xer-files
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
  Algerian lessons

/../ In 1992, a ghastly war broke out between government security forces and Islamist rebels after the army canceled the country's first democratic legislative elections, which the radical Islamic Salvation Front won. Tens of thousands of Algerians have died, and over 7,000 "disappeared." Since the early 90's, the Algerian government has projected itself as the country's only defense against theocratic despotism.

In Mohammed Harbi's view, this is a false choice, since, he said, most Algerians reject both the state and its radical Islamist opponents. The army and the rebels, he argues, are objective allies: both sides refuse to allow Algerians to govern themselves, both reject political pluralism and both are willing to use extreme violence — and even, some reports suggest, to cooperate behind the scenes — to further their aims.

Wishing a plague on both houses is, of course, the most dangerous position of all in a civil war, and Mr. Harbi has kept a low profile for much of the last decade, evading various assassination plots. "He seemed less nervous about his safety than I was," Stuart Schaar, a historian of North Africa at Brooklyn College, remembers. "I was afraid when he'd take subways. I begged him to take taxis, but he wouldn't." /../


:: Interview in Il Manifesto with Mohammed Harbi [Italian]

«L'islamismo radicale cerca il consenso dei poveri»
Per lo storico algerino Mohammed Harbi, gli attentati si inseriscono nella grande crisi delle classi meno favorite, in cui mira a fare breccia l'islam radicale
Geraldina Colotti

Raggiungiamo a Parigi lo storico Mohammed Harbi, classe 1933, studioso della rivoluzione algerina, a cui lui stesso ha partecipato, pagando con cinque anni di carcere militare.

Qual è la sua lettura degli attentati di Algeri? /../

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