From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
6,000 march against Islamist hardliners in Tunisia
Sunday 29 January 2012
by Our Foreign Desk
Around 6,000 Tunisians marched down Tunis’s Bourguiba Avenue on Saturday to demand that the coalition government clamp down on violence by hardline Islamists.
“Make a common front against fanaticism,” read one of the posters carried by demonstrators in the main rally, many of whom were women. “We got rid of totalitarianism and we don’t want it back,” read another.
Ahmed Nejib Chebbi, founder of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (PDP), said: “We are here to speak out against aggression against journalists, activists and academics.
“And to tell the government that Tunisians’ hard-won freedoms must not be compromised.”
Since a union-backed popular uprising toppled Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s secular regime a year ago, small groups of Salafi Islamists have attacked unveiled women and secular intellectuals and occupied universities.
The PDP and other opposition groups accuse Tunisia‘s long-oppressed Ennahda party, now part of the ruling coalition, of being too soft on the Salafists.
Ennahda, which is pushing right-wing policies, presents itself as an exponent of moderate Islamism.
Last Tuesday police ended a weeks-long sit-in by the hardliners at Manouba university. The protesters were angry that university chiefs had banned the full-face Muslim veil.
They had attacked some professors, intimidated students and issued death threats.
Demonstrator Aicha Naboltane said: “The government has to take responsibility for applying the law against those who are violent.”
PDP leader Maya Jribi called for a “tolerant and pluralistic Tunisia.”
This Independence Day, Tunisians Must End Dependence on France: here.
For the third consecutive day, Sidi Bouzid residents are protesting over acute water shortages, but today rising emotions have been further incensed by recent comments made by the Minister of Higher Education: here.
The website of Ennahda, Tunisia’s largest political party, was hacked this morning by a Tunisian group claiming affiliation with the international cyber activist collective, Anonymous: here.