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Introduction: Colonialism, Islamism, Terrorism Author(s): Mustapha Marrouchi Source: College Literature, Vol. 30, No.

1, Algeriad (Winter, 2003), pp. 6-55 Published by: College Literature Stable URL: . Accessed: 17/03/2014 15:05
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Introduction: Terrorism Colonialism, Islamism,

Mustapha Marrouchi





L'Algerie, trechamp,


le hors

champ de cet


le con ailleurs l'ici Fathy, et

Failleurs troubler de les mots) et

in Toronto,

is the author


Signifying with a Vengeance. His Presence ofMind


qui vient maintenant Tourner

contaminer (Safaa


is due It

is always hard to write the history of the times, and stiU harder to write present. Historical history of the continuing recent the other hand are not punctual, in a before extend and after of time graduaUy reveal themselves. The on the that was wreaked obscenity only has ushered a world in a new world of maximum on

events but which moral US.

where fantasy cavorts with damage, the real and death is the message. The obscen our vacation ity also rang in this message: is over and done with. As the from history is into a single space, it is by flattened globe the same stroke carved rigorously down the middle. In the conflict between East and la lettre and the avant-garde, West, tradition and modernity, Islam, or a version of one transnational move it, and Capitalism,
ment confronts another. In between times,

the avant

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Marrouchi 7 Mustapha we is the appeal to religious orthodoxy; how insecure powerful our sense of the secular; how fragile any ideal of global cultural understand small arms sniping around an elephant ing. As the decade dribbles on with the artist takes the heat for a long moment of transition and dung Madonna, realize how reminds ing to himself the or herself Siiddeutsche of Fichus, written by Jacques Derrida, in Frankfurt, Zeitung emphasized who the speak

linkage between global capital and local terror, and suggested that the activity of ter ror is now financed through speculation on the market, and that it is simul and taneously capitalist anticapitalist.
9/11 reminds us more so than it announced has never in NewYork been more or that our acute, more vigilant, gy, in this Never introduces to everything politicking Washington more have is sober, been alert, strate or

responsibility more necessary. urgent. 9/11

regard will

remarkable, Europe that

a new about thinking a deconstructive critique that, through


the best-substantiated media powers, spontaneous

the most

justified trends


to the welds the political to cap of opinion, organized metaphysical, to or nationalistic to italistic of influence, perversion speculation, religious And outside and inside On all sides.These this, sovereignist fantasy. Europe. are on all sides. I repeat: I have but absolute for simple words, compassion me from the victims of September that 11, but that does not prevent saying

I do not believe
my compassion

in the political
for all of the


of anyone in this crime. And

is infinite, it is so also



in that

I do not feel it only for those who

11. Therein lies my interpretation House wrongs paid to theWhite terday, according own erate oneself from one's tics, even when one has just

lost their lives inAmerica

of what slogan, and the most should be what "infinite the mistakes horrific

on September
named to not own yes exon poli


justice": of and one's


price for it. (Derrida 2002, 51-52)1 In another Foucault, warning less impressive essay, an unpublished in "On Security and Terror," distinguished that the security state can quickly become evident and the media no 1978 lecture, Michel power from security, a delirious and patho

logical one.2 This is nowhere more members of the Bush Administration the FBI and CIA gin the following
Pundits "jihad"

than in the cavalier way some talk about "unleashing" ori people of Muslim the case with force in

in the fight
and and

and curtailing liberties and branding against terrorism. Edward Said makes
hosts refer have to "our" war with

non-stop aggravated Islam, fear and words and anger like that


the understandable

all over the country. Two people (one a Sikh) have already been killed by enraged citizens who seem to have been encouraged by remarks like Defense Department official PaulWolfowitz's to literally think
in terms of "ending countries" and nuking our enemies. Hundreds of

seem widespread

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Literature 30.1(Winter 2003) College

Muslim zens have and Arab had shopkeepers, insults hurled students, at them, while hijab-ed women and and graffiti ordinary announcing citi


their imminent death spring up aU over the place. (Said 2001, 1) Needless for to add that Lynne Cheney, Endowment the Head of the National so far as to co in the Reagan went Administration, she thinks are "un-American": author and publish a list of 117 people who written who have said and/or things they should not have (Alam people the Humanities 2001,29-30). A more be attempt compassionate in "Art Ground found to measure the impact of the disaster can offers a portrait of the died in his studio at the

perhaps artist Michael Jamaican-American Iwrite World Trade Center, and inwhose memory today. As for the future, no one has any idea what and threatened "war on terrorism" the promised look like. But until we know that, we can have no satisfactory picture might of the "events" we remind citizens ourselves

Zero," which Richards, who

imagine to have taken place on a single day unless we of the anti-appeaser ChurchiU, who had 50,000 ordinary of Dresden kiUed in one night, not "for the heU of it," but in order

to impress the Russians with his bravado and so-caUed consciousness (Best to feel that the it is permitted this uncertainty, however, 2001, 34). Despite West or the Rest. For even the more future holds nothing good for either the level-headed some

House have of us began to reaUze that our friends in theWhite a in for of the habits: many parts dictatorships embarrassing penchant
a fair supply of double standards, a curious mix of ruthless self-inter

est and missionary rhetoric, and, at home, death penalty. If this sounds too extreme as more where cigarettes are perceived machine entirely. The

a bizarre gun cult and relish for the then we need only think of a place of a threat to human health than

such a "risk society" guns. Surely we cannot pretend to understand ItwiU always be something we both love and hate at the same time. fear and sustained sense of anger and shock that have consternation, of the residents away from of NewYork, running overseas oppression, intervention, wiU certainly continue for a long time, as wiU sorrow and affliction that somuch damage has so crueUy imposed seeds of oppression are also buried deep in the and directed by the
bastion of

taken hold people of U.S.

a gateway to freedom for so many itself often, but not always, a function

the genuine on somany innocent Uves. The massacre of the Left wholesale CIA

systematicaUy encouraged in an even earUer period. Terry Eagleton put it succinctly:

is no while conscious massacring Iraqi and hypocrisy in believing yourself the terrorist great Cambodians, chUdren the deeds to death belong

There freedom Contras, state,


embargoing since the belief

and being to incommensurable

like the thugs a one-party in effect realms.

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Marrouchi 9 Mustapha
can't be invalidated as







ingloriously mundane Add These

as the facts. (Eagleton 2001, 21) of Iraq, Palestine, Cuba, physical extermination are crimes as abominable as any contemporary geno to downplay the horrors of September 11, which

to that the deliberate

Korea, Bulgaria. cide.3 I do not mean occurred at a time when crown

the U.S. had emerged as the undisputed heir to the there is no longer a viable Left to pro of imperial domination, when vide a kind of moral realize that U.S. allegory, but until more Americans to many people outside the U.S.?their action as a state does cause offence a stance on international exhibits Court Justice and the Kyoto Protocol in the for other peoples (Arab and/or Muslim spoiled, narcissistic contempt near in be the but it also and the Chinese could case, present future) planet; their public of the Anti-Ballistic Missile and the rejection Treaty

Nuclear-Test-Ban and the Biological Treaty Comprehensive Weapons the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Convention,4 (they into operation Service Members instead brought the American Protection Act which will the authorization of military force to free any permit American it otherwise, soldier they taken into International really will Convention "send makes Criminal Court in the Marines"), them a vast, over-determined Biological Weapons symbol of everything the rest of the world hates and fears at the same time; their of Iraq, Lybia, Sudan and Afghanistan has played a clear negative bombing role in sponsoring anti-Americanism, terrorism, and maintaining supporting on the Arab societies; their long-standing corrupt, undemocratic position Israeli conflict adds up to a near-promise that anything to do with Palestinian
resistance to murderous Israeli practices, never more brutal, never more

custody; and the

or, to put treaty on

rate policy on

and illegal than today, is snuffed out; their astonishingly

prisoners of war as witness the Guantanamo case of



terrorists"5? soldiers, unlawful combatants, detainees, fighters, Mujahdeen, we are all in for a rocky ride. treaties the U.S. signs and honors are those it can The only international on Intellectual both draft and impose on other countries. The agreement a case in is "World Beard bullies," Mary writes, "even Property Rights point. is in the right place, will in the end pay the price" (2001, 20). It is only now that the results of American their way imperialism are working out into actuality, for the resultant absence of any secular alternative, means to go but that popular revolt and resistance in the Third World have nowhere if their heart into religious and fanatic forms. As the U.S. war against terrorism spreads, more unrest is almost certain; far from closing things down, U.S. power is as witness the likely to stir them up in ways that may not be containable a war of of UN offers resolution Council the rejection Security authorizing

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30.1 (Winter 2003) CollegeLiterature on terrorism, Moreover, instead to rely on an extended claim of self-defense. preferring new the U.S. has aUiances with iUiberal government forged in Saudi Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Arabia, Jordan, regimes and Egypt reversing years of effort to promote human rights and freedom of and co speech (Byer, 2002, 14). In an age of increasing interdependence

to advisers (from tight iron pants Rice operation, Bush and his hyena-Uke are out most cold-blooded of with of the world. Rumsfeld) step deUberately to make sense of September 11, Edward Said evoked Joseph Seeking overtones in a penetrating Conrad of the essay touching on the educational in "horrifying symbolic savagery" of the attack. "With astonishing prescience 1907," Said explained, "Conrad drew the portrait of the archetypal terrorist, whom he caUs laconicaUy the 'professor,' in his novel The Secret Agent; this is aman whose sole concern is to perfect a detonator that wiU work under any accidental exploded a to the Greenwich sent, poor ly by boy unknowingly, destroy Observatory as a strike against 'pure science.'" The New York and Washington suicide to Said educated have been weU men, rather bombers, continued, appeared than stereotypicaUy poor refugees, causing the author to muse on the quaU that contributed ty of education a wise that stresses leadership to their deadly mindsets. "Instead of getting and patient education, mass mobflization, of a cause, the poor and the desperate are often circumstances and whose handiwork results in a bomb

and quick bloody that such solutions in lying religious claptrap" (2001, 15). Said's point is that Arabs and MusUms might weU turn against their rulers were theWest seen as being choked to death by Arab (the U.S. in particular) violence and MusUm indifference. makes But Said may be better off reading not The Secret Agent, which the point in an oblique manner only, but "A Distant Episode" by Paul seen in the painfuUy clear Ught of the past months, strikes one Bowles, which, as strangely prescient. fantasies of the story now Indeed, the nightmarish appear, from one's reshaped point of view, Uke a species of reportage. Anyone Granted. has concerns about the West's relation with one must about sibly worries a culture oneself with, aUy understands, might do weU of the horrors Uttle?and The a future in which sen the Arab world, or who in, and attempt to navigate

in the service organization into the magical conned thinking appaUing models provide, wrapped


(or a group of related cultures) one only dimly to reread "A Distant Episode" as a cautionary tale a stranger in a foreign land knows too that can ensue when

assumes too much as the Bush Administration does today.6 sense of everything has let us idea that words are supposed to make it.This is the gist of so many essays written down when we most needed and interviews 11. "Language has failed us," one of them since September ever make such extravagant, untenable did words promis

given began. But when

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Marrouchi n Mustapha es? The answer to the question posed here may be found in The Triumph of charlatans and power-hungry speaks of the mediocrities, For them, David Stockman cluster around Washington. per news on television. is 6:30 the observes, "reahty-time" evening

Politics, which politicos who

ceptively as if public policy were How do we look and sound? they ask themselves, some sort of show designed to entertain and please the "American people" once a day, five nights a week On 2001 October 7, (1986, 36). reahty-time the same indications of an began on each of the three networks with American on CBS In Toronto, Iwatch Dan Rather strike on Afghanistan. seem to produce the other anchormen largely as amatter of habit, although same Rather that the results. something was roughly opened by announcing over to two in then he passed things correspondents happening Afghanistan; located shook in Pakistan who, from their hotel window, reported came back on to announce the parched land. Rather theWhite blasts that a briefing by Ari to Afghanistan for the bomb


House press spokesman; back was now 6:40 or so), a couple of commercials, of the raid and (it continuity a statement in He then down to Fleischer read with Washington. prepared

his customary virtuosity, stumbling over nearly every syllable and yet inflect sentences with what in this C-grade Administration passes for right ing his
eous seriousness.

