call from concerned Algerian citizens to citizens'
progressive parties and unions in Europe
11, 2007, Algiers was devastated by two bomb blasts. The
first reports claim 26 dead and 177 wounded. According to
press reports, Al Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb
has claimed responsibility for these attacks.
After a decade
of murder and terror in the nineties that made 200 000
victims, the Algerian people are exhausted.
Yet this new
escalation in violence is no surprise to us. In spite - or
because - of the blanket amnesty officially labeled a
'reconciliation' policy - i.e. an overall presidential
pardon granted without even establishing facts and
responsibilities -, Islamic armed groups never surrendered
arms, and 'pardoned' perpetrators paraded in villages,
threatening their opponents and the survivors of their
atrocities again, forbidding music, controlling 'morality'
and imposing gender apartheid.
For a long
time, in Algeria as well as in other Muslim countries,
European and North American governments led by their
interest in gas entertained the most ambiguous relations
with the extreme right political forces working under the
cover of Islam.
But for a long
time too, the vast majority of progressive parties and
organizations in Europe and North America, as well as
progressives in Asia and Africa and the anti globalization
movement, refused to distance themselves from these same
extreme right forces, under the pretext of defending the
rights of the oppressed.
numerous, in Algeria as well as in other Muslim countries
and in the North African diaspora, to oppose the theocratic
project of Islamic armed groups ( i.e. the law of God as
interpreted by extreme right religious forces), and to stand
for a secular republic ( i.e. the laws of the people that
can be changed by the will and vote of the people). But we
fought this battle virtually without support from those in
the international community who should have been our allies.
On the eve of
yet another battle against theocratic extreme right Islamic
armed groups in Algeria, we call on citizens' organizations,
progressive parties and unions, human rights groups and all
concerned citizens in Europe and beyond, to extend direct
immediate and sustained political support to all progressive
forces, parties, unions, people's organizations, and women's
organizations working for a secular republic in Algeria.
Reach out to
these forces, network with them, exchange with them. They/we
need support and visibility.
It is an
illusion to think that this theocratic project will stop at
your borders. Supporting those who are on the front line
ultimately serves the interest of democratic freedom in the
Secularism Is A Women's Issue ( siawi.org)
Lucas, Founder of WLUML, coordinator SIAWI, Montpellier
Ducos,women human rights defender, Paris
president Djazairouna, Blida
Allalou, animateur radio, Paris
film director, Paris
Associate Professor Rutgers School of Law, Newark