Algerian Government Soothes Muslim Clerics

Algeria has long been a nation in which both Muslim and western traditions and values coexist. Even during the violent civil war which ripped Algeria in the 1990s, bars and restaurants were open as moderate Muslims wanted to demonstrate they would not be terrified by Muslim fanatics. However, in the past year at least 40 bars and restaurants in Algiers have closed due to pressure from militant Muslim clerics who want to rid the city of any western influences. The North African country historically had a history of tolerance and support for secular ideas, but this time round, the government is attempting to wean more conservative people from fundamentalist clerics by acting conservative.

Groups of Algerian Muslims have been placed on trial because they converted to the Christian faith and censorship of sexual content on TV has been strengthened. The government is pushing a “National Reconciliation” approach which has been somewhat successful but it comes at the price of taking away freedom from many secular Muslims and Christians.