(Photo: An Algerian stands near the newly restored Notre Dame D’Afrique Basilica in Algiers December 13, 2010/Zohra Bensemra)
A Catholic church that has been a landmark in Algeria’s capital for over a century has officially re-opened after restoration work, providing a symbol of religious tolerance in the mainly Muslim country. Algeria is emerging from a nearly two-decade-long Islamist insurgency, but the Catholic community has maintained a presence, even though several Christian clergymen have been among hundreds of thousands killed in the violence.
(Photo: Customs officers inspect books purchased at an Islamic book fair in Algiers, searching for Salafist books, October 29, 2010/Zohra Bensemra)
(Photo: Sheikh Chemseddine Bouroubi, a well-known traditional Algerian imam, reads a religious book at a Salafist stand at a book fair in Algiers October 29, 2010/Zohra Bensemra)
Algeria is cracking down on imports of books preaching the ultra-conservative Salafist branch of Islam, officials and industry insiders say, in a step aimed at reining in the ideology’s growing influence.
(Photo: Algiers barricade by French settlers backing General Jacques Massu, January 1960/Michel Marcheux)
Nearly 50 years after Algeria won independence from France, the unhealed wounds of the war of decolonisation keep wrenching at French society and could play a key role in the 2012 presidential election.
Two Christian men on trial in Algeria for eating during daylight in the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan were acquitted on Tuesday, a verdict their supporters said was a triumph for religious freedom.
(Photo: Books by ultra-conservative Salafis are increasingly available in Algeria, 2 August 2010/Louafi Larbi)
In a bookshop in an eastern suburb of the Algerian capital, visitors can stroll in off the street and pick up titles such as “Our fight against the West,” and “Jihad according to Salafist principles.”