TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) â€” Tunisian authorities say all mosques and media calling for jihad are to be immediately closed in a bid to end a radical movement they fear will derail the nation’s move to democracy.
In justifying the move to close radical mosques, the government said it was not an act against religious worship, noting the state sponsored religion and fostered freedom of belief. Authorities also said some of the shuttered mosques celebrated the deaths of the slain soldiers.
It promised to re-open these places of worship as soon as they were neutralised and subject to the supervision of the state.
The government also closed two religious radio stations, Nour and al-Insen, for broadcasting speech calling for religious hatred and intolerance.
Tunisians welcomed the government’s action.
The problem for Muslims who insist that they can continue to lead a reasonable existence as Muslims — for the object of worship in Islam is Islam itself, and even less observant Muslims are determined to defend, by misstating the meaning and essence of Islam, that object of worship — is that other Musliims, many of them, and possibly many who were once just as unobservant or lax as could be, take Islam to heart. And when they take it to heart, whippped up by a particular imam at a particular mosque, or just at home, surfing the Internet, finding Youtube preachers and Qur’anic quotes that cannot be denied, and then, as they become ever more Muslim, taking its tenets ever more to heart, they become a mortal threat to those other Muslims who do not do so, but who cannot dare to admit to themselves that the problem is Islam itself.
HereÂ is what Tunisia has decided to do — to monitor the mosques, to shut down those that are deemed a threat. But that won’t be enough. Only complete monitoring of the mosques, possibly with required submission of sermons to be delivered at Friday Prayers, and with cameras recording what is said in those mosques, so the police can monitor them — only that might do, just a bit.