Ahmadiyya, a minority Islamic sect have raised concerns after falling victim to Algeria’s controversial crackdown on religious minorities.
Algerian newspaper EnNahar revealed that the crackdown against the Ahmadis in Algeria started in the first week of June, the investigation was spread over three states and during the course of the investigation the security forces raided the Ahmadiyya sect’s headquarters in the state of Blida.
During the month-long crackdown dozens of Ahmadis were arrested and charged with violating social peace, and the under construction community center in the state of Blida was also demolished by the local Municipality.
Algeria’s Ministry of Religious Affairs stated that in 2013 it received communication from the Algerian Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, warning them of the risk posed by the spread of Ahmadiyya in North African countries including Algeria.
Algerian Minister of Religious Affairs Mohamed Issa said “a deviant religious sect called ‘Qadiani’ or ‘Ahmadis’ which is well-known in Pakistan and the Gulf states is now spreading to Northern Africa including Algeria, The Government is concerned that this band of Islam is becoming popular among the population, especially young people.”
He acknowledged that the Ahmadis were planning to open a community center for the 1,000 strong Algerian Ahmadiyya community.
Adding that “security forces have succeeded in dismantling their network because they dared to create their headquarters and announce their presence without waiting for the necessary licenses, and documents which proved it’s existence and its affiliates.”
In a later interview, the Minister explained that “the Ahmadiyya have been present in Algeria since the seventies, and they have more sense of belonging”