Tunisian faces inquiry in veil dispute

A Tunisian opposition activist who criticised his country's campaign against the Islamic veil in an interview with Aljazeera has been summoned to face a judicial investigation.

    Tunisia describes the headscarf as a sectarian form of dress

    Munsef al-Marzouqi is accused of inciting violence and is due to stand before an investigative judge in Tunisia on October 21.


    Al-Marzouqi told Aljazeera that he was in Paris and would return to Tunis on October 21 to attend the investigation.
    He described the charges as an attempt by the Tunisian authorities to scare him, but said he was determined to return to his country at any cost.

    Tunisian police have recently launched a crackdown on women wearing Islamic veils to impose a ban introduced in the 1990s, prohibiting them from wearing headscarves in public places.

    Headscarf "uninvited"

    Tunisian officials describe the Islamic dress as being promoted by extremists who exploite religion for their political ambitions.

    Zine El Abidine bin Ali, the Tunisian president, describes the headscarf as a sectarian form of dress which has come into Tunisia uninvited.

    In the 1990s he moved to crush Tunisia's main moderate Islamic movement following the outlawing of the militant Islamist party Ennahda.

    The campaign by the north African Islamic country has triggered some Islamic scholars and human rights activists to denounce the move as un-Islamic and unconstitutional.

    But, Abdelwahab Abdallah, the Tunisian foreign minister, told a meeting of the governing ruling party that Tunisia was "proud and attached to Islam and does not need anyone to give it lessons about the fundamentals of religion".

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


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