Algeria is a nation in the Maghreb region of North Africa, formally known as the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria. It is the ninth-most populous country in Africa. Algeria is home to nearly 43 million people (about twice the population of New York) and it is estimated that 99 percent of them practice Sunni Islam. Jews, Christians, Atheists, and Muslim minorities including Ahmadi and Shi'a Muslims make up the remaining 1% of the population.
There are three different perspectives on Islam, which has a significant political influence in Algeria.
- The first is the Islamist viewpoint, according to which Islam is seen as all-encompassing and must permeate every element of life, both public and private.
- The second is the secular perspective, which sees Islam as a code of conduct that permits some latitude.
- The third is the conventional viewpoint held by the elderly and residents of rural areas.