The Algerian government has begun using Radio Qur’an to broadcast Islam-based arguments against violence and extremism. Eager to combat the forces of extremism and terrorism in their country, Algerian authorities have enlisted the aid of the station to broadcast religious messages condemning the violent practices. Islamic scholars from Algeria and Gulf countries have appeared on Radio Qur’an to undermine the doctrinal bases used by al-Qaeda to justify its suicide operations in North Africa.
Though the FM station is only on the air from 5:00 AM to 11:00 AM, it has already had some impact on the anti-terrorist effort. Citing local and French security findings, Algerian newspapers reported recently that Radio Qur’an has played a pivotal role in recent months in convincing scores of armed men to lay down their arms and benefit from pardons under the laws of national reconciliation, adopted in 2005.
The Algerian government began the radio effort in an attempt to undermine the effect of al-Qaeda’s online dissemination of audio and video propaganda and training information. The terrorist group has also begun videotaping all its suicide operations and attacks in Algeria, making the footage freely available to citizens browsing Islamist websites. Some sites even provide videos formatted for viewing and transmission on mobile phones.