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Algeria Concerned over Mounting Shi’ite Influence on Its Territories | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Sunni worshippers eat breakfast after Eid al-Fitr prayers to mark the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan at a mosque in Baghdad July 17, 2015. REUTERS/Ahmed Saad

Algeria – Algerians have increasing concerns over the spread of Shi’ite influence in their country, as an extensive wave of conversion into Shi’ism is raging across mosques in Algeria.

In this context, the president of the High Islamic Council – the highest religious authority in the country – warned against attempts to destabilize the unity of the Algerian society.

In an interview with Al-Khabar local Algerian newspaper on Tuesday, Bou Abdullah Ghulamallah said “thousands of imported books carry dangerous thoughts that are aimed at convincing the Algerian people that their Islamic religion is wrong”.

“We don’t want the Algerians to be influenced by such thoughts,” he added.

In earlier remarks, Algerian Minister of Religious Affairs Mohammed Issa said that his country has been recently targeted by sectarian indoctrination far from the cultural and religious values which were inherited from Algerian Salaf (ancestors). The minister made a reference to the wave of conversion into Shi’ism raging across the country.

The minister further warned of radical extremism conveyed by those sects. The upsurge of conversion aims at diverting the people of Algeria from their main track and creating a sectarian-spurred division amid the community.

On the other hand, the Islam adopted in Algeria is a moderate one and it coexists with other sects and religions, the minister said.

He added that the socialist choice assumed by Algeria post the 1962 independence resulted in some countries presuming that Algeria is in need of being brought back into Islam. After such deductions, foreign ideologies and sects started pouring into the country.

Meanwhile, Algerian security reports said that Shi’ite groups were practicing illegal activities in some mosques across the country, noting that the authorities have not arrested any of them, but are closely monitoring their actions.