It is hard for the government to rouse itself to action against those who terrorize the people whom the Qur’an designates as the worst enemies of the Muslims (5:82).
Yamina Thabet, Head of Tunisian Minority Rights Group, Criticizes Government for Inaction Regarding Djerba Antisemitic Crimes
Following are excerpts from a statement made by Yamina Thabet, head of the Tunisian Association for Support of Minorities, which was posted on the Internet on October 2, 2013.
Yamina Thabet: We were told that there were many violent incidents against Tunisian Jews. In order to figure out what happened, I went to Djerba and came back yesterday. I wanted to collect the testimonies firsthand.
So what happened? As soon as I got there, I felt, for the first time, that Tunisian Jews were terrified. Never in my life, have I seen such fear.
The Jewish school and the synagogue were broken into. Two men broke into the synagogue. They managed to break the metal door. The wall and gate collapsed. This crime in the synagogue was committed in front of little children. The man who perpetrated this crime is now going around Djerba with a knife. I saw him with the knife yesterday in a coffeeshop. With the knife in his hand, he said: I am the new Hitler.
Who should assume responsibility? The state, of course. Where are all the politicians now? They had all been there to take photos with the Jews at El Ghriba Synagogue. Where are they when they are needed? Where are all the political parties, from the coalition and the opposition? Where is the Tunisian Constituent Assembly?
The Association for the Support of Minorities held a press conference today, because in the past three weeks, Tunisian Jews were harmed in incidents in Djerba. They were attacked during their holidays. Their synagogue was broken into, and a man was attacked in front of a group of terrified children. Girls were beaten when the men were in the synagogue. They used the opportunity, grabbed the girls, and beat them. They too were terrorized.
What made me worry and afraid is not just that they were attacked. I believe that all Tunisian citizens are subject to this [violence]. What worries me is that they were attacked because of their religion, and that the law is very lenient with the people who committed these crimes. A man is arrested and released after 24 hours, while others are imprisoned for who knows how long.
A man was released, and he goes around Djerba saying: I’m the new Hitler.