Except 30 minutes

for a few details, it is difficult to imagine how this well-packaged of national television differs from the way a state broadcasting
Korea's, would handle an attack on a weak country, rav

say North

"out aged by twenty years of war and/or civil war, somewhere was times is done three that the program point simultaneously
once: the unanimity of the networks was perfect. Another is that

there." One instead

the show


of getting the raid onto the evening news with appro and summary, keeping it there for 30 min commentary priate preparation, was an utes including and commercials, example of how private enterprise can work with unrehearsed remarkable, government together apparently business co-ordination itwas high-tech, itwas well-synchronized, it was agility. Itwas spontaneous, as cent it 100 and for and weeks after was, effective, per they say, days digital, ran advertisements in the papers claiming eminence wards the networks and victory for their "version" of the same theatrical event. "At 6:31 on October 12, NBC was first," one ad said.7 This is what John Berger has perceptively called the "spectacle of empty clothes and unworn masks." He continues:
Consider any news reader on any television channel.... These speakers are

the mechanical epitome of the disembodied. It took the system many years to invent them and to teach them to talk as they do. No bodies and no
is the condition Necessity Necessity?for real. And the reality system's mythology of the existent. only It is what makes the requires the not-yet-real,

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30.1 (Winter 2003) CollegeLiterature

the next of freedom This in of as claimed, isolation. lives, aU fear a

virtual, sense Until proverbs,

purchase. (the history, parables,

produces freedom


spectator but a

not, profound of the

so-called all the

choice) people same

recently, fables,

accounts the

gave thing:

their everlasting,


some, and occasionally

the which enigma of subsequently


struggle of living with Necessity, which

which foUowed to from sharpen the the Creation, human continued spirit.


existence?that always

your head

produces both tragedy and comedy. It iswhat you kiss or bang

against. s spectacle, All that it exists no more.

in the system Today, ence is communicated.

no Consequently experi is the spectacle, the game that can watch. and everybody As has never before, nobody plays happened to try to have existence their own and their own people place pains single vast arena of time and the universe. in the 2002, handedly 29) (Berger is left to share


this order of things (which Post-Modernism has concerning to correct) is that we are daily bombarded done nothing networks of bod by Uess and false images about the world we live in.Yet their falseness is not an error but the pursuit of profit; a turnover of unparaUeled wealth. I have never


seen anything like it, this display of capsule theatricality, violence and unadulterated and it stiU continues. manipulation, patriotism, in have Whole each of the supplements appeared major daiUes, printing mil Uons of words,
jargon eral about damage,

aU of them
surgical terrorist strikes,

repeating more
smoking and the command

or less the same details,

"savages" out centers. of their caves,

the same
coUat and




show has scheduled UteraUy hundreds of hours of Mr. Secretaries PoweU and Rumsfeld, General Richard President, analysis: to various MiUer from Tom Friedman, who Meyers, "experts" ranging Judith to Arabs that they have to be more sermonize in any self-critical, missing tone counter is the of terrorism, 5e//^criticism?on thing they say slightest terrorism, the Middle East, Europe, the universe?have appeared along with a tiny handful of commentators the "other side," interspersed representing with the same Afghan bravado led by Tony Blair, scenes, the same European Bush's poodle, the same stirring file pictures of American and bat bombers
tleships, same the same senators, Pentagon, interviews and extoUing State Department side with spokesmen, the same, exact the man-in-the-street "our"

local news-and-discussion

ly the same, enthusiasm. We had to do it, ran the standard printable message; or, said The NewYork Times, we were "seeing justice done." Kicking Ousama Bin Laden's ass, and feeUng good about it,was the unspoken message. A.M. even proposed Rosenthal that the cities of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Sudan should be threatened with obliteration.8

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Marrouchi 13 Mustapha over is "terrorism,"9 aword which has the attack on Afghanistan as as and streamlined official weU attitudes private American


even than to say that terrorism, more exaggeration and embody Islamism together, has come to dominate to of one Tylenol container everything "we" do not like, from the poisoning to the in Beirut, the October 1983 destruction of the Marine barracks the Soviets, Libya, Iran, Syria, the PLO, Noriega, Sandinistas, Aideed, and of course, Ousama Bin Laden, who stands at the apex of world MUosevic, Communism and and above aU economics, history, politics, not admit it immediate does graspable definition, or argument, force cannot its moral be of negotiation reaUy chaUenged and to nearly every except by terrorists, it is applicable virtuaUy everywhere thing at any time. "Terrorists are those who have no official standing, no gaze, common sense. It has no no voice
or have

totaUy simplified to the world. It is no




in the estabUshed in order


usurp power

order, those determined by aUmeans possible to to be seen and heard" (Wideman, 2002, 37).Terrorists
essence: they never change, they have no his

a Platonic

one heard CoUn PoweU and his President tory, they simply terrorize. When as one scourge of the world to the terrorism number referring (although, more 11 Americans drown in their bathtubs than excluded, many September are kiUed by terrorism), when one reads poUs identifying terrorism one issue America when learned about repeated greatest today, facing
ences to terrorist infrastructures, bases, support, and training centers,

as the refer
and just

plain terrorists, and when how the California-Mexico

one was





border, across which Mexicans to be the place where "Arabs" can infiltrate, we knew we were in Ukely also a the grip of coup that had captured the country.10 gigantic propaganda seemed no Umit to the mobiUzation There against terrorism past, pres the attack, a BiU had been ent, and future. By the end of the week foUowing introduced Congressional President was in both Senate waiving the War Powers Act and the on the official of assassination: the sanctioning to be enabled to do anything he pleased.11 Poverty, hunger, restraints the

cUps showing flee iUegaUy, is

elimi disease, the UkeUhood of nuclear war were concerns unemployment, nated by terrorism. "There is also the feeling that aU the 'civiUzed world' (a a trace of irony) is leaders seem able to use without phrase which Western paying
and few

the price
its refusal people on they but get

for its glib definitions

to listen to what the devise the planet who do for a cause; because the word "terrorism"

"terrorists" carnage they as an alibi have for the to


are very of it. They like their it

say. There heU not what

sheer might

do what cause; wiU

are at war.We for

using us nowhere applied


drives a term their ends

in stopping to extraordinary

the violence. acts of bravery


Similarly, when

"fanaticism," we abhor

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30.1 (Winter 2003) CollegeLiterature and means. The

Center was

silliest description
repeated slogan

of the onslaught
that it was a

on theWorld


the often


2001,20) On


11 crime is a mere pin prick when the scale of evil the September the offenses of the U.S. Government, itself responsible for many
worse. Let me make the case, seriam.

set that


of the inauguration forgotten, but actually marking term "tilt" to describe an abrupt change of policy or allegiance. the puerile In 1971, the U.S. Government, then led by Nixon and Kissinger, overrode all to advice in order support the Pakistani generals in both their civilian mas sacre policy in East Bengal and their armed attack on India from West Often and political the theaters, this led to a moral catastrophe are still being felt (Hitchens, 2002). 2. Chile. As Walter Isaacson reminds us in Kissinger: A Biography, Kissinger of the CIA's plan to kidnap and murder had direct personal knowledge the head of the Chilean Armed Forces and aman General Rene Schneider, Pakistan. effects In both of which who In his hatred in politics. even Helmes outdid Richard of the Government, Kissinger a a him in that such stable democracy would be hard CIA, who warned coup went to procure. The murder of Schneider nonetheless ahead, at Kissinger's refused iriilitary intervention for the Allende urging and with American tion and his confirmation 3. Cyprus. Another minutiae of conspiracy the time of Allende's financing, just between the Chilean (Hitchens 2001). by Congress intimate involvement occasion of Americas elec in the to countenance

1. Bangladesh.

the U.S. Government took place when approved of fascists for the murder of President the preparations by Greek Cypriot tried to extend the rule of the and sanctioned the coup which Makarios, Athens junta to the island.When despite great waste of human life this coup failed in its objective of forced partition, Kissinger switched sides expediently to support an even bloodier intervention (Hitchens, 1984). by Turkey 4. Kurdistan. Having endorsed the covert policy of supporting a Kurdish

1974 and 1975, with "deniable" assistance revolt in northern Iraq between it made also provided by Israel and the Shah of Iran, the U.S. Government were were not to to to be but be allowed win, employed plain that the Kurds for their nuisance value alone (Hitchens 2001, 34-35).12 in 1975, the Armed 5. East Timor. The day after Kissinger left Djakarta Forces of Indonesia the independent figure of 100,000 population. And vomit enough. come. Angola: to invade and subjugate weapons employed American Isaacson gives a former Portuguese of East Timor. colony or of the one-seventh deaths resulting from the occupation,

to it goes on and on and on until one cannot eat enough are more broken eggs and omelettes in the years to There to invade and give a nod to South African incite the Zaireans

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Marrouchi 15 Mustapha summon Mario Soares and buUy him about being "a war: the policy of the United States should be that Iran-Iraq Kerensky"The meant "we wish lose"?which could both they sending arms and inteUi to to the both indiffer gence pot boiUng (Hitchens, 1997). Arrogant, keep intervention. Portugal: ent, contemptuous UN: this is now authentic ic might. "rogue the most and manipulative of the Law, dismissive ever the world has known?the dangerous power state," but a "rogue state" of colossal miUtary and econom by "freedom loving people" as if the world were peopled as a today can accurately be described remarkable proportion of them black of International

Peopled by "freedom-hating people," America vast gulag?two miUion prisoners?a (Pinter, 2002). Along with


the abuse and fear that so many of the earth s people have come the smile accompanied by the pos ture, infinitely more naked and more blatant than it has ever been, and this set of questions: How often are we to be buUied by the U.S. Government, at the hands of Americans

can we not despise have to be happy and keep quiet? How such a foreign policy and its great enterprises of destabiUsation and secret as as innocent weU the of civilians number of (estimated diplomacy bombing in civiUans kiUed U.S. 2001 alone is 3,950) Afghan by bombing (Harper's on the planet? Index 2002, 13) whenever its interests are at risk anywhere This is the point to keep one's eye on; because one must drop everything and think exclusively about U.S. foreign policy and its "loss of innocence." I have read that the country lost that innocence in the CivU War, in the Spanish at in First the World Hiroshima and War, War, during Prohibition, at the McCarthy (of the Vietnamese Nagasaki, hearings, in DaUas, inVietnam and Irangate, in the GulfWar. casualties, one need not speak), overWatergate This list is not exhaustive. Innocence, we were recently informed, was lost American again at the bombing attacks on the Afghan Desert Fox. The City and in Operation and the Khartoum camps pharmaceutical factory were Monica-related. Uncle Sam dispatched 79 of the world's most certainly houses and a smaU fac sophisticated Cruise missiles against a few mud-brick of Oklahoma

and told that we

was inflicted on innocent Bin Laden was civUians, Ousama tory. Damage turned into a global hero for the like-minded and CUnton won only a 24 hour respite from his bedroom-troubles. Behind the fin-de-siecle Post-Modern the parable of sex lies a brief account of the BiU/Monica/Ken endgame: love-sick Mr. President, the star-struck green girl and the corporate Wolf instance of the "reflexivization" Man?another of everyday sexual seduction in today's "risk society"(Zizek 1999, 3-4). sex show has already been to add that the heavily mediatized Needless to history's footnotes, odd refugees from a surreal crisis in aworld consigned excess the the of of the new miUennium.That this par shaped by beginning

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30.1 (Winter 2003) CollegeLiterature ticular deluge quintessentially duce a world Innocence is all mixed American up with as well?it adult sexuality, and the repression being the nature of Puritanism of it, is to pro

sexualized. thoroughly The one involving the victims of slavery and genocide, lynching, murder, high crimes, and misde meanors at home and abroad, terror of being done in by a rival, or by the simple fear of the contents of the FBI's or the CIA's private dossiers. Tzvetan sums up the case elegantly: Todorov
The crimes very identity (the of the United of States the as a nation and rests upon the enslavement these two great extermination Indians of Blacks)

that repudiates sexuality but is also for sale! And what of the other innocence?

the cult

after-effects are still felt inAmerican

of violence and in the transformation

daily life today, in the form of

of cities into juxtaposed, hos

tile ghettos.

(Todorov 1997, 7)

of slavery and genocide, the U.S. has another bill (jus Facing the vast wreckage to fair the and descendants of its slaves aswell tice, reparation play) coming due, as to those of itsNative Americans, which it ismorally obliged to redeem. It is a tale worth telling. State terrorism itself is of course already a pro leptic judgment. contemptible, and essays on the subject.13 Very few people have, for example, noted that as a term "terrorism" had been pioneered totalizing policy by the Israelis. By Peace for Galilee went forward as an Israeli the summer of 1982 Operation attack on the "terrorist infrastructure," a phrase that herded under it a fairly massive war effort whose aim was to settle the political future of theWest out the PLO (Aburish 1999, 34-42). The logic of the war Bank by wiping on terrorism is clearly discernible tion of old Palestine and the way in the Israeli genocidal policy of disfigura media theWestern report from the occu as a in what Israel itself describes the Israeli Army, the systematically destroying is cited as proof that we are deal are discriminated against in the allocation of about resistance sets and it forms The masochism of the press in all the operation(s) has been a sort of repulsive minor theme of many books

pied West Bank: when "war" operation, deliberately Palestinian landscape, Palestinian

terrorists. Palestinians ing with of land and countless other aspects of daily life.More water, in the ownership are is the of psychological humiliation: Palestinians important micro-politics as to to an evil children who have be back hon treated, essentially, brought est life by a stern ilsurveiller etpunir" method. In addition to the cruel and arbi trary treatment they must endure, the Palestinians tus of non-entity objects of disciplinary measures but not full citizens. The ror"?a nalized paradox are also reduced and/or to the sta help, humanitarian

is further inscribed into the very notion of a "war on ter war in which the Enemy strange (Palestinian in this case) is crimi if he or she defends himself or herself and returns fire with fire. Which

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Marrouchi 17 Mustapha brings us back

nor a common

to the "unlawful
criminal. In this

combatant," who
sense, Palestinians

is neither
in Palestine

an enemy


as "Les Sans Papiers;" a kind of homo sacer.14 ple in Palestine, Uke "Les Sans Papiers'9 in France, the inhabitants of the Palestinians can be kiUed in the US. Favelas in BrazU or the African-American ghettoes same no for value and whose death whatsoev the with reason, has, impunity referred to in France er. (The death of Amadou DiaUo, a black immigrant from Guinea who was shot in the Bronx by the quartet of poUce firing no fewer than 41 shots, is a case in point). What of the al-Qai'da terrorists? They are not enemy soldiers, nor are they simple criminals?the U.S. rejected out of hand any notion that WTC the emerging ful combatant, attacks should be treated as apoUtical in the guise of the Terrorist on whom the political excluded 1998; Zizek criminal war acts. In short, what is is declared is the unlaw

arena from the poUtical Enemy serves to it when the or, 2002); put differently, Enemy (Agamben as the "quUting point," to borrow Lacan's point de capiton, of our ideological of our actual political opponents. space, it is in order to unify the multitude
"Terrorists" are not given prisoner-of-war status; "terrorist" bases are


Afghanistan, Libya, and other "Rogue States" everywhere Israel does is questioned, since like Iran, North Korea, Syria, Cuba; nothing war to it is aU part of the combat ter against "terrorism." Slowly the effort and also of the word's rorism expands: I speak here of a rhetorical expansion, a "terrorism The of bland faces chubby experts" mouthing capitalization.

