders shut up shop as the group approached
Many of the women protesting were covered with an Islamic
veil, brandishing copies of the Koran, while many of the men
were bearded and wore tunics.
"The soldiers of Mohamed will return," shouted the most
enthusiastic demonstrators, lambasting "miscreants, atheism
"We are demonstrating against Nessma, which broadcast
scenes of blasphemy," said one protester of the film that
describes the last days of the US-backed shah`s regime and the
subsequent revolution led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeiny
through the eyes of a young girl.
The rally grew tense as protesters approached the Kasbah
area of Tunis where the main government buildings are located.
"Separate! Mixing of men and woman is prohibited,"
shouted a Salafist as divided the protesters.