Tunisian artist Nadia Jelassi with two of the sculptures from her exhibit that were attacked by a hard-line Muslim group. Secular Tunisians and Islamists have clashed over multiple issues related to freedom of expression.
Tunisia was the birthplace of the Arab Spring last year, and many regard it as the most Western-looking nation in the Arab world. Yet it's also waging a roaring debate over how to define freedom of expression in an evolving society.
Tunisian protesters attacked the U.S. Embassy recently in response to the anti-Muslim video Innocence of Muslims. This was just the latest of several episodes in which hard-line Muslims have acted out publicly to what they see as attacks on their religion.
After the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya earlier this week, Google took down the YouTube video said to have sparked the violence — but only in Libya and in Egypt, where anti-American protests also flared up.
It's an example of the challenges of balancing U.S. free speech concerns and of something known as the "heckler's veto."
The Innocence of Muslims isn't the only YouTube video that can be seen in the U.S. but not elsewhere. Nazi propaganda is banned in Germany, for example, and slurs against Turkey's founder don't appear in that country.
Protesters carry an American flag pulled down from the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt on Tuesday.
Credit Nasser Nasser / AP
The First Amendment guarantee of free speech is in the spotlight this week. If you haven't kept up, a U.S.-produced filmdepicting the Prophet Muhammad in a less than flattering way has inflamed the Arab world.
In a lot of ways, the story is showing how the sweeping nature of the First Amendment puts the United States at odds with most of the world.
That rift was perhaps most evident when you compare the statements of Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and that of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.