Tunisia: crusade against anti-Islam intellectual

Jelil Brick lives in France, his words spark anger

05 June, 17:47

(ANSAmed) - TUNIS, JUNE 5 - Jelil Brick has been living in France for over twenty years now after escaping the claws of Ben Ali's political police and has always remained faithful to his character: irreverent, torrential speaker, enemy of any form of dictatorship (political, economic, religious). Back in Tunisia he is both loved and hated, depending on what he says and it is not uncommon to see people venerate him one day and curse him the next. Also because Jelil Brick is the epitome of coherence, wrapped in cruel and surgical words.

Now Brick can count a few new enemies in his life, adding the Tunisian minister of Religious Affairs, who actually issued an official statement in which he condemns the intellectual for the reason that one of his many videos on the web (he has been posted on YouTube many times, the last one being out on his Facebook page) attacked in the following order, Allah, the Prophet Muhammad and his first wife, Aisha, towards which Islamists have a profound veneration.

The minister spoke heavily against Brick, basically accusing him of blasphemy and asking that all official steps be taken against him, resulting in the removal of his citizenship (he is still Tunisian) and the start of a penal inquiry, which will ask for his arrest and imprisonment into a Tunisian jail, certainly not a joyful pace to be.

No reaction has been made from Brick but there won't have to be much to wait because he has been one of the first to use the web as a launch pad for his ideas and use videos or audio streams to voice his thoughts against the establishment, always full of an aggressive humour.

Apart from the judgement one can give to the things he says and their value, Brick is a courageous man because he has been coherent all the way, he has never taken a step back. Not even when, last April, while he was seated at a bar on the Champs Elyse'e, he was attacked and knifed in the back by five or six young men sporting the unmistakeable long Salafi beard.

Just strictly the time to go into hospital, get his wounds ''stitched up'', take a few pain killers and he was on his way again, attacking and criticising those who are trying to turn Tunisia into a theocratic country. He knows all about violence because when he was still back in Tunisia he felt torture and cruelty on his own skin. Nevertheless he hasn't stopped and has picked up his road again. A hero, in his own way, celebrated by those who today try and oppose the advancement of ''a certain type'' of Tunisia. Reason for which hackers who cracked the website of an ultraconservative party or trade union organization, did so by posting a video by Brick, one of the many he recorded in his living room, often smoking his much loved cigarettes. We can sum up the man in one of his own quotes: ''I love women, beer, cigs and I can't stand Ennahdha.'' (ANSAmed).

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