Essay on Has Political Islam Failed In Algeria?

Essay on Has Political Islam Failed In Algeria?

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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 th...


... middle of paper ...


...nt, especially if one takes in account the very short period it
took to form a political party and defeat the ruling regime.

      In conclusion, the failure of political Islam is a theory, although
seems to apply successfully to the Algerian model, but it is rather a mistake to
think that Islam has failed in Algeria. Although the FIS did not have a real
economic plan that could save the Algerian economy, one cannot say that if they
are to come back and elections are to be held again democratically they would
loose the elections because they have failed. The FIS had been very successful
in convincing the masses with their plans and what they would do. Yet, the
extremely undemocratic action that was carried out by the army to cancel the
elections was what prevented the movement from doing something to save Algeria.
In fact, no one can say whether or not Political Islam would have failed in
Algeria hadn't the army intervened to cancel the elections. Yet, it is very
obvious that the FIS would have had a really hard time to solve these problems
and, at the same time, keep their popularity among the crushed masses that were
striving under very poor conditions.

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