counterterrorism

Algeria presents deradicalization experience to US imams

Minister of Religious Affairs, Mohamed Aissa, affirmed, on Sunday, that the visit of a delegation of US imams to Algeria was an opportunity to “present Algeria’s deradicalization experience.”

In a statement following his meeting with a delegation of seven imams from Berkeley Center for International Relations at the University of California in Los Angeles, Mohamed Aissa said that the visit “is part of the agreement sealed between the Ministry and the Under-Secretary of State in February 2016, and will be an opportunity to present Algeria’s experience in terms of deradicalization.”

“Algeria’s experience will be presented to the US delegation, notably the national reconciliation, which was an opportunity to show the true image of Islam, a religion that can never be linked with terrorist attacks, and preserve its children by instilling in them the national moderate referent,”. “The Muslim community in the US will take advantage of this experience,” said the Minister Aissa.

The US seven imams delegation took part in a workshop on religions dialogue in Algiers, and led Friday prayers at the Al-Khalafah Al-Rashidin Mosque near Kennedy Square in ElBiar, Algiers. The lecture was delivered by the president of the Association of Algerian Muslim Scholars, Prof. Dr. Abdel Razzaq Gassoum.

They visited some heritage and history sites and monuments in Algiers such as the Martyr Monument, Casbah, and Ketchaoua Mosque. They have also been to the under construction Great Mosque of Algiers.  The US imams paid a visit to Zaouia Belkaidia in Oran. They were also welcomed by the Wali of Tlemcen province. They will visit other provinces.

This visit will be an opportunity for the US delegation to learn and benefit from the Algerian experience in dealing with the impact of extremism and promoting religious tolerance. They will have a firsthand idea on the significant efforts Algeria is deploying in fighting terrorism and violent extremism.

Also, this program will enlighten the US imams visitors, and through them, the Muslim community in US and all Americans on true Islam.

This experience will certainly expand the Algeria’s open doors to build connections and bridges between the Algerian and the American people.