in Lebanon,

combination of mumbo-jumbo expertise and banality jabber regularly from a free-floating has become idea and is associated, the TV screen. Terrorism in Israel's poUcy South Lebanon, not with the bomb not, for example, with ing of Lebanon by the USS New Jersey, nor with dropping up to 800 tonnes in Iraq (Kysia 2001, 1-4),15 nor with the atro (Depleted Uranium) nor with record of the Nicaraguan the South Korean, Contras, the Salvadoran regimes, nor with right, nor with Jonas Philippine, Haitian of DU cious Savimbi, but with official U.S. whose fons et origo, it seems, is Ousama Bin Laden (Mangez 2001,57-59). Moamar Arafat Gadaffi, Saddam Hussein,Yassir use in have lurked in the background, for eventualities. ready forthcoming Now it is essential to say that from many points of view, including mine, Bin Laden and his peculiar al-Qai'da are basicaUy indefensible. A cold-blood ed, immature, often calculating and perplexing man, he has done a great deal of harm The world asweU as in the rest of the world. were in the streets who caught on camera dancing people, after the news of the attack broke, ironicaUy enough, have little reason to care for Bin Laden, for aU his declamations of Palestinian rights. But it is ludicrous to see "Arabs" virtuaUy everywhere where there is trouble in the world, in the Arab and/or Muslim Palestinian including Costa Rica and Thailand, and nothing short of paranoid to turn

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30.1 (Winter 2003) CollegeLiterature Bin Laden into the embodiment of a national security threat to the U.S. As as was to 1991 he U.S. policy, which had begun to drift into necessary early one irrational posture after another. By 1995 he had become the one con stant. Little is known about Bin Laden or about Afghanistan: this is all to the good uted to him. The since the less that is actually known press, almost to a man thesis about his involvement and Dar-es-Salaam.16Yet not about him, or woman, the more can be attrib has accepted the Bush in the U.S. Embassies' bombings a shred of real evidence has been

Administration inMombasa

to the public. Almost every allegation about al-Qai'da is presented presented as irrefutable. Bin Laden is aMuslim, he is erratic, often violent; he is uncon serves the He he is anti-American and Anti-Semitic. therefore ventional,
Israeli-American and anti-Communist and virulently racist cause of repre

senting a test of strength for the "West." War fever has broken out. Phrases like "we should have killed the bastard" or "we're tired of being pushed terse "nuke 'em" are like a deafening around" or the admirably chorus of pleasure all around us. Western about terrorism need to ask pundits or officials who pontificate in the Arab world at large pro themselves how years of colonial exploitation severe distortions in the historical consciousness duced the oddest, the most of the peoples and communal and societies left after the foundations to the fore not only European white man's exit. The new order brought but new politically young officers like Gadaffi and Saddam Hussein, oppor
tunistic trans-national companies, eager for undreamt-of profits and expand

ing markets

(Luttwak it left unattended-to unappeasing resentful anger nationalism

3-6).This large, unresolved sense of retrospective and frustrated


is an unwholesome mix, especially areas: for the natives ideological injustice, for the whites The periodic revivals

as an a

of and readily nourished contempt. in the post-colonial Third World have taken both religious and else these revivals afford?and secular forms, but whatever they contain a nativism atavistic and great deal of undirected religious sentiment, as well as daring, are almost always full of the sense that the ideas?they and now the American has not sufficiently atoned for Such a sense cares little for the empty shelves, the rusty

often brilliant European white man

his past interventions. armed forces. Much more emphasis is placed factories, the barely functioning are now so on the symbolic dimension the Arabs, for example, whereby as to reproduce their earlier colonial humiliated (Hardwick subjugation 1997,45-49). Bin Laden's Arabs of how Ramallah?have response, except futile six been stand against theWest is nonetheless a reminder to the

Tunis, Beirut, Tripoli, Khartoum, capitals?Baghdad, attacked by Israel and the U.S. with scarcely an Arab of Beirut by Palestinian irregulars. Despite

for the defense

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Marrouchi 19 Mustapha an immense

for arms, despite the huge number of shabby outlay of money of the abrogation struck with, but also violated by, theWest, despite or are name in the the of national Arab unable security, regimes democracy seems to be waiting to do anything in reply. Everyone for some unwiUing deals to die, for a new American Administration, for the odd crumb proffered is rarely more than a UN Resolution. Meanwhile the by theWest. Victory level of threats and verbal counter-strikes rises and rises and rises. And stiU one and East Jerusalem; and Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights, on about Arab terrorism; and stiU and Co. keep blathering the U.S. media have no time for Arabs except as terrorists; and stiU the East chops itself to death. The gigantism and inflation of the current Middle stiU Colin PoweU It derives from a sort impasse is not only due to the media's gross distortions. an on which of ideological the one hand is the unhealthy sweUing surplus, on of and effect the other of the faUure of history avoided and transgressed rational these pared two In short, Bush and Bin Laden. The problem with secular politics. is that they were a long time in the making and are hardly pre to depart very soon. Moreover, there seems to be no mechanism for West Israel sits on the

and retaliation, except perhaps a the renewed buUdup of animosity defusing or a the puU of loss of media interest, spectacular disaster elsewhere. 11 to con It is hard for anyone who witnessed the events of September vey without being explicit the yearning what the writer must do. In the process, one's for peace in the world, but that is one of the incongruities at which

mind balks is the combination of two forms of Ufe that slow-moving Max Weber thinks are immiscible: the symbolic-religious and the calculat adds, perceptively 11 September practiced both, and It took meshed of peo co-ordination simultaneously. painstaking planning, a and for is and This means-end ple objects, strategic eye opportunities. a vengeance. to an ideal It also took a steely commitment rationality with suicide and mass murder" powerful (2001, 21). Granted. enough to motivate The question, however, remains open: What is it to be done to avoid drug ing-rational "those who (MiUs 1990,45)."Obviously," carried out the attacks on ging to the addictive mix of and subjecting our children's minds a culture? Talk of pun the and ads that for pass nonstop fantasy propaganda, It is more ishing states that "harbor" terrorism is simplistic and misleading. accurate to say that failed states incubate terrorism. Therefore, buUying these for domestic political support, states, ignoring the need of weak governments ourselves now see their own That Americans a is direct result of their caUous for revised Lorraine Daston


be devastatingly counterproductive. destiny at risk in such distant goings-on

eign poUcy, a foreign policy that ought to be reviewed and seriously if the U.S. Government is to regain any respect at aU in the world.

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30.1 (Winter 2003) CollegeLiterature The world we now five in and act in every day can perhaps be under in The Shape of a Pocket, through the depic stood, as John Berger proposes in the tion of hell in Hieronymus Bosch's so-called Millennium Triptych . .a on Prado:". of the mental climate the world strange prophecy imposed at the end of our century by globalization and the new economic order." is one in which Like Bosch's hell, our world "there are no pauses, no paths, no past and no future. There is only the clamor of the disparate, our not in Bosch's hell? In present." fragmentary world?though maybe there are "pockets of resistance against the new order." But how? "The act of no pattern,
resistance," Berger goes on to say, "means not only refusing to accept the

offered us, but denouncing it.And when hell absurdity of the world-picture is denounced it ceases to be hell" (2001, 89). However, from within, Berger to in hell according of resistance forgets that there could be no pockets a turn casts in the forces of satanic power being irresistible. And that Bosch, certain shadow over the hope that we might have to live together peaceful ly and construct Unbuilt
fighters the circle and of there


that haunts the space [which] is [made of] the spirit of those fire
rescue death, workers to do who their of climbed duty to an endless those who step there ladder, had by to descending escape. In into that the

moment transcendent ethic progress neighbor. dwellings remains of

is a sense form

"making And

progress," in that action

step, without lies

of progress. There or

the Unbuilt. here Of we

is a lateral such can

are no available of images move toward the stranger adjacent a concern of "possible" for the foundations have no visual assurance, to be

the un-utopian this act of ascent; as toward dwellers the and

a of what only perspicacity a in constructing building; [W]e at the same in full view have no choice but to place, of our build time, we not to measure then we will of the Unbuilt. Perhaps forget ings, the vision we even as find stand it the when ourselves progress creeps ground along or so we tower. at of the the 2001, think, top 4) (Bhabha ing, unbuilt. . . . have interested


lives lost mirror

our own

through the mysterious drowns us. Ourselves us, buoys those we can no who have disappeared, at back us, terrified, terrifying. looking passage I Let me Algeria believe

our unpredictable fragility and vulnerability, flow of time that eternally surrounds us, the glass where we look for the faces of those longer touch, where we find them

now jump abruptly back to the question of Africa in general and in particular with which I am much It is one thing to concerned. without quite another to know without believing. Never knowing,

events been so relentlessly documented, the evidence have world-shattering evidence of of testimony with the hideous things, than in the converging

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Marrouchi 21 Mustapha case. Nearly half a century after the end of colonial rule, the continent that is the birthplace of humanity, home to an eighth of the world's popula tion, and a treasure trove of resources is on the brink of catastrophe. Africa But this has been in turmoil so long its tragedies have grown commonplace.


than ever. wider time, the crisis is deeper and its potential consequences Wracked by war and sapped by disease, burdened by a traumatic past and faU come to grips with to that and technological revolutions the economic ing are reshaping the global community, Africa is slipping out of the control of the leaders who claim to govern it, and beyond the reach of the international recent years it has that seek to rescue it. During across the board of Africa, with seemed as if unseen hands are gambling or coup, and another caUed famine or flood, corruption loaded dice marked institutions and coalitions cease-fire (Holman Power peace and Hawkins and investment and multi-party elections pact, foreign 2000, 4).17 hands at the baUot box in Senegal, and debt relief comes

changes and drought jeopardizes the closer, but torrential rains batter Mozambique in in Horn of is flouted the Africa. Uves of 8 miUion Democracy people an to Eritrea back old and and Ethiopia go Rwanda war, Uganda Zimbabwe, settlement threaten to start a new one. A UN-monitored coUapses in Sierra Leone, and conflict in Angola continue disease answer in the Congo sucks in the region; decades-old civil wars ask: and Sudan. So what has changed? The cynic might and disaster, flood and famine are the familiar litany of Africa. The is unable to cope is that the strains are now intolerable; the continent

cannot avoid being affected, roused if not by com of then fear the consequences. poverty spreads disease, Deepening passion by environment and encourages enhances the the drug trafficking, destroys General extremism that can turn to terrorism. "The truth is,"UN Secretary and the rest of the world Kofi Annan eco notes, "Africa is suffering from multiple crises?ecological, social and political. Fresh water, forests and arable lands are under nomic, stress. BiUions to be of doUars of public funds continue unprecedented roads are crumbling, health stashed away by some African leaders, even while have neither books nor desks nor teach systems have failed, schoolchildren

to aU this poverty "makes ers, and the phones do not work." The background to war and disease. And war and disease constant Africans more vulnerable efforts to lift themselves out of poverty" ly thwart Africans' vicious cycle that Africa and donors have faUed to break. The vatization continent has been remains

(2000, 34). It is a and?in



are low,

as are




have been a faUure, and slow, attempts to industrialize an has of skiUs to Europe been exodus and by accompanied capital flight is also taking a terrible toU. Of the 36 miUion people North America. AIDS

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30.1 (Winter 2003) CollegeLiterature 23 million five in Africa, and the disease will reduce life afflicted worldwide, 20 years, cutting a swathe through the skilled urban class on expectancy by which of reform greatly depends. "The reach and effec the implementation tiveness of the state have withered World An in its 1997 World Bank warned away," the state in "and the has effect withdrawn. Development Report, perforce vacuum in many institutional of significant proportions has emerged

parts of sub-Saharan Africa" (Annan 2000, 34; see World Development Report World Bank and organizations like it fail to notice 2001, v-xiii). But what the a is that tackling Africa's crisis will require global initiative. An essential first step is an end to the fiction that recovery is under way, recognizing takes of the donors as well as the failures of the leaders of a fragile on the verge of collapse. in Africa is a growing There tendency our ills are imported, that the real sources side. We the mis continent

for people to believe that most of come from out of our problems

we blame social blame colonialists, imperialists and neo-colonialists; and send their representatives ists from Moscow and Peking, packing. We and the CIA. We blame the white settlers and so-called blame the Americans cards. Indian bloodsuckers, We and deport them even if they carry citizenship out of the continent and demand that the church throw white missionaries es must be Africanized. that the solutions peace


but contradictory is the belief Another, phenomenon to our social ills can be imported. Foreign "experts" and swarm Africa ants. Economic like white "advisors," rnilitary
security "advisors" surround our leaders. English, French, or



in key on while the top government hoped security to most dames and majors has remained awonder these ex-colonial hovered or Dar-es-Salaam leave Lagos, Nairobi, with planes people. Every week more to negotiate foreign aid and returning "experts" and foreign ministers we seek aid from we in believe and because neutrality," "positive "experts," invariably the secretaries of all How to maintain both is the twain andWest. And while East is still East andWest West, in Africa. They rub shoulders in our schools, universities and hospitals. the colonial powers One hundred years ago, at the Berlin Conference, that ruled Africa met to divvy up their interests into states, lumping various East





in some places, or slicing them apart in others and tribes together peoples to the fabric, color, or pat like some demented tailor who paid no attention or was tern of the garment he she patching together. One of the biggest dis it came into being of African Unity when of the Organization appointments more than thirty years ago was that it failed to address this issue. Instead, one of the and the sacrosanctity of its cardinal principles was non-interference fail inherited from the colonial situation. That was a foreboding boundaries ure of political will. And now we see inAfrica what the absence of self-rede

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Marrouchi 23 Mustapha finition mess wiU Ifwe faU to understand that most of the post-colonial has wrought. stems from the colonial nation-state map imposed from above, there over to correct the situation the long term. It does not, be little chance


even mean it aU on the colonial powers should blame that we case in of for the French have their hands the Rwanda, example, though in blood.18 As Wole drenched Soyinka put it: "Africans must accuse Africa's . . . the faUed leadership for the trail of skeletons along desiccated highways lassitude camps into refugee survivors crowded of emaciated and hopelessness . . . the mounds of corpses. Africa had been betrayed from within" to catch the tide of development and 57). Little of this incapacity

