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Algerian Government Fears Waves of Shi’ite Indoctrination of its People - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Algeria- 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 widespread wave of conversion into Shi’ism raging across mosques in Algeria.

Issa, on Wednesday, speaking to the national official radio station said that the waves of indoctrination staged by sects like Ahmadiyya or Shi’ites attempt to infiltrate the Algerian community. He further explained that the ideology background does not approve with moderate Islam believed in by most Algerians.

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 works on making a sectarian-spurred division amid the community. On the other hand, Islam adopted in Algeria is a moderate one and it coexists with other sects and religions.

The minister 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.

Clarifying the situation, Issa said that the Islam adopted in Algeria is the one descendant from Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) and exercised in Medina, the school of religion remains unaffected by ideology or political manipulation.

Recent declarations cited by the radio station looked into the initiatives launched by the conservative authorities concerning religious references. The national take on Islam was based on the fruitful efforts of historical Algerian scholars and on the Maliki school. A center for Maliki Fiqh was established as to deal with the modern development of the world –Fiqih is Islamic jurisprudence and the human understanding of the Sharia expanded and developed by interpretation of the Quran and Sunnah by Islamic jurists.

Issa underlined the founding of the national counter-extremism observatory in 2015. According to the minister, the observatory is missioned to take precautionary measures curbing sectarian perversion and all sorts of religious extremism protecting the coherent practice of Islam as a religion.

Security reports reveal that groups of Shi’ites are being involved in prohibited activities in mosques across Algeria, especially in Relizane Province, located 400 km west the capital. Nevertheless authorities made no arrests, keeping to a 24-hour monitoring of their moves and activities.

On the other hand, Minister Issa said that the government employed all financial and material capacities to support efforts on reviving national religion. Several institutions, councils and books have been launched to preserve the heritage and religion Algeria long knows and enjoys.

The ministry printed over 145 books, 68 of which deal with the Ijtihad of great sheikhs and Algerian religious scholars– Ijtihad is an Islamic legal term that means “independent reasoning” or “the utmost effort an individual can put forth in an activity, it is recognized as the decision-making process in Islamic law.