Abd al-Hamid Ibn Badis
Islamic reformer, national leader, and head of the Association of Algerian Ulama (AAU). Received a traditional education in Tunis and returned to Algeria to teach. Founded a weekly paper, The Critic, that disseminated Salafi ideas and attacked the “un-Islamic” practices of Sufi orders. In 1931 Ibn Badis and other religious scholars formed the AAU, which promoted the Arab and Islamic roots of the Algerian nation, reform and revival of Islam, and criticism of the Sufi orders and assimilationists. He blamed the decline of Muslims on internal weakness, disunity, despotism, and the adoption of non-Islamic practices, and stressed education to purify Islam from popular accretions and improve the condition of the individual as a step toward reviving the entire society. Offering a modernist interpretation of the Quran, Ibn Badis' major contribution lies in linking reform and education with the promotion of an Algerian nationalism.