Bishop Bill Musk spent the afternoon of (Western) Palm Sunday joining the Tunisian “March for Bardo” with some of our Arabic congregation members. The atmosphere was relaxed but serious, as participants were deeply aware that the solidarity march came about because of the tragic events at the Bardo Museum on March 18, 2015, in which ISIS affiliates opened fire on museum visitors, killing twenty-one tourists and one policeman.
The event, led by Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi, included thousands of people and was joined by a number of dignitaries, including French president, Francois Hollande, Polish president, Bronislaw Komorowski; Matteo Renzi, the Italian prime minister; Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority; and Algeria’s prime minister, Abdelmalek Sellal.. There were huge posters containing the photograph of two politicians murdered by extremists since the Tunisian Revolution.
The march was organized by the Tunisian government to bring Tunisians together against extremist violence. Bishop Bill writes that “for most Tunisians, the events at the Bardo are a grievous offence to their tradition of hospitality and welcome… Since [the attack], many Tunisians have gripped my hand for longer than usual and acknowledged in different ways the shame they feel that innocent tourists should honour their country by coming here, and especially by visiting the beautiful Bardo museum, only to die there. It is unthinkable and words cannot really say enough.”
With Bishop Bill and thousands of Tunisians, we pray for peace for the families of those killed in the attack, for the leaders of Tunisia, for the nation, and for the Middle East.