The Ahmadis of Algeria: Government’s most convenient security threat?

Source: | By Jacob Lindelöw Berntson

Despite numbering in the few thousands, the followers of this Ahamdiyya Islam have been branded a major security threat by the Algerian state. Now, they are facing both a crackdown and a propaganda war.

Image result for ahmadiyya algeria

In the last six months, at least 70 individuals belonging to the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam have been arrested in Algeria. Mass arrests of Ahmadis seem to have commenced in early 2016, but took a more intense turn in July 2016 when Algerian authorities commenced a “dismantling procedure” of the group’s offices in Blida. According to some sources, this resulted in the arrest of hundreds of people.

On November, 20 Ahmadis were sentenced to prison in Skikda, and the following month 33 individuals were arrested in Sétif. In late February, there were reports of the group’s leader being arrested in Chlef. On 2 March the High Islamic Council of Algeria issued a fatwa calling for an end to “Ahmadi activities,” and on 13 March another 15 Ahmadis were arrested in Bejaïa.

As this has occurred, the Algerian government (or the pouvoir as the Algerians call it) has accused Ahmadiyya followers for promoting extremism and for practicing “suspect” and “foreign” religious rites.

What is peculiar with both the arrests and rhetoric is how sudden they have become commonplace. Although foreign media have shown little to no interest in Algeria’s Ahmadis, Algerian media now reports on new arrests virtually every week.

The Algerian government traces the presence of the Ahmadis in Algeria to the 1970s. So why has the group suddenly been seen as a security threat?

Algeria joins the club

The Algerian government was notified of the Ahmadiyya “threat” as early as 2013. Mohamed Aissa, the Minister for Religious Affairs and Waqf (endowments), said at the time that several sects threatened peace and national cohesion, listing Ahmadiyya in the company of … read more at source.

2 replies

  1. The Algerian Government makes themselves look silly. All Security Agencies of Western Countries have of course investigated all Muslim Groups, including Ahmadiyya, and all of them have come to the conclusion that there is nothing to fear from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, whose motto is ‘Love for All and Hatred for None’.

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