The Black Flag in Tunisia
The photo was taken in Yemen, but the same flag is used in Tunisia
By: Shatha Al-Harazi
I was wondering around the city in Tunis streets with my Tunisian friend Nadia, When she told me that there is something interesting happening if my journalistic curiosity urges me to attend an event. The event was organized by new Islamic group. My answer was positive of course. I wanted to see what kind of events they “the Tunisian Islamist” organize, how many people will attend and how strong their speech will be. I wanted to study the audience reaction rather than the group’s Message.
The Islamic group called themselves Al-Naseeha association, which means advice association in English. Nadia simply said that she felt humiliated by the name.
“They simply tells you that you are immature enough to understand anything, that you need them to advice you in your daily life” she said angrily, “The name shows how they feel superior to us, Tunisia is not the right place for them or for any extremist acts”. That reaction was only to the name of the association.
We then went; Nadia felt uncomfortable to attend especially that she does not cover her hair. So I went by my own.
At first, It was shocking to see the black flag that has the Islamic testimony written on it in white. the color of the flag is what turns one from one group to another. The Saudi Arabia kingdom’s flag for example is almost the same of the one I saw in Tunisia but the Saudi flag is green.
In Yemen terroristic groups in the south such as Ansar Al-Share’a have the same one in black. That makes me wonder who founded this black flag from the first place.
The flag is a very important item for a new group to announce themselves. It is what stuck in ones mind and summarize the group, did not they know what this flag is known for!! All what it takes is one minute of googling. Unless they wanted to show that they are affiliated to the same aims the Yemeni groups use this flag for.
The audience was really small not more than 20 people all with beards, a closed part was meant to be for female audience although they are already covered, even their eyes are not shown.
As the conference was in an open space close to the metro station I got the chance to see every day Tunisians passing by and watching the flag and the loud Islamic songs in shock. This gives the observant the immediate feelings how strange these acts are to the Tunisian society.
Reuters reported two days ago that a new Islamic foundation was found in Tunisia to do the same duties The Saudi Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. I wonder how the Tunisian accept it. As in Yemen, a more religious, conservative society it did not work