Thursday, May 3, 2012

Tunisian free speech, after revolution, tested by case involving Iranian film "Persepolis"

Apparently, the “Arab Spring” in Tunisia has not led to much freedom of speech. The Washington Post is carrying a couple major stories about the case of TV entrepreneur Nabil Karoui, who was fined for showing the Iranian animated film “Persepolis” (Movies blog, Jan. 26, 2008). He also faced personal attacks and vandalism and home and office, which police say they could not or would not control.

The latest Washington Post story by Marc-Fisher is here

There is a very long and detailed story on the front page of the printed Washington Post May 3.   The film (based on Shiite, rather than Sunni, culture) has a passage where the heroine appears to argue with Allah.
In Islamic states emerging after revolution, there seems to be a prevailing belief that “free speech” does not include criticizing the religious beliefs of others. 

That’s interesting in that Edward O. Wilson’s recent book “The Social Conquest of Earth” views religion as a way of bonding people together even if some of the beliefs are “irrational”. 

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