even Algerian churches face closure this week after the governor of their province sent them written notice that they were operating “illegally.”
The notice on Sunday (May 22) from Police Chief Ben Salma, citing a May 8 decree from the Bejaia Province governor, also states that all churches “in all parts of the country” will be closed for lack of compliance with registration regulations, but Christian leaders dismissed this assertion as the provincial official does not have nationwide authority.
“All buildings permanently designated for or in the process of being designated for the practice of religious worship other than Muslim will be permanently closed down in all parts of the country, as well as those not having received the conformity authorization from the National Commission,” Salma stated in the notice.
Siagh Krimo, an Algerian Christian, was sentenced to five years in prison on May 25 after he shared his faith with a neighbor. Krimo was sentenced under the nation’s blasphemy law, which prohibits actions that “insult the prophet [Muhammad] and any of the messengers of God, or denigrate the creed and precepts of Islam, whether by writing, drawing, declaration, or any other means.”
That “moderate” Algeria…
(I’m sorry for not posting… and I hope I can return shortly… 😉 ).
According to newspaper El-Watan, the soldiers were attacked on Thursday when a military convoy was passing by the forest region Yakuren between Tizi Uzu and the neighboring province of Bejaia.
On October 3, five soldiers were killed in another attack in the Islamist same region, a stronghold of groups linked to al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb.
(Translated by T&P).
Another example of “respect” for non-Muslims. ABC.au:
Two Algerian Christians have been tried for breaking Ramadan fasting rules, with hundreds of people protesting outside the courtroom against judicial authorities.Hocine Hocini, 44, and Salem Fellak, 34, were arrested on August 13 on the building site where they worked in the northern region of Kabylie after they were spotted eating lunch.The pair admit to eating but insist it happened in a discreet place.Muslims are not allowed to eat during daylight hours during the Ramadan holy month.In Algeria breaking the fast can be punished with three months in jail.
The prosecutor has actually asked for that punishment.
Lesueur, a general delegate at the Thomas More Institute, said the EU had a role to play in putting an end to the conflict between Morocco and Algeria over Western Sahara, a 266,000 square-kilometre territory that has been a bone of contention between the two countries.
According to him, the new distribution of portfolios within the European Commission should accelerate progress, as several commissioners are concerned by the issue. He also proposed to appoint a coordinator.
“We urge the EU to reinvest itself in the region and place its relations with the Maghreb at the top of its agenda,” he said.
Moreover, “the EU should help projects and business development,” he said, stressing the importance of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), launched in 2008 under the French EU Presidency.
On migration, Lesueur explained that Morocco had problems similar to those faced by Europe in dealing with its southern neighbourhood. As sub-Sahel migrants move north to reach Europe, “Maghreb countries are transforming themselves into transit countries, and are also slowly turning into host countries,” he said, remarking that thousands of Senegalese are currently living in Algerian capital Tangiers.
This, he argued, highlights the common challenges faced by Europe and the Maghreb, as he says the countries in the region may soon start experiencing ethnic tensions and even racism.
To deal with such problems, Lesueur says the EU’s Frontex agency should open offices in the South Sahel region and work in close cooperation with Maghreb countries. “It is not sufficient to return illegal migrants from Spain to Morocco,” he stressed.
In reality, he said the EU’s migration policy “is being played out in Nouakchott [Mauritania] and Dakar [Senegal],” not on the island of Lampedusa, south of Sicily. “Lampedusa represents the failure of the EU’s migration policy,” he said.
Similarly, he said European security and anti-terrorism policy is not being played out at the EU’s southern borders, but 3,000 kilometres away. “In the anti-terrorism area, Algeria and Morocco have pretty well cleared Al Qaeda off the ground,” he remarked. But the organisation has now retreated further south to Mali, Cameroon and Senegal, he said.
So the EU is beginning to act protecting countries which are not inside the EU. I think we have enough problems inside our borders which are not solved by now, to defend countries which are not inside those borders. But I’m sure this is just the next step after the “United Economic Space”, negotiated with Morocco.
There are a lot of people worried about Turkey entering EU. Morocco should also worry every free citizen: a theocracy with no possibility of changing into a democracy, expelling Christians for “proselityzing”, mistreating homosexuals, opponents to the regime (specially Saharauis) or who demonstrate against fasting in Ramadan and shutting down (or banning) MSM for insulting Islam or the King. An ideal partner…
Besides, if Islam/Shariah is the Law’s source in these states, I’m sure the measures taken will be different. Or not?
“Spain is the last ring of Salafism in Europe“. This appears written in a confidential report of the Italian Prosecutor’s office from 2001 and sums up the huge spread of this Islamist group in the country. This same group has kidnapped 3 volunteers in Mauritania.
A group funded and formed by recruits belonging to different cells and their supporters in Spain. A group which has its more productive and comfortable European basis in Spain, after France.
Last reports sent to Spanish Government by the National Inteligence Center (CNI), the General Police and Civil Guard Information Office point out that Spain is a “recruitment ground” and “constant source of funding” of AQIM (Al-Qaeda for an Islamic Maghreb). There are around 30 open investigations now in Spain about Islamist terrorism which have this group as their target.
The author of this Italian report about Salafism explained how since the late 90s, the leaders in Europe of the Hassan Hattab’s cells, the then leader of the Salafist Group for the Preaching and Combat (GSPC), ended up taking refuge in Spain, attracted like a magnet.The members of AQIM that kidnapped Alicia Gómez, Roque Pascual and Albert Villalta since Nov 29th, have a lot of “brothers” that are now waiting to be judged or imprisoned for belonging to this “organization”, according to Penitentiary Institution’s sources. Most of them are Algerians, but there are also Moroccans and Tunisians. Continue reading
The locations of the attacks, and the audacity in which they were carried out, certainly grabbed attention. The ambush in Tipaza brought the violence to a peaceful region to which residents of Algiers flock at weekends to use the beaches.
At least one European embassy responded by ordering its staff not to travel to Tipaza, one diplomat said.
“There has been a redeployment of al Qaeda forces over the territory with the focus on regions which used to be seen as safe such as Tipaza and Bordj Bou Arreridj,” said Boualem Ghomrassa, a security analyst with El Khabar newspaper.
The tactics deployed by al Qaeda’s North African wing have been evolving in other areas too.
Two sources close to the security forces told Reuters the group had revamped its structure, scrapping the previous system of nine geographical zones, each with a commander or “emir”, in favour of a streamlined system with four zones.
The group also appears to have decided to drop its previous tactic of mounting suicide attacks because the civilian casualties were alienating supporters.
But being that worrying, it only points to one fact, experts say. AQIM is weakening by the day in Algeria, attacking other countries on the area (such as Mauritania recently). The interesting thing, however, is that in several subjects (such as religious persecution, women’s rights, nightlife and Islamic dress), Algeria is implementing, very swiftly and with hardly any kind of international notice, Islamic law in all respects. So it’s not that AQIM’s violent tactics were “alienating supporters“, but rather that their own goals of building an Islamic society in the Maghreb are fulfilling themselves without having to employ terror tactics.