Tunisia Sacks Minister of Religious Affairs after anti-Saudi Remarks
Tunisia’s religious affairs minister was fired on Friday for “attacking the foundations of diplomacy” after he publicly suggested the conservative form of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia had links to extremism.
A government statement said Prime Minister Youssef Chahed had relieved Abdeljalil Ben Salem of his duties due to his “attack” on Tunisia’s diplomatic principles.
On Thursday Ben Salem confirmed during a parliament session that he had “dared” to question Riyadh’s ambassador to Tunis, as well as the secretary general of Arab interior ministers — a Saudi national — about Saudi Wahhabism being a “vehicle for terrorism”.
“I say to Saudis… reform your school because terrorism has historically come from it. I say this to you with love and modesty,” the minister said, according to the private Mosaique FM radio station.
Wahhabism, a radical and extremist school of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia, has been accused of inspiring extremist ideologies in the region.