(1996, can be blamed on imperialism. He labeled this new predicament democracy the "brown man's burden." However, the big question for aU of us to ask is: state of affairs for so long? We have we tolerated such an unacceptable Why of course, dismiss the local faUure after so many decades of so-caUed rule. What have passed since the end of colonial Chinua independence was independence" that swindle termed the "coUusive Achebe (1964, apdy African leaders have been concerned with maintaining 45). Unfortunately, cannot, in the artificial ponds created by their colonial their power and authority so eager to preserve their status as king toads that they have never masters, in those ponds. facing the people entrapped reaUy addressed the problems was not at aU the end of the struggle. A dire posi The end of colonization finds itself in.19 tion not only Africa but also most of the Third World Is it any wonder then that the oppressed masses, of despairing
own secular advancement, are attracted to theocrats or "strong




as Conrad
a mouthful: of... societies,


tity and resistance

Years our

to national pride, a sense of iden it, appealing to foreign powers and their local lackeys? Edward Said have
and crippled at every corruption an almost total by enormous level absence bled of the life out of

incompetence already


this colossal

and the hope

failure. Blessed

that goes with


it. We must

all take the blame for

and natural resources,

the third world

the has whole eties. tamed Unpopular media exist last decade grown series . . . Our or

has declined
the gross reserves

in production
product and sapped

in nearly every sphere: during

has shrunk, agricultural have dwindled, of our sUenced all-time society reality. output and soci and low. the (Said a resources

national of money . . .have

smaUer, of

civil wars best writers, and are

much and

of artists

inteUectuals, in exile. expressed, the

the vitality are either is at an every of

imprisoned opinions basicaUy

Journalism and


in nearly own version

to further


1996,xxvi-ii) In aworld such as the one Said describes the inteUectual The and at times, brutaUy murdered. has been marginal death of Tahar untimely

ized, silenced,

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30.1 (Winter 2003) CollegeLiterature in Algeria Djaout any Third-World among several others intellectual with moral is a grim reminder of the plight of rigor and literary skill, who ventures have been dispossessed and subject

to speak out for his or her people who to unveil the ed to a "slow genocide." Djaout was killed because he wanted truth about what happens when big business and Islamism collaborate with in order to profit from the huge revenues generated bourgeoisie someone who got in the In he became a nuisance: oil. the of some, eyes by men not kill of rich So So the GL4 (Le Groupe richer. him? way why getting or FLN de Liberation the (Front (we still do not Nationale)20 Islamique Arme) shot another writer.21 know who kills whom) It is not that the violent death of another African writer was anything the native inNigeria is another cruel reminder hanging of Ken SaroWiwa are bent on speaking that surround those who of the bloody circumstances out against injustice of any kind.22 There has been civil war in Nigeria, in what and decades of bloodshed Rwanda, Kenya, and above all in Algeria, Africa were just beginning used to be called Portuguese (Peterson, 2001, unusual. The of thousands of victims; hundreds of 247-303). There are already hundreds or in in shot cold have fallen the blood intellectuals post-colonial struggle, s uniqueness was not in his religion or in the hanged in prison yards. Djaout mission he chose to follow. Itwas something more valuable: his secular learn as an ancient people in If anyone qualifies and Berber background. ing we to must it remind wrecked the be Berbers, who, ourselves, Algeria, ought rule in The Maghreb. Justinian the Second's prefect was defeated Byzantine Berbers fought the Romans, the Arabs, the Turks by the Berber Garmul.The took 29 years to subdue the mountains around and finally the French, who war of 1954-62, In the independence Tizi Ouzou. the Berber names of Amirouche and Ramdane 3" resistance with the National Liberation synonymous to colonial rule.23 That 62 of them were killed in just 4 days in May 2001 is a clear sign of their Algeria. II the phrase L'Algerie frangaise, it hurts. It a trace of like an injury that has healed and yet has retained somehow the original pain finked to many different values, senti things?memories, ments. the For pain, Wittgenstein tells us, "is characterized very definite by uses in the German is in fact more connections." The phrase he original Whenever hurts notes it con connections: than mere (1998, 78). What Zusammenhange a linkage between le lieu and (milieu de memoire) but also a sort of aggregation of the joined entity of the past and present to form a to context in which there is no escape from colonialism loosely gathered inclusive is not only one reads or hears were

Army's "Wilaya by the Algerian police in predicament post-independence

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Marrouchi 25 Mustapha









the bloody reaUty it finds itself in, Sartre had already set Algeria confronting out the principal cause and effect of its underdevelopment by the French colons: In Frenchifying and dividing up the property, the structure of the old trib
al society of was the broken without was resistance putting systematicaUy and replaced anything in its place. first strength This because with destruc it sup a hand tion pressed framework of encouraged: coUective

the forces

ful of individuals; next because

was alone not mechanized). This labor margins maintains the profit in France has turned It has where

it created labor (at least as long as farming

force of the alone offsets the transport in the Thus costs, face it of col colonial costs keep into that companies

economies onization al proletariat.


the Algerian been said of

population the Algerians

down. going an immense they are the

agricultur same men

as in 1830 and work the same land; only instead of owning slaves of those who own it. (Sartre 2001, 132) The context to the colonized of French eventuaUy cided with transition we

it, they are the

of the pain that disturbs Sartre and us shadows every reference Other. It is part of a legacy that dates back to the early days rule in Algeria and was passed on, through successive generations, to colonials like me whose passage from infancy to youth coin the last decade of colonial Algeria. The turmoil to internaUy contextualize generation the future, we catch history of that difficult it in history. As in the process of

taught my read the past and anticipate

becoming myth. The beginnings of the story of L'Algerie frangaise lie far back in time, and its reverberations itwas conquered, untU stiU sound today. From 1830, when an Les when it into Accords d'Evian made 1962, state, Algeria was independent said to be French.24 The echoes of 1962 were plainly audible in December in the celebratory din foUowing the landslide victory of Islamic mUi tants in Algeria's parUamentary elections years (Huband 1999, 65-69).Thirty in the themselves earlier, thousands of exultant residents of Algiers draped 1991 national and surged through the capital city's historic Casbah to mark of French colonial rule. Nothing demonstrates this point better a colonial system that occupied than the revolt against the coun pernicious colors the demise the former owners at starvation rates. try, and took the land and exploited Sartre adds, "with mechanization, this cheap labor is stiU too expen the natives finish from their very right to work. AU that sive; you up taking own to in the is left for their do, land, at a time of great prosperi Algerians


at overthrowing such a system ty, is to die of starvation (134).The jubilation in 1962 was justified to say the least and everyone sounded the triumphant "Hail Algeria!" coda of the revolution. But even then, in the heady days of and Progress" were the passwords secular Arab nationalism, when "Socialism

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30.1 (Winter 2003) CollegeLiterature some revelers could be heard honking and self-confidence, is The "God Great!" task of battle alternative cry, guiding shouting era fell in 1962 to a 43-year-old into the post-colonial Algeria guerrilla chief his leadership Ben Bella, who modeled named Ahmed style after that of of soldier-statesman Gamal Abdel another peasant extraction?namely, of a brash new the Nasser. nence Ben Bella had risen to promi Like many of his co-revolutionaries, at of ranks the the time the only means the of military, through advancement for the sons of peasant families. And like other nationalist mil

itary regimes that took power in the Arab world during the 1950s and 1960s, in foreign convinced that non-alignment Ben Bella and his cohorts were were all they needed to steer at state home socialism the and country policy the difficult ahead (Sami 1984, 34-56). days through Since 1962, because of French investment loans, there, and government as well as the presence on French soil of large numbers of Algerians, France to form a strange but inseparable duality Lionel and Algeria have continued to to Abdelaziz after his election Bouteflika, Jospin, sending his good wishes on 15 of the intimate the Algerian Presidency knowledge April, 1999, spoke that each country had of the other, and said that relations with Algeria were for France.25 How fundamental crucially the tensions, inequalities and injus elaborated here by Jospin are refracted and tices of the metropolitan society exemplified in the imperial culture is described by Edward Said in his influ

intertwined of "overlapping histories" ential notion territories, (1993, 23). For Said, the durability of empire has been sustained on both sides of the cul tural dividing line, that of the ruler and that of the distant ruled, and in turn a set of interpretations of their common each has promulgated history with its own perspective,
What past and an Algerian focuses the


sense, emotions

and traditions.
of military liberation his country's attacks on the on colonial villages

remembers intellectual today as France's on such events severely torture the war of of prisoners during


over independence in 1962; for his French counterpart, who may have taken part inAlgerian affairs or whose family lived inAlgeria, there is cha
grin at having "lost" Algeria, its that a more schools, positive nicely attitude planned and toward cities, the French colonizing and perhaps mission?with even a sense life? pleasant communists disturbed


the idyllic relationship between But there

"us" and "them." (Said 1993, 211)

of empire,

(natives) labor with would ing juniors were down

to be made here. In the days is I think, another serious argument to "civilize" the indigenes France's mission civilisatrice purported turn them into petits francais?junior French who and gradually alacrity colonial to bring in the colonial harvest. The highest rank they cut subjects trained to serve two purposes: and they created the illusion French manpower,

on costs by replacing

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Marrouchi 27 Mustapha that colonials were profiting from their subservient Uzed," as it were. Both petits frangais and evolues were la France, and one day, or so the ideology posited, future, receding) French.26 fuUy Although they would become era had the French "civUized" come "civi status, becoming to serve La Grandeur de in the far, far (and ever to be considered enough

the colonial

European Championship, Nation that is so dear to La Gloire de la a son of former subordinate. On Wednesday,


long before the 2000 of the evolue culture something in the person and performance of the

to a close

July 8, 2000, at 11:14 P.M. Paris time, the hopes of the entire country were balanced on the right foot of a son of Algerian for five seemingly end immigrants. He waited shy,Muslim some valid less minutes whUe his opponents (with reason) against protested the penalty award that would propel France to the final of Euro 2000. Then

angular, handsome, balding, the 28 year old man stepped forward and, with a crescent sweep of his right boot, sent the baU cannonading into the top left corner of the Portugal goal.27 in the 1998World Cup, which Zineddine Zidane's startUng performance France won, and in Euro 2000 has elevated him to the ranks of the greatest French sporting heroes KiUy, Platini). They have also con (Kopa, Merex, firmed his status as something far more important than that; something much harder to define. He is a significant political figure in France, even though he has never uttered poUtical Maghrebian ends, a political however sentence benign. for in pubUc and refuses to be deployed To the 4 miUion residents French the baggy-jeaned, (maybe the only for of

wearing young?Zidane been offered) that you a success treated

origin?especiaUy is a proof can be a "Beur"


reverse-basebaU-cap they have ever

in 21st-century France.28 as parasitic. It is, if anything, tion of or respect for other rights can be known. This is possibly why of the 577 members of the French national assembly, none is of Maghrebian origin. Elisabeth Badinter "Frankly," rightly observes: "It is harder to be a North in France."29 Beur faces are stiU rare on French African than to be awoman this end, Zidane has had a wide and social impact; political an is he inventive because and foot incomparably elegant, partly intelligent ball player (maybe the best in the world); more because he is importantly television. To of Algerian origin of the Arab.30 In a survey that there were because, in France, the most active racial issue is stiU fear

and (second generation Franco-Arab) a cannot be Such right, if recognized, an implicit prior right by which viola

inMarch 63% of French people said 2000, an extraordinary too many Arabs in France.31 Zidane was born inMarseiUes, but his family comes from the Kabyle community in Algeria (which is, tech in the presence nicaUy and ethnicaUy speaking, not Arab). His high-profile

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30.1 (Winter 2003) CollegeLiterature team gave young Beurs a sense of identity for the first time as importantly?an in main image of a successful Algerian for the first time in history with the exception perhaps of the famed actress Isabelle Adjani.32 To the great white majority?haunted by racial folk memories from the Algerian war of liberation and by suspicion of French national
Arab men?Zidane is a relief; a reproach; a counter-argument; a

but also?just stream France


of joy and pride; in sum, a "denegation" as Freud would have it. His Smail and in from before the war 1953, Malika, parents, emigrated Algeria of his success to his father, to whom he broke out. Zidane attributes much as "mon papa" (Lichfield 1998, 34).33 always refers source It is the exceptional the person that creates his impor quality of Zidane as a not just for Dior but also for a tance as a political symbol, poster-child, rare France. His multi-racial talent also be read as a proof of successful, might French racial barriers. "An Arab immigrant's continued son," Kifi Yamgane, of La Fondation Republicaine pour ITntegration, informs us, "must do President to be recognized in France." But the importance of Zidane very well goes French people a way to dissolve their farther afield. He offers young white prejudices. The views ago. "Even Zidane's people were formed many years them ankles will not, however, supernatural change a French children but he offers white and young overnight, triumphant a not and Beurs is of which young positive Algeria self-image, gentle image or rejection of the red, white and blue" (Maschino rooted in drugs, violence more as true France is all the insofar claim has yet to come 2001, 23).The of the bulk of French to terms with
its name.

its history,

a history

full of shame, a history

that dare not


sees the Zidane phenomenon everyone solely in terms of assimila in La Revue des Deux Mondes of A selection articles however. tion, published over the last 140 years reveals sentimental and romantic attitudes of the of French toward Algeria. The picturesque itself; the sense appearance Algiers Not of an ancient Mediterranean "immensite saharienne": to Jacques in exotic these But immersed themselves pleasures. they looked, Berque long too, for signs of the French past, for the names of streets like La rue des La rue des Trois Couleurs in Algiers. And, conclusively, Pyramides, or most to Amelie, Louis tucked away in Lefardin Marengo, the small space dedicated at the time of the conquest.34 Then, clearer evidence of Philippe's Queen wear were from the local soldiers recruited French power, there population, was simply cape. For many years, this colonization ing their red and white whole until the 1950s, when the taken for granted, even by French intellectuals, edifice came tumbling down in a tragic conflict that was both a clas sic colonial war, with an occupying army fighting against a nation seeking its the appeal of the South civilization; to Andre Gide travelers from Delacroix and of the

