“Practicing non-Muslim religious rites without a license.”
Islamic Tolerance Alert: “Algeria: Police Publicly Interrogate Ex-Muslim,” from Compass Direct News, June 2:
ISTANBUL, June 2 (Compass Direct News) — For two hours yesterday on a street in Tiaret in western Algeria, police body-searched and interrogated a former Muslim on trial for practicing Christianity, a Protestant leader said.
The incident occurred a day after Algeria’s top Islamic authority denied that the woman’s case violated religious freedom and claimed evangelization was “a new form of colonization.”
Five plainclothes officers stopped Habiba Kouider yesterday afternoon on a street in her home city of Tiaret, 150 miles southwest of Algiers, said the president of the Protestant Church of Algeria in an online statement.
After examining the contents of the Christian woman’s handbag, police officers body-searched her and then proceeded to interrogate her.
“Why did you convert to Christianity, why did you forsake Islam?” the officers asked, according to comments by Mustapha Krim, published on the website collectifalgerie.free.fr….
The Christian convert is on trial for “practicing non-Muslim religious rites without a license,” a charge that her lawyer says does not exist in Algerian criminal law. Police pulled her off an intercity bus outside of Tiaret on March 29 after finding several Bibles and books on Christianity in her bag.
Kouider said they were for personal use, but a Tiaret state prosecutor has claimed that she was distributing the literature to proselytize Muslims, outlawed under a 2006 religion law….