Saturday May 18, 2013
Samir Kuntar Narrowly Escapes Lynching by Armed Salafis in TunisiaAmal Saad-Ghorayeb Special to Salem-News.com
The Salafis justified their attack by recalling Kuntar’s allegiance to Shi’ism (he is a Druze convert) and his support for the Syrian government.
(BEIRUT, Lebanon) - The resistance hero, Samir Kuntar, who was imprisoned in Israel for 30 years on false charges and later released as part of a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hizbullah, narrowly escaped being lynched by a group of 500 Salafi thugs armed with swords, batons, knives and other weapons, on his recent visit to Tunisia (see Akhbar Arabic’s story here). Five others were injured, some seriously.
Akhbar reports that neither this nor other attacks have been deterred in the slightest by the Interior Ministry which is controlled by a Nahda official. The Salafis justified their attack by recalling Kuntar’s allegiance to Shi’ism (he is a Druze convert) and his support for the Syrian government.
Analysts point to a speech Kuntar made two days prior to the incident, when he called on al-Nahda leader Rachid al-Ghannouchi, to declare Tunisia a land of anti-normalization (with the Zionist entity) if he was indeed serious about liberating Palestine. Analysts say that this speech was regarded by some party cadres as a provocation which warranted a response.
This is of course over and above the perpetrators of the crime, who are affiliated with Saudi-funded Wahhabi movements in Tunisia.
Al-Akhbar also notes that the assault on Kuntar occurred a day after an Iranian band was prevented from playing in Kairouan because of the band’s Shiite identity. Shi’ites in Tunisia protested the ban but were then “fiercely” attacked using “threatening” language to “discipline” them by Al-Nahda supporters on a Facebook page.
Akhbar also notes that the attack on Kuntar further antagonized the large number of Tunisians [Akhbar uses the term Tunisian “street” which I always avoid] who oppose al-Nahda and hold it responsible for the assault on Kuntar.
About Amal Saad-Ghorayeb
I am a Lebanese academic who doesn’t belong to the Academy.
Although I will be contributing regularly to Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar English online newspaper, the views in my blog are entirely my own and do not reflect al-Akhbar’s editorial policy.
My Politics: Muqawama (military resistance), Mumana’a (anti-imperialist, anti-Zionist political resistance), Socialism, Greater Syria nationalism
Resistance isn’t merely my political position, it is my religion. Resistance is sacred for me—and by resistance I don’t mean the very flawed political participation of Hizbullah or Hamas or any other group in state institutions—I mean the armed resistance in Lebanon and Palestine. Palestine—and not just Jerusalem— is my Qibleh. It will forever be my priority, the most just of all just causes, the greatest injustice, if I must rank order them. According to my belief system, desecrating this cause consists in either associating oneself with Zionism or accusing the symbols of this resistance of such an association. Just as I respect everyone’s religion, I expect them to respect mine, even if they reject it. You may write any comments you want on my page so long as you respect my religion.
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