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Marrouchi 29 Mustapha a European population and a civil war in which and an assim independence, Uated indigenous population were fighting other Algerians. The war began officiaUy on 1 November 1954 ("Le Toussaint Rouge") to the official figures, 15,583 and lasted seven and a half years. According and Foreign Legion soldiers were kiUed; one esti French, French MusUm, mate puts Algerian losses at around a quarter of a miUion, but much higher divisions 1984, 56). It created violent (Home figures have been claimed as within metropolitan terrorism and demonstrations which France, and, got out of hand led to many deaths, a civil war in France itself seemed possible. After to an end, almost the entire French the war was brought 1962, when in 1954, had numbered more of Algeria who, than one million, population left what had been for most of them the country of their birth. As with the defeat of 1940, it has taken a long time for the full history of this war to be written. than thirty years after Les Accords d'Evian, people said were too selective, the sense of humiliation too persistent that memories too widespread, and controversy for objective research to be undertaken. In the early 1980s, when Benjamin Stora began a doctoral thesis on the life of For more

the father of Algerian he was the only historian nationalism, Haaj Messali, on an Algerian to be working in the University of Nanterre subject. In a bibliography in which he listed no fewer 1997, the same Stora published than 2130 books written about the war inAlgeria, and he was able to argue that it was not for any want of information to that the subject continued be avoided France Under by those studying and teaching contemporary history both in and Algeria.35 the French, Algeria was a colony Uke no other, except perhaps for an imperial part of metropolitan India under the British. ConstitutionaUy was it the rhetorical France, greatest example of the French imperial doctrine of assimilation. Despite defeat in three major wars, France never abandoned the territory. Algeria was the keystone of L'Union Frangaise, as it became in 1946. For France to have one day to abdicate its imperial role there known seemed to many a prospect worse than the defeats of 1870-71 and June 1940. For unUke France s other colonies, Algeria was into France incorporated It was legaUy and ConstitutionaUy (1848-1851). by the Second Republic to Calvados, Tarn-et-Garonne, or Bouches-du identical (at least in theory) Rhone. Henceforth aU that distinguished Algeria, nowfille de France, from the so-called Hexagone (the roughly six-sided mass of European France) was pre a a enormous hoUow blank the of the sea separat space, page, vacancy cisely to continue outre-mer} outre-mere.36 Algeria would ing it from Maman-Fouance: be perceived, spoken about and acted upon, both locaUy and in Paris, because it became involved in a subordinate filial relationship with La Metropole under which the old androgynous has percep mere-patrie, or what Jacques Derrida

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30.1 (Winter 2003) CollegeLiterature tively caUed the "Capital-City-Mother-Fatherland," clearly Uved on unconscious of "French" and "Algerians" aUke (1996, 73). the handing-over of power inAfrica which began Decolonization, 1950s and reached in the in the

its peak in the 1960s, required a sort of complicity. The leaders used big words when African but itwas talking about independence, understood that behind the rhetoric an intimate relationship with the old as as continue colonial power would "business usual," which required much on the African and forgetting in 1962 side. The Algeria handover forgiving was quite different. The white settler population was considerably larger than in other European divided ethnic lines that is, colonies (colonies, along not had The where the indigenous been exterminated). population simply a civil war, a seces therefore was effectively Algerian war for independence sionist conflict which the self-professed undermined ideals of Republican France. It is the poUtical investment this close union which represented by of the final break. But only in part. For the violence explains the violence rose also from the effort of wiUing a nation into existence. No more than in other territories where the sovereignty of colonial power came to be disput
ed could there be a nation. "Algeria"?as much as "India"?had to be cre

ated, and the central agent in this task was the FLN. The FLN moudjahidine had not only to erode the authority of the French poUce and miUtary; equal ly, they had to impose their own authority over diverse ethnic communities: Berbers, Michael Mzabis, Harkis, Jews. And by terror. As they did so principaUy in De Gaulle and Algeria 1940-1960, for Ketde amply demonstrates own kiUed their murdered the of FLN, they peo every European by eight never took the form of simple opposition ple (1976, 34). Decolonization
between What oppressor was oppressed. as it was the war?or, and Frantz known Fanon to was some, wrong. revolution?about? In

the broadest French miUtary Members

the colonial terms, it was a three cornered struggle: between in arms with disaffected French state; the pieds-noirs settler population communities. and Jewish officers and the native Arab, Berber

of the three groups were mustered (often through sadistic terror) idea of the Algerian into support for the FLNs nation, or into mercenary armies, the doomed Harkis.37 Presiding over the melee was Le General himself,

a "prince of ambiguity" whose intentions on Algerian matters were inscrutable. in June 1958 to pronounce the most he arrived in Algiers TypicaUy, when vous ai compris"?he was euphori famously sibyUine words of his reign?"fe caUy received by the French army, the pieds-noirs and the natives aUke.To those who tried to read his mind, he stood variously for integration and French a or for of for De GauUe looser form self-determination. association, Algeria, would decisively lose the initiative to the FLN: the cost of re-asserting control

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Marrouchi 31 Mustapha of "la semaine des colonels in the chaotic menace putsch-prone barricades" in January 1960, proved almost fatal (Morin 1999, 34-35). on 18 November When after a televised 1960, two weeks speech in which de Gaulle had spoken of a future Algeria that would no longer be gov erned by France as "une Algerie algerienne?' This "auto-determination" as he called it, could be carried out either with or against France. Of the leaders of had been based outside Algeria for six years to remain there for declared: "They say they many more?he likely are the government of the Algerian Republic that will come into existence and were one day but has never existed yet" (Morin 1999, 67). The speech greatly in Le General's the words last about the many upset entourage, people Prime The Michel told Jean Minister, Debre, "Algerian Republic" especially. Morin he had read the text of the speech before itwas recorded, the phrase about the "Algerian Republic" had not been there. Debre protest ed and Le General apologized, had been carried away, that the that he saying words had come out in spite of himself. Morin that de Gaulle had believed that when into making deceived his famous "je vous ax compris" speech in Algiers in June 1958 by the sight of Europeans and Muslims cheering together. He had not realized that the Muslims had been forcibly brought there. In a con been in February with Morin claimed that his "Vive 1959, de Gaulle same was a V visit outburst the concession deliberate Algerie francaise!" during to the Europeans not have used the same phrase in in Oran?he would Constantine is perhaps being cynical here. After all, the Algerian (111). Morin versation peasantry had been very severely treated by the Army and saw Gaulle a gfimmer of hope. There may well have been genuine " in de Gaulle's response, a spontaneous Vive VAlgerie frangaise!" What Morin did not, however, know was that de Gaulle direct negotiations with the FLN?which had established itself as 1958 Le Gouvernment Provisoire de laRepubliqueAlgerienne,b^scd The initiative for direct after had come negotiations de Gaulle's "auto-determination" from perhaps applause had in de and, the resistance movement?who over his own

in mind

in September in Geneva.

diplomat, in February 1961. De Gaulle began at Lucerne was to sion collect information. He maintained that France was not simply of since in view independ his frightened Algeria's becoming independent, ence was meaningless. The President of Congo Brazzaville, FlubertYoulou, was but itwas de Gaulle, who provided his income (Wauthier "independent," If to be associated with did not want the French, then 2001, 67). Algeria France would its forces in Algiers, Oran, Mers-el respond by concentrating Kebir and other "points sensibles" a convention would have to be signed set ting out contractual guarantees for the European population.

the FLN, via a Swiss speech. The negotiations told Pompidou that his mis

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30.1 (Winter 2003) CollegeLiterature aU these matters de GauUe not to negotiators delay by insisting satisfaction. During the negotiations who had French, originaUy wanted 99 years, accepted 15 years (in the On gave way. He specificaUy instructed his that aU these details be resolved to their that took place in February 1962, the to keep their base atMers-el-Kebir for on event they evacuated it 1 February

1968). It is true that two days after Les Accords d'Evian had been signed spe soldiers who cial provisions were made for the future of the many Muslim had been recruited by the French. Itwas also agreed that there would be no reprisals against any individual or group that had been serving France. But forces led by Houari within the nationaUst days of the Agreement, were organizing attacks on the Harkis, who had been disarmed Boumediane could not, officiaUy, authorities. The French Army by the French military protect them, and estimates of the number of Harkis kiUed vary from 25,000 to at least 100,000 (Morin 1999, 102). De GauUe insisted that, after inde not be responsible for maintaining France order in Algeria. would pendence, With it clear that he did not think of them as regard to the Harkis he made not be "repatriated" since they were he that could and French, they explained not returning to the land of their fathers. He explained his attitude about in the foUowing France being no longer involved in Algeria terms:"Napoleon disait qu'en amour, la seule victoire, c'est lafuite. En matiere de decolonisation aussi, in 1962 Algeria gained la seule victoire, c'est de s'en aller" (144). And so, when own ruin, and Les were to out left work the their Algerians independence, Legionnaires moved out singing Edith Piaf's "fe ne regrette Hen de Hen" (VideUer 1992, 75). settlers from one day to the next the European The liquidation made sacrifices to decades of into panic-stricken and pennUess refugees?vicarious mismanagement Paris politicians the exodus was abandoned the rebeUion by their own leaders, of clashing ambitions on the part of of de GauUian Weltpolitik. Above and of the grandiosity aU, to the Algerian people, who were crueUy of great detriment

of of the FLN, who engaged from the beginning its leaders have learnt to prac in 1954, in the fraternal violence which has served them weU as tice against one another?an experience rulers of the country. The rebels had formed in exile a Gouvernement Provisoire

to the mercies

took de la Republique Algerienne. This body, headed by Youssef Benkhedda, over from the French in Algiers in 1962. Its tenure was very short indeed. Ahmed Ben BeUa, one of the so-caUed chefs historiques of the revolution, who 1956 and 1962, saw no reason why he had been in a French prison between to Benkhedda. He Brahim with Mohammed should defer conspired chief of known as Colonel Houari Boumediane Boukharrouba, (orRouge), in Morocco Stationed and Tunisia, staff of the Armee de Liberation Nationale. it had taken hardly any part in the struggle against the French. Boumediane,

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Marrouchi 33 Mustapha who from his post by the Gouvernement Provisoire in June the following August, 1962, marched with his troops on Algiers swept away in his place. and imposed Ben Bella Benkhedda and his government had been dismissed Boumediane Minister. own himself became In 1965, he toppled death in 1978. Ben Bella Ben of Defense Prime and Deputy and reigned in his place until his never stood a chance. Itwas not just that the tied his hands before his Algerian enemies Bella Minister

present situation metaphorically that its task and rivals did it literally, or that his entourage did not consider to looking after the personal safety of the man who had fought for extended and was imprisoned by the French for that very reason. He independence was helpless against the sheer power and numbers of those who were deter to destroy him. In the mean mined time, Boumediane kept Ben Bella impris in a flat on the top floor of an apartment oned and in solitary confinement

building (BenBella 2001, 18).

in Congo, had a clear vision of what like Patrice Lumumba Boumediane, was then beginning to be called "neo-colonialism." He saw that the way to was not to out the past, but exactly airbrush guarantee independent politics the opposite: to build the awareness of the Algerian people around the mem at the hands of the French ory of their appalling suffering and humiliation 133 years of domination. his reign, Algeria itself during the previous During was deprived to of communication with the outside world, and subjected Agriculture, industry and commerce were nationalized a centralized this is the right word?by bureaucracy its control this period, many of the beyond any hapless subjects. During by silenced, driven into exile or mur original FLN leaders were imprisoned, was succeeded by Colonel Chadli Benjedid. He dered. Colonel Boumediane drastic experiments. and administered?if was of the Army, which imposed him as sole candidate for the as of the and the head FLN, only legal political party. He was to presidency, Boumediane what Brezhnev was to Stalin. Socialist Algeria stagnated for 10 while blatant years under his rule. Living conditions inexorably worsened as described Boumediane nomenklatura's the corruption, indulgently by to enrich the pillars, and the camp-followers, of the continued honey, the choice regime. Ferhat Ben Abbas was one of the earliest native Algerian political leaders. He persuaded himself to cast his lot with the FLN in 1955, only to be rudely pushed aside after 1962. The title of a book which he published in 1984, LTndependance from 1962 onwards. To mean achieve confisquee, concisely or sums up it once the travail of Algeria achieved, does not

the seats of power can govern honestly or effi of The rulers "decolonized" Africa, and especially those of Algeria, are ciently a standing demonstration of this truth (see Le non-alignement-ouvrage collectif

independence that those who occupy

to confiscate

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34 College 30.1(Winter Literature 2003)

1985, 23-87). tionary, of Algeria after 1962 came out of the revolu governors and of MessaU Haj's Parti du Peuple violent tradition conspiratorial, and of its organisation secrete. From it emerged, among others, Ben The

Ben BeUa con Boudiaf, whom had lived in exUe since then, and whom back in January the Army 1992, to sit in the place of brought was murdered State the (Huband 1999, 77). brutaUy by Benjedid, UnUke most of the new African states, however, Algeria enjoyed a very of the French oU com the nationaUzation large income from oU, foUowing enormous in aU OPEC 1973. These and above the of 1971, coup panies resources seem to have been largely wasted. The state controUed 40 per cent to the extent of the best agricultural land, but agriculture was mismanaged increase in food imports became necessary. Drugged that amassive by OPEC on the embarked industri money, government grandiose, centraUy managed the framework of the "irreversible aUzation projects conceived within social soon after independence conse The ist option" proclaimed the FLN. by quence was, in spite (or rather, because) of the income from oil, a spiral of international debt, inflation and the utter inabiUty of the centraUzed com mand to find employment for the inexorably economy increasing numbers to their feUow-cit of its dependents. It is as though the standing exhortation run isAppauvrissez-vous. izens of the anti-Guizots who This faU from Algeria has come with great grace, as reflected in the everyday Ufe of aUAlgerians, In the years foUowing 1962 no one had a clear idea of the real suddenness. inAlgeria. Only one book gave an inkling of what went on in the conditions under "Rouge." This was The Private Life of People's Democratic Republic an intern, IanYoung, which was about the neg Islam, by English medical in the gynecological lect and victimization of women ward of a patients were of that fell to where medical the country hospital, posts part spoils FLN ure and camp-followers apparatchiks to report what was going on repressive and secretive regime. A moment should lies of this fail (1978).The explanation in the restrictions imposed by a

