Light Church in Tizi-Ouzou, Algeria

Fundamentalists gain ground in Algeria as war memory fades

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Mosques are going up, women are covering up, and shops selling alcoholic beverages are shutting down in a changing Algeria where, slowly but surely, Muslim fundamentalists are gaining ground.

The North African country won its civil war with extremists who brought Algeria to its knees in the name of Islam during the 1990s. Yet authorities show little overt concern about the growing grip of Salafis, who apply a strict brand of the Muslim faith.

Algerians favoring the trend see it as a benediction, while critics worry that the rise of Salafism, a form of Islam that interprets the Quran literally, may seep deeper into social mores and diminish the chances for a modern Algeria that values freedom of choice.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    The fundamentalists will be tolerated until they threaten the power of the military. Then the bloodletting will begin again.

    • mobuyus


  • stubb

    All four major schools of Islam interpret the Koran literally. The Koran itself says that the most literal reading is to be preferred.

    • Alain


  • Blacksmith

    Laziness on the part of the people will be their downfall. The government will be complicit.