Has Political Islam Failed In Algeria?

3561 words - 14 pages

Has Political Islam Failed in Algeria?The question whether Political Islam has failed or not due to the internal structure of the Islamic political movement, in either Algeria or any other country in the Islamic World, is an important question for the analysis of the politicized Islamic phenomena. Olivier Roy sees the movement as a failure, not only in Algeria but also in the whole area from Casablanca to Tashkent, the movement has resulted in failure due to many reasons that are seen as common among all the divisions of the movement regardless of their different socio-economic and political background that are more or less responsible of the generation of such movements. The Algerian case is the best case one can see as a direct application of Roy's theoretical analysis of the Failure of political Islam.The Islamic movement started in Algeria by the end of the 1980's, after a long era of the corrupt regime and it's economic in efficiency that led the country to live under extremely harsh standards of living for the average individual. While most of the Algerian citizens are under 30, namely 75%, which means a huge number of people in need for a high rate of creation of jobs, especially with the growth rate of population that is up to 3%, thirty percent of the Gross National Product used to go to service the payment of the national debt . This, of course, resulted in the decline of the growth rate of the GNP. What made it even worse is the fall of natural gas revenues during the 1980's. "In the days after the dual fall of the price of oil and the value of the dollar, the demographic expansion had pushed the GNP's growth curve below the horizontal for the first time in years. "Such economic conditions were very much responsible for the instability and the weakening of the legitimacy of the FLN government. "The plummeting of oil prices in the 1980's combined with the mismanagement of Algeria's highly centralized economy brought about the nation's most serious economic and social since the early days of independence. " Housing conditions were extremely bad and it was normal for the average citizen to live in one room with six other people. The economic frustration was a general of the Algerian citizen and still is. This economic frustration led to street riots that were not characterized by an Islamic attitude but rather a normal frustration that any population would feel towards an inefficient corrupt regime that seems to be directly responsible for such economic status. "The masses that took the streets of Algerian cities, in October 1988, were not only Islamists but workers, students, secularists, leftists, feminists and Berberists, all demonstrating their disillusionment with the FLN (National Liberation Front). " The FLN government responded by the Army intervention and the arbitrary arresting of the protesters. They used torture against people which ultimately created a high measure of resentment and destruction of the government legitimacy....

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