Algerian presidential hopeful Oussama Wahid vows to add 'sixth pillar of Islam'

Algerian presidential hopeful Oussama Wahid vows to add 'sixth pillar of Islam'
Oussama Wahid said he would add an extra pillar to the Muslim faith, bringing the total number to six should he win the presidential election.
2 min read
20 October, 2019
The presidential hopeful made the remarks on a television interview [Twitter]
A controversial Algerian journalist and presidential hopeful sparked outrage after suggesting he would add an extra sixth pillar to Islam if he wins the upcoming elections.

Oussama Wahid, said he would add the Arabic language as the sixth pillar of the faith, slamming those who do not speak the language as “unacceptable”.

In comments made during an interview on Beur TV, Wahid went further in saying those who struggle to speak Arabic, the official language of the holy Quran, “do not have a problem with Oussama Wahid but with Allah,” he says, referring to himself in the third person. 

“If you do not pray using Arabic, your prayers are not accepted. If you go to Hajj without taking part in Arabic chants, it is not accepted. If you recite the proclamation of Islam in Arabia, it is not accepted. Therefore, the Arabic language should be the sixth pillar of Islam,” Wahid says.

Algeria is to hold a presidential election on December 12, five months into a political vacuum which began when longtime leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned in the face of mass protests, his interim successor Abdelkader Bensalah announce last month.


The announcement came after army chief General Ahmed Gaid Salah, seen as Algeria's strongman since the fall of the ailing Bouteflika, insisted that polls be held by the end of 2019, despite ongoing protests demanding the creation of new institutions ahead of any elections.

Demonstrators are demanding key regime figures step down and an overhaul of political institutions before any polls, arguing an election under the current framework would only reinforce the status quo.

Gaid Salah earlier this month called for an electoral college to be summoned on September 15 so as to conduct an election within 90 days, in mid-December.

Presidential polls originally planned for July 4 were postponed due to a lack of viable candidates, plunging the country into a constitutional crisis as the 90-day mandate for Bensalah expired in early July.

The army's high command has rejected any solution to the crisis other than presidential elections "in the shortest possible time".

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