Demonstrations outside Tunisian TV station that aired program depicting God

Police fired tear gas at hundreds of people demonstrating against a private television station accused of blasphemy for airing a film with an image of God.

The demonstrators, mainly conservative Muslim Salafists, protested against Nessma television for the second time in a week after it broadcast “Persepolis”, a globally-acclaimed animated film on Iran’s 1979 revolution.

The demonstration had begun peacefully at a central Tunis mosque after Friday prayers, with men and women chanting against Nessma.

Traders shut up shop as the group approached government offices.

The rally grew tense as protesters approached the Kasbah area of Tunis where the main government buildings are located.

Police fired tear gas as a group of radical protesters approached the seat of the government and pursued several demonstrators who had taken refuge in a local mosque.

Nessma head Nebil Karoui apologised on Tuesday for broadcasting the film, but most mosque preachers Friday devoted their sermons to the issue.

The offending scene of the animated film concerns an image of God, of whom all depictions are forbidden by Islam, as an old, bearded man.

RTE

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