“Qaws Quzah,” the Arabic for “Rainbow” is a popular magazine for children in Tunisia and has been in circulation for decades. The primary audience for the magazine is aged between 5-15 years. The magazine may now be prosecuted as its latest issue featured a history of petrol bombs in its “Knowledge Corner” complete with detailed instructions on creating a petrol bomb and a diagram. Writing on a petrol bomb, the article says, “It is an improvised weapon that is often used in riots and acts of sabotage because it is easy to make and use.”
However, in a country, which is still trying to suppress the unrest after last year’s revolution, letting know-how of bombs into the hands of kids is unnerving.
The Ministry for Women and Family Affairs said the article “encourages violent and terrorist thought” and also endangers the lives of children by “encouraging the use of Molotov cocktails in acts of vandalism or terrorism.” The Ministry said it would request an investigation into the matter and ask a magistrate to open a case against the publishers and all involved in the issue.
Petrol bombs have been a weapon of choice in Tunisia’s revolution that led to a democratic election of a moderate Islamist party. However, violence with extreme religious groups persists and homemade petrol bombs continue their popularity.
While specific charges against the publishers of the magazine have not yet been drawn, there is a possibility that ‘incitement to violence’ would provide a cause of action. The specific charges in the matter would rest upon the presiding judge.
Tunisia’s revolution was the first successful movement of the Arab Spring.