Algeria Unveils World’s Third-Largest Mosque 

Algeria officially inaugurated the world’s third-largest mosque, named Djamaa El-Djazair, and Africa's largest ahead of the holy month of Ramadan.

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Algeria Unveils World's Third-Largest Mosque 
The Djamaa El-Djazair, or Algiers Great Mosque, is seen Wednesday, Feb.21, 2024 in Algiers. Begun in 2012, the Great Mosque of Algiers boasts a giant 265 meter (290 yard) minaret and a capacity for 120,000 faithful.(AP Photo/Anis Belghoul)

Algeria officially inaugurated the world’s third-largest mosque, named Djamaa El-Djazair, and Africa’s largest, with a towering minaret at 265 meters (869 feet), ahead of the holy month of Ramadan. The ceremony was led by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, marking a significant milestone for the North African nation.

Built over seven years, the Grand Mosque of Algiers spans 27.75 hectares (almost 70 acres) along the Mediterranean coastline. It features a modernist design adorned with wood and marble, incorporating Arab and North African influences. The majestic structure can accommodate 120,000 people, making it the largest mosque in Africa and only surpassed by the holiest sites in Islam – Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

The mosque, costing close to $900 million, was constructed by a Chinese firm and is equipped with impressive facilities, including a helicopter landing pad and a library capable of housing up to one million books. Despite being open to international tourists and state visitors for about five years, its official inauguration coincides with the commencement of Ramadan, allowing it to host public prayers and events.

The ceremony, although largely ceremonial, carries symbolic importance. Ali Mohamed Salabi, the General Secretary of the World Union of Muslim Ulemas, emphasized that the mosque’s inauguration would guide Muslims “toward goodness and moderation.”

The construction of the Great Mosque of Algiers faced years of delays and controversy, including debates over its seismic risk due to the chosen site.

However, it now stands as a testament to Algeria’s commitment to promoting a moderate brand of Islam, aligning with the nation’s historical context shaped by the suppression of an Islamist-led rebellion in the 1990s. The mosque’s completion fulfills a promise by President Tebboune, who said,

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