Algerien and Mohammed BeUa, the first President, to death in 1964. Boudiaf, who demned


1988. of truth for the regime came with the riots of October at have aU shows the which discontent great they happened in an autocraticaUy had elicited and impoverishment gov unemployment to its lot. These riots clearly shook erned population, generaUy acquiescent its leaders. They promised and frightened reforms, an end to the In of the elections. these and the FLN, circumstances, poUtical monopoly a nerve were to since loss of be show that could taken mistake, they promises at any is particularly dangerous for autocratic and despotic governments.This, removed Benjedid. of those who rate, seems to have been the judgment the regime

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Marrouchi 35 Mustapha and the Jews in 1962, Algeria the exodus of the Europeans Following Its Islamic loyalties became more became self-conscious totally Muslim. to arabize Algeria, by promoting Arabic as who wanted under Boumediane, a teaching medium in schools and in the newly established universities. This increased necessarily mentalist movements Syria.38 When contact with allowed the Arab East and with so-called funda Brethren, active both in Egypt and some freedom of the press and party activ Benjedid an was to idiom after the Islamic riots, ready on hand by which ity political it promoted, in a manner which attack the regime and the misgovernment in of the masses. The FIS was formed spoke to the hearts and minds 1989. In June 1990, it greatly increased its status and influence by September many seats for again When for a decisive in municipal 1991, June the first ballot majority were elections. Elections regional to the following then postponed in December showed that the Front was and but in the National was Assembly the second (Vidal 2000, 56). ballot, scheduled leaders of the FIS, without found trial, and guilty of the such as the Muslim

winning promised December.

heading The Army

Benjedid deposed, for mid-January canceled, and the Front proscribed. The as well as a large number of its adherents, were detained twelve members appeared before of three soldiers and sentenced the Front was formally established Though evident almost a decade a military court, were to death.



only in 1989, the Islamic cur as before, and from its beginnings, B. Botiveau and F. Fregosi in their valuable com chronicled by M. Al-Ahnaf, the same element of pilation, LAlgerie par ses Islamistes, there was evident is now apparent, and which violence which has also charac conspiratorial a for terized the FLAT and the Organisation secrete. In 1981, Mustafa Bouyali, rent had become mer the Mouvement guerilla, established Islamique Algerien Arme, consisting of 16 cells. In 1983, he was caught in an ambush and killed. His organization was dismantled. Bouyali has become for the Islamists the symbol of struggle state. A the few years earlier, in 1976, a preacher, against impious Algerian Mahfoudh blowing

to Boumediane Nahnah, expressed his opposition an was for which he sentenced up electricity pylon, freed after Boumediane's
dismantle Bouyali's

prison. He was


s regime by to 15 years in and is said to have helped?



a leading figures of the FIS were Abassi Madani, professor of born in 1931, and Ah Belhaj, born in 1956, a preacher and a teacher of Arabic. Both were active in the Islamic movement, and both were to house arrest, or to prison and exile, during the 1980s.39 Their condemned The two

included in LAlgerie par ses Islamistes, give an idea and declarations, writings of the movement's intellectual baggage and of its aims. Belhaj denounces lib a as Masonic Protocols the the Elders erty merely of slogan spread by ofZion in

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30.1 (Winter 2003) CollegeLiterature to corrupt the Islamic world. What he faUs to note is that the Protocols devised by the Czarist slander. The regime for purely anti-Semitic so did Hitler when Czarists knew about the power of representations; he order the pamphlet for his own purposes; and so do today's Zionist pro pagandists, who use the very same slander to distract their moraUy bankrupt adopted the image of the dishonest, bloodthirsty, lazy and vindictive is examined in Said's and/or Arab. Another kind of representation set in the motion left's Orientalism, which contemporary single-handedly obsession with media-unmasking. Said vividly demonstrated how Western Palestinian had exoticized the image of the Arabs, portraying and deformed as them and unfathomable. Yet if representations dehuman sexy, mysterious, ize and obscure, they possess degrees of virulence; or, to put it differently, to is Caesar's and to God what is God's, is an immoral give unto Caesar what scholars formula man implying can control that state and religion can be separated, which means his own fate independently of the Creator. BeUevers that are inteUectuals with



to command is unknown

injunction ing to promote

the good and prohibit the evil for Belhaj, this divine to the Zionists, who are a "cursed community," work and thus to weaken Islam.Two Jews, Haim Nahol democracy

of Istanbul under the Young Turks) and Lord Chief Rabbi (Haim Nahum, Cardon and the the abolition of the Caliphate (Curzon), had thus demanded of a secular state in Turkey. The the estabUshment newspaper, Jewish Economist, has foUowed in their footsteps by advising President Sadat to shut of Egypt if he wants his pro-American down aU the mosques and pro-IsraeU to As it succeed. for the what Front, aspires to, Belhaj declares, is to re poUcy world. Against Jews, Masons is and torture, impious Algerian steeped in violence to For for of and the AUah sake Islam. him, Islam is the fight Belhaj professes same at of and of and the whip, the time tolerance the word offeree, religion to be used on the proud and the wUfiil. a in is Islam, short, religion which estabUsh and the CaUphate the whole MusUm the state which sword to the righteous Book.40 aUies the conquering In February 1989, President Benjedid was pleased to grant a constitution in Algeria. On the first anniversary of the new era, estabUshing democracy the Algerian support warned of the Army was to declared that the mission army newspaper and prevent dictatorship. A few months later, Madani democracy to come out of its barracks, this army of democracy that if it were over

"we, men and women, wiU, by the grace of God, come out, and we shaU be an Islamic army fighting in the cause of the Prophet in of God" (Quoted In this war, the Army of democracy Gacemi and Pasquier 2000,23). has won made It is, however, safe to say that today, 12 years after Madani his pronouncement, offers a new replay of old predicaments: Algeria national distrust between the populace and their governors, neglect, the first round.

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Marrouchi 37 Mustapha and counter-violence, the tyranny of the upper class, civil Islamism, violence war. The 2001 Berber revolt that was quelled with 62 deaths in four days is a clear reminder of the injustice inflicted on Algeria's ancient people. culture and language (Tamazight) The Berbers, with their own distinctive in the war against France would give them recog hoped their participation their aspirations in 1962 when he nition; but President Ben Bella destroyed recalled the "Berber declared: "We are all Arabs." InMay, 2001 the Berbers Spring" Mouloud to permit refused the government the writer to give a lecture on 16 -century Berber poetry; the are insignificant this uprising thousands of arrests that followed compared areas of the Kabyle capital ofTizzi with the deaths in the same month. Whole of 1980 when Mammeri Ouzou stations in outlying while taken over by demonstrators police assaulted by hundreds of youths. The provincial gendarmerie, hav ing run out of tear-gas grenades, began shooting down the protesters with its own toll of perhaps 150,000 lives five rounds. Algeria's "Islamist" war with the French so much that only amassacre of Sabra and Chatila has frightened a even not its will squeak from the Quai d'Orsay.With proportions provoke towns were
own massive Algerian population, France does not want another immigra


refugees Government handle that the murder



let the Algerian Maghreb. the problem. But is it capable? After all, many still claim Lounes of the famous Berber shot dead by Matoub, singer from The in 1988, was the work of the govern the inquiry whether investigating a or the murder of former president traditionally of iswhy so many Algerians suspect army have a hand in the violence that the gov that has torn


is better


gunmen Algeria's farniliar "unknown" ment. The "commissions" country's most grotesque massacres fail to unmask anyone; which ernment and its all powerful


cruel and while it is true life in Algeria has become extremely Village a has work that lot of government-sponsored been wasted, and development some benefits in the in its execution, it has nevertheless ham-fisted brought a and minimum But what is of remains health care, education, wage. shape appalling poverty, tribal diversity and obvious shortcomings. common nial elite on the other hand display characteristics terparts in many former French colonies: The post-colo to their coun

they are insular and insulated, of the masses. They protect and nurture incestuous, smug, and contemptuous their own per their own interests, and profess egalitarianism while practicing

onWestern ideas and pre system. It is obvious that their overreliance ethos and nearly ruined the country. They scriptions has eroded the Algerian the education, have yet to recover from their colonial hangover and develop that may persuade the ruled to think of themselves attitude, and institutions nicious
as partners rather than as a tiers-etat. Democracy and the nation-state concept

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38 College Literature 30.1(Winter 2003)

the people the poor have elected have ruled?not repre If aUAlgeria's woes were just a particularly bad hangover from French Algeria, there might weU be room for optimism. Algeria is not only a land governed by a handful of men trained to ape the ways of the European once ruled them. It is also a land under the influence of white men who sented?them. (albeit from the rest of the MusUm world). One look at Algeria from the point of view of those most affect the children, and the underprivUeged. ed, the riot victims, the women, Massacres have been taking place for years. In early 1993 there was a rash of incidents in which entered the homes of civU servants?police gunmen men in particular?and in sight. Later that yearTahar Djaout, kiUed everyone Eastern fundamentalism therefore must one of Algeria's most promising young writers, at thirty-nine, and Mahfoud a a were within few assassinated Boucebi, leading psychiatrist, days of each senior figures in the Algerian other. JournaUsts became favorite targets?both a weU-respected and widely for Le read columnist press, Uke Said Mekbel, Matin, and beginners, Uke Khadija Dahmani, ular Arab-language untU its demise weekly on the staff of a-Shuruk, a pop in 1998, which was by no means hostile to reUgion.To date some sixty-nine JournaUsts and a number of other media workers have been assassinated, and although no violence against the and inteUectuals are reported since 1999, many writers in hiding, changing their residences frequently But the spectacu did lar murders of individuals who could easUy be identified by profession were not overshadow on the fact that vehicles and being stopped highways profession stiU Uving has been them. By the along with in viUages captured the world's attention, time the massacres in the summer of 1997, reliable estimates placed the number of people kiUed inAlgeria since to 150,000 1992 at 60,000 This total, of ( to groups thousands of terrorists and, according such as course, includes Human a number of people sus and Amnesty International, Rights Watch terrorists. of being pected The terrorism of armed fundamentalist groups began after the army can celed the parUamentary elections scheduled for January of 1992, in which the FIS was about to best both the ruUng and by then corrupt FLN and the sec as democrats. The implication ular opposition, known is that a coUectively to power of a religiously the legitimate accession secularist military blocked favored by the majority of voters. This position inspired party democraticaUy was toward the implied in the initial coolness of the U.S. State Department in that from the 1992 aborted elections of and the repeat regime emerged to facUitate some kind of national at ed offers by the French conference the parties to the conflict could discuss their differences. The most their occupants gunned down, schools were being ers murdered in front of their students?sometimes burned and schoolteach have failed because


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Marrouchi 39 Mustapha to many Algerians, of the regime's libelous?critique half unsubstantiated suggestions, spoken in European legitimacy was behind the village mas media and political circles, that the government sacres. This went well beyond the accusations made in Algeria that the secu controversial?and came with rity agencies, quate protection Two other and the army in particular, failed to provide villagers with ade (Girardon 1990, 10-13). events that left an imprint on electoral famous national were In November violence. of 1995 a also punctuated by politics

Algerian retired general, Liamine Zeroual, ran for President and won, with 61% of the and the democrats' Said vote, against an Islamic candidate, Mahfoud Nahnah, in June of 1997 a newly formed Saadi. And party, L'Union governing a program the President which and of Democratique Nationale, supported a won in economic and the institutional reform, plurality long gradual delayed legislative FLN and Nahnah The most did not drunk with seem elections s party and formed a coalition government with the

in Algeria in the 1990s of what happened likely explanation to interest anyone. The emirs and their drugged acolytes? evil brews of false religion and politics, and with every stimulant

lost their bid to overthrow available, as autopsies have repeatedly shown?had to bring down asmany people with state and were determined the Algerian of the FIS were apparently of the commanders them as they could. Many the official government persuaded by the security forces, along with policy of forgiveness for surrender, to lay down their arms in October, 1997. the FIS in 1994 was bent on the GL4, which had broken off with However, or death. In the summer of 1997, the GL4 focused on the either victory itwas strongest, the Valley of the Mitidja, just south of Algiers. region where As army sweeps in the valley began to pay off, security specialists surmise, into the region where the GL4 sent its death commandos they were not at one time have Its purpose was revenge: the villagers, who might expected.
shown recalcitrant. insurrectionary Moreover, bands since some the support, summer's if only out of any fear, were now from surrenders village

in the minds of young men was now marked no as a nest traitors of the GL4 mercy (Pautard 1992, 11-14). deserving was which Until 1988, for example, Al-Musdhid, long Algeria's only was a was editor-in-chief newspaper, government (its mouthpiece major which the FIS had recruited murdered trade-union the Union Generate des federation, 1995). The was run Travailleurs Algeriens, by operatives of the ruling party, the FLN, and and served, in the Soviet style, to ensure the workers' acceptance of economic their interests. In the late 1980s, rather than to champion social policies, however, Algeria the ated with an independent developed often led strikes regime press, and trade unions against government unaffili A policies. in

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30.1 (Winter 2003) CollegeLiterature reformer Union CIO.


