Thousands of Tunisians rally against extremism

AP News
Posted: Oct 16, 2011 12:56 PM
Thousands of Tunisians rally against extremism

More than 2,000 Tunisians have marched in favor of a secular state that allows press freedom and other rights. The demonstration is a response to protests and violence by Islamist extremists.

Tensions are high ahead of an Oct. 23 vote to elect an assembly charged with writing a new constitution.

The vote follows the uprising that ousted Tunisia's autocratic leader in January and sparked the Arab Spring.

Under a tight police escort, artists and intellectuals and others gathered Sunday in Tunis behind a banner that read "Give me liberty" and chanted against violence, extremism and state repression.

New, ultraconservative groups of Muslims known as Salafists have attacked movie theaters and TV stations in recent days for showing material they say denigrates Islam.