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Tunisian Islamists riot over ‘insulting’ art show

by Brad A. Greenberg

June 12, 2012 | 9:47 pm

Thousands of Salafi Islamists rioted in Tunisia today over the Spring of Arts exhibition, which the rioters thought insulted God. This has become a someone stock story in the Arab World.

Reuters report:

The work that appears to have caused most fury spelt out the name of God using insects.

“These artists are attacking Islam and this is not new. Islam is targeted,” said a youth, who gave his name as Ali and had removed his shirt as he prepared to confront police in Ettadamen. “What added fuel to the flames is the government’s silence,” said Ali, who did not describe himself as a Salafi.

Officials of the Islamist-led government have condemned the art works that they say were intended to insult and provoke, but said there was no excuse for the outbreak of violence that appeared planned and coordinated and could undermine economic recovery as the tourism and harvest seasons get underway.

Read the rest here. If you weren’t keeping score at home last year, Tunisia was the birthplace of the Arab Spring.

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