Comics and related cartoons continue to cause problems in the Middle East. Tunisia, the country widely credited with setting off the “Arab Spring” in a relatively peaceful fashion earlier this year, is in an uproar after Marjane Satrapi’s animated film was shown last month and immediately set off a huge controversy for a scene which shows God — which, as you may have realized by now, is forbidden by some branches of Islam.

Nessma, the station which ran the film, is being sued for showing it — and the trial erupted in angry confrontations yesterday:

Critics accused station owner of Nabil Karoui of trying to inflame a tense pre-election environment in Tunisia and several suits were filed against him.

Karoui is accused of “attacks against sacred values and morals and disturbing the public order.”

In addition to the demonstrations, many of which had to be confronted by tear gas, Karoui’s home was attacked by a mob wielding petrol bombs.

“I am very sad when I see that the people that burned my house are free while I am here because I broadcast a film which was authorized,” he told journalists outside the courtroom.


  1. I wish people stopped considering the Bush administration’s definition and use of the term “The Greater Middle East”. Many of those countries have little in common except religion and in some cases Arab ethnicity.

    It’s more accurate to consider Tunisia as a part of the geographic region known as North Africa.