During the summer of 2011, the University of Algiers and Binghamton University undertook a public opinion survey of youth in Algeria to assess their views of Sufism and Salafism and governmental policy towards religion in Algeria. In this survey that included more than 2000 respondents
from all regions of the country, an analysis of the data obtained reveals mass disillusionment among youth with both political parties and religious institutions in the country. This widespread disenchantment may explain why we have not observed high levels of social mobilisation in Algeria
in the wake of the 2011 revolutions and revolts known as the ‘Arab Spring’. Our survey reveals that Algerian youth see Sufi organisations as oriented towards peaceful change, yet they also see Sufis as practitioners of unacceptable religious practices (bidaa). The majority
of respondents also believe that the government's support of Sufi orders involves a political effort to increase the ruling party's chances of electoral success while deflecting Salafist critiques of government.
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Document Type: Research Article
Department of Philosophy,University of Algiers II, Algiers, Algeria
Department of Political Science and Sociology,SUNY, Binghamton,NY, USA
Department of Sociology and Religious Studies,University of Blida, Blida, Algeria
Publication date: 01 June 2012