mercredi 12 octobre 2011

Nessma TV: Major turnaround!

Things certainly are different from day to day in Tunisia. For those of you who haven’t been keeping up on current events, Nessma TV, a local station, aired last Friday a movie criticizing Islam and portraying God in a human form. Protests followed across the country. Some even happened yesterday in Sidi Bou Saïd, Nabeul, Bizerte and Gabès.

As I was saying in a past articlethe first reaction that the director of the station had was to refuse to bow to the Islamist’s demands and to continue to defend freedom of expression.

However, in a strange turn of events yesterday, the director changed his mind completely and apologized for the broadcast of the scene where God was depicted in a human form. Mr. Karoui said he was sorry for offending anyone and that playing the movie was a mistake. He also added that he was also troubled by it since he is a practicing Muslim.

Even more surprising than this change of heart is this decision by the office of the prosecutor to make a legal case of the Nessma TV incident!

Nabil Karoui
It seems pretty obvious that all the pressure that Mr. Karoui was under forced him to reconsider his position. It is surprising though, since he was a very popular figure among social media and had good support from some parties.

Let’s also note, as if on cue, the comments made by the Iranian embassy in Tunisia that call the film a smear campaign against Islam.

The parties have mixed opinions about this. All condemn the violence but some criticize the airing of the movie. Ennadha, who insisted Sunday on condemning the violent actions, stated that it was a deliberate provocation by Nessma TV against all believers, regardless of religion.

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