in the teachers' union, Abdelhak Benhamouda, seized control of the in 1986, and later renewed historical ties with the U.S. AFL Political parties were created, along with other institutions that a free General
takes for granted?women's-rights groups, for instance. The nation

to make room for a private sector. At aUzed economy was being transformed was the same time, Algerian under attack by amiUtant poUtical move society ment flying the banner of Islam. From 1992 to 1995 especiaUy, it seemed that the attack might Iran" (Girardon a takeover only for succeed. Algeria was assumed inmany circles to be the "next on the right warned In France politicians that 1990,10-13). not of Algeria by the FIS would have deleterious consequences

relations but also for the human rights of ordinary French-Algerian on But the Left, including the former Prime Minister, Algerians. poUticians activist Bernard Kushner Lionel Jospin, and the humanitarian condemned in of the electoral process in 1992 (Pautard 1992,13). Many the interruption even most to France hoped for a more nuanced the radical approach in the poUtical process. Islamists, arguing for their inclusion Even as observers grew used to the idea that the "natural iden Western eventuaUy sweep away a tottering regime that tity" of the Algerians would lacked popular would Voting that, on the contrary, they support, Algerians were showing a monster state for that stood their national support independence. an was of this sup under the threat of death expression repeatedly

in schools of parents to keep their children port, as was the daUy decision kiUers. Said Saadi, who under threat from throat-slashing got fewer of his compatriots' votes than he had hoped, voiced aword that took on the sound of a popular refrain: "resistance." "Terrorism has not been defeated but terror has been" (Quoted in Bouamama 2000, 19).42 In the Arab world, character ized by authoritarian regimes reactionary reUgious ideologies, abUity of Islamic cultures to accept modernity. terror did not begin with The the army IdeologicaUy parliamentary new skUls early in the 1980s. Perhaps more driven and tempted?supposedly?by this was a big story, with fanatical implications and for the

coup in January of 1992. ceUs of Islamists had began testing their

significant than their attacks on in terrorizing border posts and poUce stations was their growing boldness was no means to organize It of for unheard them both ordinary people. by to atten the and beat for lax charities for mosque needy people up private case in and for dance or, the of girls young women, dressing immodestly. riots in 1988, President When, foUowing widespread anti-government as a federation Chadli Benjedid legaUzed political parties, the FIS emerged of the hundreds ed themselves half of networks, in the 1980s. including paramiUtary In the 1990 elections councUs across ceUs, that had constitut than the FIS won more more than 54

the seats in municipal

the country, with

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Marrouchi 41 Mustapha percent of the popular vote, and the party was able to deepen and broaden what its constituent factions had been doing for years. In the more ideolog town fanatical councils highly controversial social poUcies were passed: icaUy girls could no longer play sports (Algeria had previously done a great deal to the education, athletic asweU as academic, of girls); wedding promote parties no could singers of the popular Algerian longer have musicians, particularly as Rai; the intensifying blues known paramiUtary training of young men now be paid for with municipal funds. Distributors would of TV antennas, to foUow "immoral" which aUowed viewers movies and from programs to seU or risk the France and elsewhere, were told to find other merchandise
consequences. The same for wine merchants.

sermons at leader of the FIS, Ali Belhaj, whose demagogue were widely in Bab his mosque disseminated, was open about his be aMusUm state, with no room for anyone party's program. Algeria would who did not accept that fact. The only purpose of women would be to pro duce more Muslims (this in a country where nearly half the university grad uates are women), be no use for the non-Arabic and there would lan are his and and guages?French spoken by Algerians. Belhaj Tamazight?that The young el-Oued minions a fuU-scale cultural war. The FIS caUed on itsmiUtants were waging to launch an insurrectionary strike in the spring of 1991, to force President to and caU Benjedid resign early national elections, which Belhaj was confi dent of winning. The union leaders associated with Benhamouda, the teach ers' union reform, had just wrested control of the Union Generate from the had been the federation FIS, which is, as an running Soviet-style?that of the ruling party?since the mid-1960s. social appendage They were and they viewed their adversaries as fascists. They did not care democrats, popular Belhaj was. "Hitler was popular too," one of them said. At any in kind to the FIS's mobilizations, and for several rate, the union responded in early 1991 it appeared that the country was headed for civU war. months it is probably true that Benhamouda and his comrades would have However, taken up arms against an Islamist takeover. In 1997, Benhamouda, his body how and a parking-lot attendant were in headquarters Algiers.43 guard upshot have dealt with time, Algerian tarian movement The kiUed in front of the Union Generate

is that the army personnel and the government officials who the crisis since 1992 have yet to find a solution.In the mean has 15 been under assault for years society nearly by a totah

and/or regime. The Algerian people have suffered enor to In it be the that those who have most to fear from come, years may mously. are the current situation the generals in the present-day Algerian Army, men who draw whatever of the armed they have from the memory legitimacy struggle against the French?the former Algerian Defense Minister Khaled

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30.1 (Winter 2003) CollegeLiterature Nezzar to be hastily flown out of Paris in April 2001 after two enter to have him arrested and detained under French lawyers attempted had Convention against Torture. The lawyers were one of whom had already died acting on in France to the of the

prising the terms of the UN behalf

of three Algerian expatriates, as a result of his injuries.44 Many Algerians Government have been describe feel


to hear a spokesman close enraged the current debate over the atrocities that too much discussion

Algerian War powerful men might lished ment. elicit

in France in Algiers

as an "affair for the French."

officer in a parachute regi La Sale guerre describes and all the hor torture, summary executions rors of living in an "interrogation center" where soldiers drank themselves in order to avoid hearing unconscious the screams coming from the cellar in the below. The author of the book, Habib Souaida,45 was an officer in the 1990s. The book also describes how tribalism has Army nation-state the old of from above and how the concept replaced imposed death threats against intellectuals who injustice, speak against corruption, those who decide to stay and identi poverty, are renewed every day. Unlike

some uncomfortable comparisons. in Paris by aman who had been a junior

It is easy to see why of French crimes In February, a book was pub


the powers that be, Souaida fy as well as assimilate to a large extent with stands for a cause and matters conviction, integrity, justice, truth; involving a a or a not occur in do that vacuum, laboratory library. For the principles in essence, that there in justice, this simply means, intellectual who believes is today the risk of the rope, the sword or the bullet. Only when we under stand that, will we be able anti-Islamist Habib Tengour
"All those who a way fall" them?in gin. today bear witness

to provide the right alternative. sums up the case with force:

in Algeria?much to this against their will, link circumstantial



for many of ori

to the group

And yet Iwonder

?Wasn't Tahar

about my dead friends:

assassinated because his anti-fundamentalist journal


istic writings
?Wasn't Youcef

Sebti the

the ruling elite and the Islamacists?

assassinated students of because the El of his Harrach "consciousness National raising" Institute of



?Wasn't ?Wasn't between Abdelkader Bakhti Alloula Benouada and assassinated assassinated "francophone' because because he was he worked and a communist? at a link





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Marrouchi 43 Mustapha
were of a res It public. to erad



the differences





and had made anti-Islamic "social contract" olutely was for a modern their "political" society many struggle icate that made them 1999, targets. 261-62) (Tengour

partisans stance their are trying

has been to present the reader with a rep My aim in this introduction resentative view of the Algerian talk of plight, now that there is so much war. In I the civil this have and relied position, Algeria Algerian formulating on what to I think can justly be called the Algerian experience, which mainly a self-conscious all intents and purposes became when the first experience wave of French colonialists in the early 1830s. reached the shores of Algeria Thereafter, from Arab Algerians people peculiar to it, and quite different connections between what are, of course, many history46 of domination did to rid themselves and what other oppressed Algerian history There done before took a course

in the past century; but the defining characteristic of trau and of after the 1962, year Algerian history independence?its encounter matic national in the region. This with Islamism?is unique have uniqueness By some national has both guided my aim and my performance?however flawed. are perhaps an unexceptional standards Algerians their people; a a to contest French testifies with and ambi history failing basically

tious ideology West (aswell as practice); they have been unable to interest the cause. in the justice of their Nevertheless, scholars, teach very much many a I think, to construct and writers have begun, intellectuals ers, journalists, political


and will

of their own;
even more

they have


a remarkable
resurgence; they


have gained the support of all the peoples of the Third World; above all, despite are fragmented and geographically the fact that Algerians dispersed in a coun try five times the size of France, and they have been united as a people large (which they have articulated out ly because the story of Algeria's domination of their own experience of dispossession and exclusionary has a oppression) to which coherence have all with It is to enthusiasm. they positive responded the full return failure and its subsequent spectrum of Algeria's post-independence to the lived details of that failure that this issue addresses itself. one thing about Islamism is the imbalance in its perception. Thus


the reality is so chilling, to cite figures and offer explanations is not matter In in the is the which the whole of all its West, ways enough. stripped resonances and its often morally confusing detail, and compressed simply and comfortably, inevitably under the rubric of "Islamist terror," are questionable to say the least.Yet as someone who has been touched by the issue in all sorts Imust also say that I have been petrified at the sporadic killings, the

of ways,

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30.1 (Winter 2003) CollegeLiterature suicidal missions, the assassinations, the bombing of schools and hotels; hor rified both at the terror visited upon its victims, and by revulsion at the fact as a that Algerian men were driven to do such things. Since I do not write detached observer, rather than trying to deal frontaUy with the terror to convey some sense of the larger Algerian have attempted story from aU these things originate. And if in the end the story does not?as waste the of and unhappiness, it does at least not?mitigate tragedies what has been missing, the reaUty of a coUective national trauma with cations itself, I which it can present

impli for every Algerian inside and outside Algeria. As the contributors France and its histo shrewdly demonstrate, whereas the ry have been celebrated without interruption, actuality of Algerians, with Uves being led, smaU histories endured, aspirations felt, has only recently been an existence. Yet aU of a sudden, the conceded now predicament Algerian seeks an answer: world opinion has demanded that this hitherto slighted crux of the Algeria impasse be given its due. But, alas, the possibUity of an ade is slim. The terms of such a less a genuine quate debate, much solution, debate are impoverished, for (as I said above) Algerians have been known as terrorists. A of sizeable has tended to monop corps only Algeria "experts" olize discussion, by using social science jargon and ideological principaUy cliches masked cultural attitude

as knowledge. Most of aU, I think, there is the entrenched toward Algerians deriving from age-old Western prejudices about Islam, the Arabs and the Orient. This attitude, largely shaped by the French in the case of Algeria, in its turn they drew for their and from which representation
barely tolerated


the Algerians,
status of a nuisance.





to the

as inferior the purpose of labeUng the Algerian is not a rebuttal its of role. Edward views Said the by explained aUeged poUtical as entire discipline of OrientaUsm the it is the that assumption embodying a to a of world that has ceased evolve. By implication, such world could study be made at least to appear ripe for colonization: However,
Of not itself, in itself, as a set of beliefs, as a method antithesis development of them of analysis, Orientalism can Its central From to be own weak myth way of this the it is the doctrinal of pour the arrested each of development. of the Semites. showing the victim the Semite of his the went of


Indeed, is the myth

argument matrix opposite nesses. bifurcated Orientalism, ... Each time the

other of By


forth, and of

the Westerner a concatenation in the the Zionist

irredeemably events and

circumstances one Semite to go the myth

Semitic the

movement; was forced

other, and of

the Arab, tribe are

the way is being

the Oriental. each is being

time concept



employed; the myth

the Arab



is evoked,

employed. The hold these instruments have on the mind

institutions buUt around them. For every Orientalist, quite

is increased by the
literaUy, there is

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Marrouchi 45 Mustapha
a support myths of the now of the



power, The about of

considering system the Arab and


that OrientaUsm of with the

propagates. state. To write

culminates world, the

in the very therefore, of

institutions is to write

Oriental not with



a nation,


a strident ideology but with the unquestioning backed with absolute force. (Said 1991, 307) The

certainty of absolute


Said sees at the prejudice?racial, reUgious, Unguistic, and cultural?that heart ofWestern views of Islam evolved, over the course of several radical turn and the Orient shifted. As a ing points, as the relationship between Europe circumstances have assured that. result, the myth has been sustained. Historical sufficient evidence, citing examples for the post Fred Halliday provides era that reveal the extent to which this prejudice has festered and found its voice in the nationalist wars that have characterized the conflicts colonial of

the post-Cold




179). Further,

this prejudice?myth
having a common thread.



