Tunisia Shia Figure: “Being Shia is forbidden in Tunisia”
On the occasion of 5th General Assembly of Ahlul Bayt (a.s) World Assembly we was lucky enough to have the opportunity to speak with Shia figures who gathered together in Tehran, the capital of Iran.
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Ahlul Bayt News Agency has an exclusive interview with Hasan Bin Hamood Tunisian Shia figure about Shia conditions in his country.
“No one knows the exact population of the Shia in Tunisia, due to the bad conditions and limitations for this minority sect. Tunisian government banned the promotion of Ahlul Bayt (a.s) school of thought,” Hasan Bin Hamood Tunisian Shia said.
Hassan, who was experiencing his first trip to Iran, mentioned the Wahhabi thought as a dominant thought in Tunisia and added: “Because of widespread propaganda against Iran, I was frightened before coming to Iran. But when I came to Iran, your country changed my fake thought. Iran is a good and developed country with good people, rich civilization and good architecture.”
In a response to ABNA question about his religion before converting to Shia Islam, Hasan Bin Hamood, said: “I was a Sunni Muslim and converted to Shia.”
“Sunni Islam is the official religion of Tunisia and being Shia Muslim is forbidden. If the government knows you are a Shia they would throw you in jail. Shia don’t have party in my country. We can't say 'I am a Shia Muslim' in Tunisia, we can't do our religious rituals; we can't do anything for our sect. Internet is the only way for Tunisian Shia to express themselves. Sites like facebook or twitter are so beneficial.” talking about tense situation of Shia Muslim in Tunisia he added.
Hassan inspired by Islamic Revolution of Iran and specially the character of late Imam Khomeini found his way to become a Shia Muslim, said: “When I was young I heard about Imam Khomeini and I read his books, so through Imam Khomeini's books I became familiar with Ahlul Bayt (a.s). Imam Khomeini was our leader. If you ask Tunisian ‘Do you know Iran?’ they might reply no, but if you ask about Imam Khomeini everybody knows him.”
He asked the Assembly to provide the learning materials for improving the religious belief of Tunisian Shia and expressed: “We expect the organizations like Ahlul Bayt (a.s) World Assembly to gives us more information about history of Ahlul Bayt (a.s) by sending books, lunching Shia media, etc.”