PARIS- Algeria, in its new architecture for organizing the religious question, wants to consolidate an Islam of dialogue, openness to the world and modernity, said Minister of Maghreb Affairs and African Union and Arab League Abdelkader Messahel.
“The challenge is rehabilitating the traditional Islam based on tolerance and fraternity. The government’s action is designed to consolidate this Islam of dialogue, openness to the world and modernity. It also tends to sustainably address the ideological matrix of terrorism,” said the minister in an interview with the monthly Arabies which publishes a special issue on Algeria.
In this regard, he indicated that a set of long-term measures were applied like the “training of imams (scholars), the restoration of the mosque’s original mission of moderation and tolerance, the centralization of fatwa institution, the rehabilitation of zaouias (spiritual and social centres), the development of counter-speech which will value tolerant Islam and discredits the religious and political extremism, the creation of the Religious Extremism Observatory as well as a Academy of Fiqh (jurisprudence).”
“This new architecture on the organization of the religious sector, crowned by the underway construction of Algiers Grand Mosque (Djamaâ el Djazaïr) which will be at the centre of world spread of an Islam of tolerance and moderation,” he added, stressing that the overall strategy of the government “aims at protecting, in Algeria, the Muslim religion, the Islam of our predecessors as well as our youth from manipulation that can harm the religion itself, the national identity, the cohesion of people and country’s stability and security.”
Moreover, the minister stressed that in its policy of de-radicalization, Algeria attaches “great importance” to communication and “works to recast legislative and regulatory texts and the establishment of regulatory institutions”.
For him, the rule of law, good governance, social justice, participatory and inclusive democracy, Human rights promotion and the fight against social evils are all levers that contribute to the fight against the rooting of extremist discourses and against terrorism,” arguing that the absence of democracy “leads to exclusion and single discourse by terror and violence.”