Category Archives: Algeria

The brutal world of sheep fighting: the illegal sport beloved by Algeria’s ‘lost generation’

Last August in Algiers, one week before the holiday of Eid al-Adha, men in tracksuits and trainers were guarding their sheep in anticipation of the fights to come. Kbabshis, as these men are known, scour villages looking for lambs that are fast, belligerent and shock-resistant. They then spend years raising them to be champion fighters. Coaches are tough but also surprisingly tender. They treat their sheep like mistresses, stopping by the garages where they install them, bringing food, caressing and massaging them before they head out together for long walks on the beach.

Share

Vatican recognizes Seven French monks beheaded by Muslims in Algeria as martyrs

The Vatican on Saturday declared seven French Trappist monks beheaded by Islamists in Algeria in 1996 as martyrs, paving the way for their beatification – the first step towards sainthood.

On the night of March 26-27th 1996, the monks were abducted from the Priory of Our Lady of Atlas in Tibehirine, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of Algiers, by members of the insurgent Armed Islamic Group of Algeria (GIA).

Their heads were discovered two months later and their death was announced by the GIA.

Share

Muslim art critic attacked a naked female statue with a hammer

Armed with a hammer and chisel, a man started attacking a statue on a fountain in the northern Algerian town of Sétif on Monday morning. The Ain El Fouara fountain is a symbolic statue in the town that has been vandalised before by strict Islamists. Passers-by watched as the man chiselled off the face and breasts of the female figure, before he was arrested.

Share

Algerians angry at France over ‘traitors’

A recent comment made on Twitter by France’s President Emmanuel Macron has angered many Algerians on social media.

During an official visit to Algeria this week, President Macron touched on a topic which is sensitive for many in the country which fought a bitter war of independence against France.

“Coming to terms with our past means finding a way forward for those who were born in Algeria to be able to return, whatever their background,” he wrote in a tweet.

It has been understood as an appeal to the Algerian authorities to allow the return of two groups, known as Harkis and Pieds Noirs.

Share

Psychiatrist Believes That Harkat Poses Little Risk

How could this go wrong?

A psychiatrist who has treated terror suspect Mohamed Harkat for the last eight years says the refugee from Algeria is unlikely to commit violent acts.

Dr. Colin Cameron told a Federal Court of Canada hearing Friday on Harkat’s release conditions that his patient supports democracy and expresses revulsion about terrorist attacks.

“I’m trained to be very skeptical of people,” Cameron told the court. “I’ve asked a lot of pointed questions to him.”

Harkat, who is closely monitored by Canadian border agency officials, wants general permission to use the internet outside his family home and to travel freely within Canada.

Authorities are asking the court to deny the requests and make only minor modifications to existing conditions, saying Harkat continues to pose a threat almost 15 years after being arrested.

As the two-day hearing wrapped up Friday, Justice Sylvie Roussel said she planned to issue a decision soon on whether to relax current restrictions.

Harkat, 49, was taken into custody in Ottawa in December 2002 on suspicion of being an al-Qaida sleeper agent but he denies any involvement in terrorism.

The federal government is trying to deport the former pizza-delivery man using a national security certificate — a legal tool for removing non-citizens suspected of ties to extremism or espionage.

He fears he will be tortured if returned to his Algerian homeland, something Cameron says Harkat has frequent nightmares about.

Share

Algeria’s Black Fear

Until recently, the Sahara desert has never been a destination for black African migrants, but as trans-Saharan travel from Niger to Algeria has increased due to closures of other migration routes to Europe, Algerian desert towns and cities have become the new landing spots for many black migrants. The “influx” of black migrants into the Sahara has sparked racial tensions between them and Arab North Africans, with numerous attacks by Arabs against black migrants occurring throughout Algeria. Anti-migration efforts have focused on the Sahara desert, the new path to Europe, deporting thousands of black African migrants from Algeria and “repatriating” or dumping them in Niger each year. Since Niger allowed Algerian authorities to cross into its territory to repatriate migrants in 2015, many black migrants have reported racist treatment from Algerian security forces during deportation, including theft and violence. In addition to direct police action against black migrants, Algerian officials have deployed xenophobic attacks against migrants in the press to drum up anti-migrant sentiment.

via TROP

Share

Algerian who was jailed for spraying food with faeces and urine still can’t be deported despite £250,000 legal battle to kick him out

  • Sahnoun Daifallah, 50, was jailed for nine years at Bristol Crown Court in 2009 for contaminating food, wine and books at four businesses in May 2008
  • He has been in immigration custody since February 2013, costing £155,000
  • Along with his estimated legal bills of £100,000, that’s a total of £250,000
Share

Algeria Islamists cause upset with “faceless” election posters

Two Islamist opposition parties in Algeria have posted faceless portraits of female candidates for May’s legislative election, upsetting state authorities which have ordered them to show the faces or be barred from the ballot.

The dispute reflects fear among many Algerians of any revival of political Islam in a country that balances religious conservatism with searing memories of its 1990s war against armed Islamist groups that killed 200,000 people.

The ultra-conservative Salafi strain of Islam, with its roots in Saudi Arabia, preaches religious purity and argues that their faith bans the faces of women being portrayed in public.

Election monitoring officials told Islamist opposition parties on Tuesday they had 48 hours to display the female candidates’ visages on campaign posters or their lists would be disqualified from the May 4 ballot.

Share

Police blow up suicide bomber in Algeria

A policeman managed to foil an attempted suicide attack in eastern Algeria on Sunday, opening fire on the bomber and triggering the explosives belt he was wearing, officials said.

The national police force said the attacker had been approaching a police station in the city of Constantine when he was shot by the officer.

“An officer who was in front of the police headquarters, underneath a building that is home to a dozen families, responded energetically and heroically after several warnings, targeting with precision the explosive belt worn by a terrorist,” police said in a statement cited by APS news agency.

Share

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.

Share

Algeria: Christian sentenced to five years in jail for “blaspheming” Islamic death cult

A Christian man charged with blasphemy has been sentenced to prison for five years after posting online about Jesus.

The man, who has not been identified, was arrested on July 31 and accused of blasphemy against Islam.

According to Middle East Concern, he had posted on social media “about the light of Jesus overcoming the lie of Islam and its Prophet”.

Despite not having a lawyer, the man was interrogated by a prosecutor on the day of his arrest and was given a hearing on Sunday, 7 August.

Share

Judges rule UK can’t deport 6 Muslim terrorists back to Algeria

Six Algerian terror suspects with links to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda are to be allowed to stay in Britain after the Home Secretary admitted defeat in a ten-year legal battle to deport them.

The move follows a challenge under the Human Rights Act which found that the men were at risk of torture if they were deported to Algeria.

Share

Black in Algeria? Then You’d Better Be Muslim

ORAN, Algeria — For a few years now, families of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa have been gathering at major street crossings in the large cities of northern Algeria. They come to beg for alms, wearing grotesque outfits: oversize veils for the women, even little girls; cotton djellabas for the men; prayer beads ostentatiously displayed. They say “Allah” too readily and misquote verses from the Koran.

Many black migrants, including those who are not Muslim, are deploying symbols of Islam to appeal to Algerians’ sense of charity. Why? Because poverty helps decode culture better than reflection does, and migrants, lacking shelter and food, are quick to realize that in Algeria there often is no empathy between human beings, only empathy between people of the same religion.

Another example: In October a Cameroonian woman was gang-raped in Oran by a group of men that threatened her with a dog. When she tried to file a complaint with the authorities, she was rejected on two main grounds: She had no papers, and she wasn’t a Muslim.

Share