Algeria’s Salafis Seek Approval for New Political Party

Algeria’s Salafis, who adhere to an ultraconservative interpretation of Islam, requested Interior Ministry approval to form a political party, a spokesman said.

Rejecting the application could have serious consequences, said Abdelfattah Hamadache Zeraoui, a Salafi spokesman, in a telephone interview.

“If the regime doesn’t accept peaceful Salafis, then only Salafis that believe in violence will emerge,” Zeraoui said. “We represent a large portion of the population and will operate peacefully within the law.”

Zeraoui is a former activist with the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), a political party banned in Algeria in 1992 after the military intervened and canceled elections FIS was poised to win. It led to the Algerian civil war.

To contact the reporter on this story: Salah Slimani in Algeria at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at

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