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Minister of Religious Affairs tells imams to preach moderation and tolerance

February 17, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Tunisia’s Minister of Religious Affairs, Noureddine Alkhademi, has given instructions to the country’s imams to present a moderate and tolerant discourse so that they serve Tunisian society’s aspirations of reform, development and peace.

Speaking to participants at the imam summer school, held in Sousse, Mr. Alkhademi referred to the ministry’s reform plan with regard to religious affairs and the pivotal role of the imam. The programme at the summer school includes a focus on post-revolution religious extremism and ways to counter its effects.

Observers have commented that since the success of the Tunisian revolution, excesses in religion have grown, creating confrontations between supporters of the Salafi movement and security forces in a number of cities; and between secularists and religious groups.

The current Tunisian government, led by the Islamist Al-Nahda Party, rejects security confrontation with the Salafis. It believes that addressing “extremism” should be done through a holistic approach, in which maintaining respect for law and order is part of the solution but not the whole solution.