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Algeria: Islamic scholars say new constitution threatens the country’s future

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Flag of Algeria [File photo]

The association representing Islamic scholars in Algeria has expressed its reservations and concerns about some of the articles in the draft constitution which is due to be voted on in a referendum on 1 November. “These articles are a threat to the future of the nation,” said the association, “which everyone will be responsible for if we all keep silent or fail to draw attention to the danger and provide advice.”

A media statement was issued by the organisation following a meeting of its national officers on Monday. It confirmed that the scholars regard the articles in question as a threat to Algeria’s national identity and the status of Islam therein. “There is also ambiguity regarding issues such as freedom of worship, national unity and language.”

Making public schools “neutral” in terms of ideology, the scholars added, suggests an attempt to alienate younger generations from their identity and sense of belonging to their homeland. These, they pointed out, are the main pillars of society for raising good citizens and protecting the family structure from danger.

The association explained that the fundamental principle in writing a constitution is to use accessible terms with clear meanings in order to avoid multiple interpretations. It noted that the document stands as a country’s source of strength and integrity, through which it is able to be harmonious and cohesive, in addition to protecting society from all forms of division and conflict.

The scholars called on President Abdelmadjid Tebboune to take into account the seriousness of this threat and work on re-evaluating the draft document’s content. They also called on the Algerian people to be aware of the responsibility they are about to assume by voting on the constitution, so that they can choose what is best for their country.

READ: Algeria’s Tebboune: ‘Old corrupt system is over’

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