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Algerian Imams take to streets in protest at 'aggression' against them

Demonstrations in Algiers, Algeria on 19 January, 2017 [Bechir Ramzy/Anadolu Agency]
Demonstrations in Algiers, Algeria on 19 January, 2017 [Bechir Ramzy/Anadolu Agency]

Imams in Algeria's Skikda Province took to the streets on Tuesday in protest at the increasing acts of aggression committed against them while leading prayers and preaching in their mosques, local media reported. A protest led by the head of the National Committee for Imams, Shaikh Jaloul Hjeemi, was held in front of the Islamic Cultural Centre in the centre of the province.

This came a day after a meeting held to discuss the issue of public aggression against Imams. The scholars called on the Algerian authorities and President to intervene urgently. The Imams called for new laws to protect them and stop such attacks.

According to Hjeemi, the rise in attacks is a "strange" and "embarrassing" issue. He insisted that this is not part of Algerian culture.

In recent weeks, Imams in Skikda and Wahran provinces have been attacked. The attacks were carried out within and outside mosques by "Shia, Ahmadists and defectors of the Sunni Muslims," added Hjeemi. He stressed that the Imam, who has until very recently always been a well-respected person in the local community, must be protected.

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