Female religious guides read the Quran at the Ennidal Mosque in Algiers. AFP/FAROUK BATICHE
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Hundreds of female religious guides have been at the forefront of Algeria's battle against Islamic radicalization since the civil war that devastated the North African country in the 1990s.Their aim is to steer women away from false preachers promoting radical forms of Islam.Known as "mourshidat," the women's goal is to spread the good word of Islam and a message of tolerance, helping those who have strayed from it.Like the other 300 mourshidat appointed by the Religious Affairs ministry, she holds a degree in Islam and has learned the Quran by heart.Samia, another mourshida who decline to give her surname, says she has been working for the past 15 years in a region of Algeria where youths, both boys and girls, have been increasingly radicalized.Like Samia, many mourshidat say they are proud to have contributed to help youths from falling into the grips of radical Islamists.
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