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Tunisia Harlem Shake Dancer Beaten Up By Religious Extremists: Tunisian Student Receives 12 Stitches For Dancing In Protest [VIDEO]

By Jesse Lent | March 06, 2013 02:07 PM EST

A student in Tunisia doing the "The Harlem Shake" received 12 stitches on his head after being beaten up by religious extremists in the coastal town of Mahdia.
(Photo : YouTube "The Controversia)

A student in Tunisia doing the "The Harlem Shake" received 12 stitches on his head after being beaten up by religious extremists for doing the dance in the coastal town of Mahdia, according to the Associated Press.

Similar violent outbursts caused by "The Harlem Shake" have also reportedly taken place in the Tunisian town of Sousse as well as the city of Sfax.

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Police have been forced to move in after protestors doing "The Harlem Shake" sparked violent outrage among extremists.

Already an international viral video dance craze that has been called this year's "Gangnam Style," the song has taken on a political significance in Tunisia, as it has become a polarizing issue for secularists and Islamists across the country.

In 2011, Tunisian Islamists overthrew their repressive secular government. Since then, violent clashes have erupted as the Islamists challenge many secular traditions within the country, sometimes violently.

"This dance for us represents a way to vent, to forget for a little while all the stress we've been under for the past year," 21-year-old student Sabiha told the AP.

Sabiha was protesting Friday in front of the country's Education Ministry, where she performed "The Harlem Shake."

Another protestor, Saber, 24, says the song represents the freedoms won in the 2011 revolution.

"We wanted to take advantage of our newfound freedoms thanks to the revolution, after the years of harassment and repression," Saber said.

"Harlem Shake" videos have flooded YouTube, ever since user The Sunny Coast Skate posted the original clip on February 2.

In the dorm room video, a lone dancer wearing a motorcycle helmet dances to Brooklyn trap and bass artist and producer Baauer's song "The Harlem Shake."

In what has been become the template for thousands of copycat videos across the globe, when the song reaches the line "do the Harlem Shake," everyone in the background, previously sitting around motionless, dances like the world is ending.

YouTube estimates over 12,000 "Harlem Shakes" videos uploaded to the site, with as many as 4,000 uploaded in one day. Together, the videos have received 44 million views.

The Tunisian violent reaction over protestors doing "The Harlem Shake" is not the first controversy the viral video has caused.

Last month a senior at Forest Hills High School in Queens was arrested for arranging a "Harlem Shake" flash mob, according to DNAinfo.

Last week, The Federal Aviation Administration announced it is investigating a "Harlem Shake" video taken aboard Frontier Flight 157.

On Friday, 400 protestors gathered outside Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's headquarters in Cairo and did "The Harlem Shake," according to The Daily Mail.

"Leave! Leave!" the protestors chanted.

See the Tunisians sheik their booty in "The Controversial Harlem Shake Edition-"Pere blanc" Tunisia" RIGHT HERE


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