Said explains:
One aspect of the of and electronic, stereotypes reinforcement the films, the postmodern by which resources So far have world the Orient forced is that there has been a is viewed. information is concerned,

Television, into more standard

aU the media's molds.

and more


as the Orient

ization and cultural stereotyping

teenth-century Orient." East This is grasped. academic is nowhere Three and more things


demonology in the ways to

the hold
of the by which even

of the nine
"mysterious the Near the simplest

imaginative true than contributed



matter: theWest, one,

of the Arabs and Islam into a highly politicized,

the history

almost raucous
in two, upon


of popular anti-Arab and Anti-Islamic prejudice in the history is immediately reflected of OrientaUsm; and both absence Israeli the Zionism, culture cultural and and its effects

the struggle between the Arabs as weU as upon American Jews at almost total the three, large;

liberal of any

the population making it


possible to identify with (HaUiday 1996, 26)

or dispassionately


the Arabs

or Islam.

the academic Beyond study of Islam or the Arabs, part of Algeria's misfor as sees Said tune, it, is to be the object of worn stereotypes. The French a series of them whole the 135 years they occupied promulgated during the appaUing brutality of the French witnessed Algeria. Alexis deTocqueviUe of he his swaUowed humanitarian conquest Algeria, yet principles because he was to beUeved that Algeria vital French interests. Nevertheless he predicted venient end badly. This is exactly what happened. The con inhabited by "barbarians," who would hardly notice if their land was taken from them and improvements made upon it,was suc Ill's romantic notion of an "Arab Empire" ceeded by Napoleon that would society would idea of a country that a dual

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46 College Literature 30.1(Winter 2003)

the ally of his own. The Third Republic introduced the ethno racism of mass to science settlements graphic late-nineteenth-century justify a about third the of in settlers the of the (only century European early years were French).The French policy of assimilation?for the tiny minority that was capable of from Islamic-Arab darkness toward the light of evolving a way to rationalize disenfranchis French civilization and citizenship?was almost 10 mil ing the other nine tenths of the population, which numbered become were only a few thousand "evolues" lion at the apogee of French Algeria.There in the early 1950s, when the war of independence broke out. At this point the French Fourth Republic discovered that the Algerians were really commu to "niggers" (Le Cour 2001, 24). nists?or, alternatively, "boucs" equivalent Racist in France resembled those in the U.S. And just stereotypes closely as in the U.S., racism ultimately a to kind of guilt-ridden gave way inability to criticize their attitude toward the Other. For forty years scarcely a voice in as suggested that whatever France so much the merits of the post-independ ence Algerian into economic it was leadership's forced march development, at the of liberal the trouble When expense coming political development. in asking began in the 1990s, of course, the French were nearly unanimous one a can a what backward people? The expect from gangster regime and socialist and revolutionary rhetoric of the post-independence the that Algeria was, broadly gave misleading impression years sometimes speaking, a secular

society. But Algerian nationalists had always associated the idea of their coun the independence try's Islamic identity with struggle. Islam had in fact pro vided the bedrock of the revolution. The original Algerian freedom fighter, Emir Abd nineteenth world.47 Abdelhamid al-Qadir, who century, was And Ben Badis, for nearly two decades in the fought intermittently a recognized in the Muslim religious authority the movement led by another Sheikh authority, religious sustained and literature identity on the basis of in the first half of the twentieth cen authorities were most intent on denying that to Paris from Aude masked or Gascogne. the fact that most the sense of national

Islam and Arabic tury?when Algeria was Algerians nomically intention

language the French colonial

any different The militant rhetoric were affected

in its relation of French

republicanism them eco by it only to the extent that it pauperized and marginalized them politically. But ultimately the proclaimed of the Islamic radicals to model their new Algeria on Iran gave the

that Algeria had remained?despite colonialism and revolution impression and socialist experiments?a traditional and deeply religious country. This is why itwas fashionable, at the height of the FIS's campaign of terror, in 1993 colonialism had failed to dent the 96, to say that 135 years of French "Algerian extremists personality," were merely as had two decades reasserting Algeria's of Algerian socialism, and that the long-repressed political-cultural

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Marrouchi 47 Mustapha for it is perhaps in its relation to Islam identity. This was another misreading, most deeply. The political culture reveals its that Algerian modernity society attitude of the Ottomans, who were of rural viUages; the benign chiefly interested in the coastal towns, and the attitude of the French administration, which viewed Islam as an effective excuse not to make citizens of the con in different ways to making contributed religion a force quered population, for cultural principle This identity without its becoming the dominant political organizing (Hourani 1983). Western issue tries to put the Algerian matter before the reader, not as as something to be thought but and finished, something watertight as a to with?in be dealt with cul tried out, short, engaged subject through,

have been outside history, and certainly out turaUy. For too long Algerians to make in its own modest this issue attempts side discussion; the way a and of for discussion cultural Algeria subject understanding. predicament The reader wiU quickly discover, I hope, that what is proposed here is not an
"expert" view nor, for that matter, personal testimony. Rather, it is a series of

in a sense of urgency and human rights reaUties, grounded experienced of social and political couched weU as in the contradictions experience, as much possible in the language of everyday reality.

as as

The present issue also maintains that most of our social and/or poUtical that the primary sources of our problems near Uls in Africa are indigenous, are native, rooted in the political, social, eco ly fifty years after independence nomic setup; that the most effective solutions cannot be imported: they must be the result of deUberate issues. Does reorganization of the resources mean available for tack the replacement of foreign rule Ung specific independence mean a in native does What equality by dictatorship? newly independent state Uke Algeria? How rule us? Algeria hoUow are the men who African serves as the case study for the contributors, who certainly do not intend as a their views against what has rightly been caUed the ideological polemic that pretends to scientific objectivity. bent of social science work Instead, the to and its here with describe slumber, essays gathered try Algeria awakening out at the same time neglecting region, in world politics. But
strands of Islamism. This is no

the setting of their life on their experience throughout

theoretical issue, nor a matter

the land, in the is woven the

of name-caUing.

To most Algerians, inform the world

Islamism has meant about therefore is how

ruthless violence. What itmeans certain

some, things of which they coUectively bear the living A number of basic premises inform the argument the contributors an existence of is One the is develop. continuing Algerian people. Another to an understanding of their experience is necessary that an understanding of the impasse between theWest and the Arab world. StiU another is that

they need concrete things traces.

to to

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30.1 (Winter 2003) CollegeLiterature in word and France, as well as its supporters, has tried to efface the Algerian a to France is that in action. Until it mention fact the merely today, striking or to name so is the unnameable, does their Algerians Algeria powerfully I it has done to them. Ultimately France of what is the Given "What the realities suppose question, Algeria?" the contributors find ways of telling us about the of the Algerian experience, a longing for peace at home and determining Algerian aspiration?namely, existence that I am asking in the street. It is hoped
and a much-hoped-for

serve to accuse

that their counter-archival

engagement with the "other

essays encounter
side." Such an


to venture beyond symbolizes, I believe, a heroic ideal that is rationally willing what Freud aptly called the upper floors of the house of human existence and to unsettle and rediscover what lies hidden or forgotten beneath them. essays must not be easy to write. For they derive from study of and on the meaning of them, how of modern Algerian history Many an in arise active the often from ever, quest for the participation discouraging are to conscious of all than present more trying Algerian predicament. They Such reflection
a summary of recent history, or a prediction of tomorrow's developments.

My hope of colonial of both To

law of

is that the contributors and\or post-colonial

have made

to the contemporary explain one's sense of oneself To theWest,

or at any sorts, rate very much

experience, cultural scene.

clear the Algerian and have shown

interpretation the relevance


as an Algerian in this way is to feel terms to be an out to be an Algerian is in political

a "terrorist." That at bottom is the

declares, "and unchanging stereotype, rigidity," Bhabha and demonic order aswell as disorder, degeneracy (1983,18).This repetition" to is to say that at the heart of the stereotype, a discursive strategy designed a a or to theWesterner, "fix" colonial Other in position of inferiority locate which "connotes if a threat must be admitted. For example, of a disruptive the potentiality even as to it be declares the then and/terrorist, stereotype rapacious Algerian or announces it his marks him or her as inferior to the self-controlled white, to violate, and thus requires the imposition of restraint if such her power cannot rest; it is always impelled to power is to be curtailed: so stereotyping For those who bear the mien of the further action and misrepresentation. is of is the and choice Other, freedom contingency claiming one's paradoxical, as in it is and the subaltern presence power of another's through projected to be or belong in this peculiar its double sense, with possession. To choose is also to commit oneself or one's com consciousness and split identification, to an agonistic existence.48 Henry Louis Gates makes the point per munity ceptively:
Each, against in his the own demands way, of rages against the dread who requirement have been to represent; with vested



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Marrouchi 49 Mustapha

meaning aUegories. ticities,

themselves] [define . . . Somehow the competing impostures.

by choice

other meanings, other against struggling is always between alternate inauthen approach toward the question: How


does it feel to be a paradox? (Gates 1997, 34) Notes 1 See Derrida

2 For more on

(2002); Bhabha
the topic of what

(2002, 6-7).
"bio-pouvoir" means, see Foucault, (1989, 42

49; 2002); Agamben,

Bosnia, treaty, Iraq, the U.S. Sudan made and the case wiU that be clear agree it clear it would enough. to the ban

3 Think of Rwanda, 4 In to this relation

ning of biological
weapons factory 5 For more on

on American the subject

as long as there was no

soU. of the prisoners


of any biological
Bay, see McGuire

in Guantanamo

(2002,1-5). 6 For more on the subject, see Bowles (2002b, 312-42; 2002a, 34-56). 7 See Cockburn and St. Clair (2001, 12-13); Hitchens (2001, 1-5). 8A matter view is to be found in Edward Said (2001a, 1 of this perspicacious 4; 2001b, 15). 9A briUiant (2002, 33-39). perspective is given byWideman
10 Said has written extensively on terrorism. For more on the subject, see (1981,

11 arrest include resembling the The government detain Middle of alarm, demanded Eastern suspicion Depending can seem and by aU and people on and got on the powers of that one of reads but to wire-tap terrorism, could telephones, and generaUy to paranoia habit can also Some to to suspicion

a state

and mobUization how


McCarthyism. everywhere crimes hate are examined

it, the American patriotism coUective passion. and

of lead of in

flying flag to intolerance, these points

patriotic, sorts of Ali,


unpleasant Said,




(Counterpunch 2001); Davis (2001, 1013). 12 I am indebted to Christopher Hitchens for the formulation of some of the ideas I develop here. For more on the subject, see (2001b, 19-127; 2000, 85-103). 13A litany of books on the subject of terrorism: MiUer, Engelberg, and Broad (2001); Reichman withTanne (2002). 14 I am truly indebted to Zizek for the formulation of some of the ideas I devel op here (2002: 3-5); also Agamben (1998, 23-71). 15 See Kysia (2001, 1-4). Kysia explains how the sanctions against Iraq have
spared death, Saddam disease, 16 There Hussein and condemned hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis to and malnutrition. is a precedent never to this wholesale accusation: we stiU recaU the Reagan

which was

thesis about Gadaffi's



in the Berlin

disco bombing, and Hawkins for

17 Holman
the formulation

and Hawkins
of some

(2000, 4). I am indebted to Holman

I develop in this section.

the points

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30.1 (Winter 2003) CollegeLiterature 18An insightful view of the role the French have played in the genocide in is to be found in Waller Rwanda (1996, 11-15); Peterson (2001, (1993); Malvern 245-303), and in particular Prunier (1995). 19 See Davidson (1993, chap. 4 in particular; 1995). 20 For more details on the topic, see Stora and Quandt (2001,195-231); Malley (1996,204-51).
21 22 For more The murder on the of Ken subject, see Marrouchi was carried (2000, out 5-25). in spite of appeals from some Sara Wiwa

of the world's most

Canterbury, 23 For more

influential organizations
of Berber

and people: Mandela,

and Pen. to foreign resistance

the Archbishop


the European Parliament on the subject

of Writers

Shatzmiller (2001, 41-69) and Brett, Fentress, and Shipton (1997, 34-76). 24 Naylor (2000,11-72); Ageron and Brett (1991,112-45); Caviglioli (2000, 48 50);Lindqvist(1998). 25 Pasquier et Baki (1999, 24-31); Pasquier and Gacemi (2000: 42-47); Kaplan (1998, 17-28); Gacemi et Pasquier (2000, 52-57); Basbous (2000, 45-72 in particu
lar). 26 Lorcin (1999,35-90). Lorcin's study demonstrates how the image of the sub

(bad) as opposed to the Berber (good) were used to ordinate?namely, the beliefs and values of the dominated society and to impose negate underlying French cultural, social and political values. See also Daubert (2001, 25-29) and Etemad (2001, 32-39). 27 Dubois (2000: 42-43) and Camps (1995, chap 3). 28 Labrunie (2001a, 21; 2001b, 20);Tayler (2000, 58-66); Cojean (2001, 34). the Arab
29 For more in France, on the subject ofwomen and people of Maghrebian origin living see Kramer (2000, 112-23).

30 Savarese (2000, chap. 2 and 3 in particular) and Blanchard


et Bancel


31 Videlier (2001, 10-13); Conklin (1997); Blanchard et Bancel (1997). 32 Collot (1987, 43-111) and Lefeuvre (1997). 33 I am grateful to Lichfield for formulating some of the arguments Imake



and de Cessole (1999) and Jauffret (1998). 35 Stora (1991, 34-56 in particular) and Droz et Lever (2002). 36 I borrow the formula "Vuve la Fouance" from Chamoiseau (1997, 197). 37On the Wauthier (2001, 67-68). subject of the Harkis, see 38The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 by the Egyptian Hassan al
Banna and remains the single most influential Islamist organization. Its broad fol

34 Causse

lowing, political

importance especially in theMiddle

primacy among to destroy

East, and intellectual force have

despite subject, attempts, see Huband

the brotherhood's

governments, by Arab particularly (1999, chap. 4 in particular).

Islamist organizations on the it. For more

39 Willis

(1996, 45-72

in particular) andVerges

(1997, 29-68).

This content downloaded from on Mon, 17 Mar 2014 15:05:02 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Marrouchi 51 Mustapha in Basbous (2000, 56). See also Mimouni Quoted (1992, 62; 2000) Gacemi et Pasquier (2000, 53-70). 41 For more on the plight of the Berbers, see Fisk (2001,1-4).
42 For more detaUs on the



43 Baya et Sylvaine, (56) and Beauge (2002, 2). 44 Pasquier (2000, 58);Tuquoi (2002, 2).
45 Decouverte, Souaidia 2001). lives in exile in France. He is the author


see Bouamama



of La





46 Stora (2001,34-58);Laroui (1985,13-32);AH (2002:1-13). (1977,24-56);Djait 47 Between 1832 and 1871, a number of religious leaders emerged to head armed opposition against the French colonial power that had established its rule in Algeria in 1830. Most prominent among these leaders was the Sufi Emir Abd al
Qadir, 1847 izing who he was the elected rule leader from prevented a state based French on Islamic of Algeria's root taking and western tribes. Between areas of Oran, of his 1832 and in the western the reUgious organ strug




gle against the non-Muslim French. His revolt coUapsed in 1847 but was foUowed by others, aU of them motivated by reUgion. Only in 1871 was France able to impose its

is a very fine account of the ideas I develop here in Bhabha (1983,18 I owe it to Bhabha for shaping my argument 36); Artforum (1993,167; 1997,11-12).
in this section.





For more




see Hourani



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