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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Radical Islamism and the Dilemma of Algerian Nationalism: The Embattled Arians of Algiers
Author:Roberts, Hugh J.R.
Periodical:Third World Quarterly
Geographic term:Algeria
Subjects:Islamic movements
Politics and Government
Religion and Witchcraft
Abstract:The development of a radical Islamist movement has been a major feature of Algerian political life since the mid-1970s. It is the product of a profound split within reformist Islam in Algeria between those disposed to accept the continuing subordination of Islam to nationalist raison d'état and those who will no longer do so. Islamist revival occurred in reaction to the left turn in government policy in 1971, the 'révolution socialiste', and in conjunction with the application of the government's Arabization policy. With Boumediène's sudden death in 1978, his nationalist project aborted, on the eve of its climax. The dilemma of Algerian nationalism remains, with the main alternatives either to preserve the dictatorial form of government, reducing the Islamists by State terrorism, or, to concede the case for law-bound government to the democratic and entirely nationalist tendency within the opposition. So far the Algerian political elite has fudged the issue. In many respects it recalls the 18th-century English Whig aristocracy and its Arian associations, with the difference that it is not a ruling class, a fact which is at the origin of its problems. Notes, ref.