Libmonster ID: U.S.-1261
Author(s) of the publication: B. V. DOLGOV

B. V. DOLGOV

Candidate of Historical Sciences

Islamist movements and their extremist direction-radical Islamism or jihadism (from Arabic. jihad-holy war) continues to be the most significant phenomenon of the XXI century. in many Muslim countries. We will look at the manifestations of Islamism in three North African countries-Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco.

REASONS FOR THE RISE OF ISLAMISM IN THE MAGHREB

The spread and rise of fundamentalist ideology in the Arab-Muslim world and in the Maghreb, in particular, is due to both internal, specific for each country, and external factors. Nevertheless, the general phenomenon characteristic of the internal situation in Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco in the late 1980s and early 1990s was the aggravation of socio-economic problems. In Algeria and Tunisia, this happened against the backdrop of a political crisis.

As for external factors, they are largely related to the following important events of the last quarter of the 20th century: The first was the Islamic Revolution in Iran (1978-1979), which overthrew the Shah's regime, which was trying to westernize Iran. The Iranian Islamic Revolution was a kind of impulse for the spread and expansion of Islamist concepts in the Muslim world. At the same time, it was definitely limited in nature due to its Shiite dogma, which differs to a certain extent from the Sunni "Islamic project". The second was the civil war in Afghanistan (1979-1992), which attracted thousands of Muslims from all over the Islamic world, including from the Maghreb countries, to join the ranks of the Mujahideen (fighters for the faith), who fought against the Afghan government, who sought to implement the socialist idea in Afghanistan, and the Soviet troops who supported it.

During that period, which was characterized by a global confrontation between two superpowers and, accordingly, two military-political blocs, the United States and Saudi Arabia also played a significant role in the formation of the radical wing of the Islamist movement. The United States, in an effort to weaken its main strategic enemy, the USSR, provided all possible support to Islamist organizations that sent mercenaries to fight the Afghan government.

Subsequently, the Afghan Mujahideen (Arabs and immigrants from other Muslim countries) formed the core of many radical Islamist groups both in Arab countries, including in the Maghreb, and in" hot spots " around the world. At the same time, the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the collapse of the socialist doctrine, which were the most important events of the late twentieth century, indirectly also became factors that contributed to the spread of Islamist ideology. We are talking about the fact that as a result of the collapse of the "socialist camp" at the turn of the 80s-90s of the XX century, a number of Arab countries, including Algeria, abandoned their previously proclaimed ideology of nationalism with elements of socialism (socialist orientation). As a result, the resulting ideological vacuum was filled with various Islamist concepts that reflected, among other things, the social protest of the poor, as many Arab countries were experiencing a socio-economic crisis during this period.

ISLAMIST MOVEMENT IN ALGERIA

In the wake of the large-scale democratization of social and political life that took place in the context of a systemic crisis in Algeria in the early 1990s, the-

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The Islamic Salvation Front (IFS) was formed. It was the largest Islamist movement in the Arab world at that time and the most influential political force in Algeria. In the ranks of the IFS, according to its leaders, at that time there were up to 3 million members1. In the first alternative parliamentary elections in 1992, about 50% of the electorate voted for the IFS. The intervention of the army, which has traditionally dominated the life of Algerian society, prevented the legitimate rise to power of Islamists. This, in turn, led to the radicalization of the Islamist movement, whose extremist forces unleashed a long-term armed confrontation with the authorities. In its active form, it lasted from 1992 to 1999, during which approximately 150 thousand Algerians were killed.

The country has become one of the hotbeds of radical Islamism, the fight against which continues to this day. Nevertheless, the Algerian leadership, led by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, has managed to largely suppress radical Islamism on the one hand, and to initiate the process of restoring civil harmony on the other.

In 1999, a law was passed that granted amnesty to Islamists who voluntarily stopped fighting. In 2005, a national referendum approved the Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation. It was also intended to enable those Algerians who were involved in extremist groups to return to peaceful life.

An important event in Algeria was the presidential election held on April 9, 2009. As expected, Bouteflika won a landslide victory, winning 90.24% of the popular vote, 2 and was elected President of Algeria for the third time.3 At the same time, some fairly influential secular opposition parties, namely the Front of Socialist Forces (FSS) and the Association for Culture and Democracy (UCD) boycotted the presidential election. Opposition figures-the head of the OKD, Saeed Saadi, and the former Secretary General of the National Liberation Front (FLN), Abd al-Hamid Mehri, stated that "there is no genuine political pluralism in Algeria, but only a 'facade of multiparty'. "4

When creating promising programs for further socio-economic development of the country, the Algerian leadership takes into account the recent historical experience of the "black decade" (this is what Algeria calls the period of armed confrontation between Islamist groups and the authorities in the 1990s). Attention is paid to both social issues and politics in relation to the part of the population that considers the preservation of Muslim historical traditions and "Islamic values" are an indispensable condition for the further successful development of Algerian society. In the course of implementing the government's development program for 2004-2009, Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahya said that by 2009, the construction of about 1 million housing units has been completed and almost 3 million have been created. new jobs 5. At the same time, the authorities do not forget to emphasize that "the Algerian people, who have made a huge contribution to the development and spread of Islam, will continue to make every effort to preserve and further flourish the great Arab-Muslim civilization."6

It is necessary to recognize that in recent years, although the severity of socio-economic problems has significantly weakened, they have not been eliminated. This applies primarily to unemployment, despite a significant decline in its level from 29% in 1999 to 11.8% in 2007. This figure is on average in Algeria, but there are regions where it is higher, especially among young people (up to 50%), which provokes the emigration of young people to EU countries, in particular including illegal ones.

Socio-economic problems, along with the continuing stratification of society, were the main reason for the anti-Government demonstrations that took place in Algeria's largest cities in the spring and summer of 2008, mainly involving unemployed youth. As a result of the global financial and economic crisis, there was a certain reduction in production, including in the oil sector, and, accordingly, an increase in the number of unemployed. However, the Algerian Finance Minister said that " the impact of the crisis is reflected in the decline in demand and prices for crude oil, which leads to a reduction in revenues to the state budget. At the same time, thanks to the established stabilization mechanisms (in particular, the special Regulatory Fund), Algeria will not experience any difficulties in financing the socio-economic development plan for 2009-2014."7 This plan provides, in particular, for the creation of more than 400 thousand new jobs.

MODERATE ISLAMISM IN ALGERIA

The moderate wing of Islamists is fairly well represented in the Algerian Parliament - the National People's Assembly (NPA) - by three political parties. Moreover, they do not form a single parliamentary bloc. Two of them, the Peace Society Movement (DOM), led by Bouguerra Soltani, and Nahda, led by Lakhbib Adami, are part of the presidential coalition and fully support the presidential course. Moreover, the party HOUSE, I have-

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with sufficient political weight (in the 2007 parliamentary elections). it won 52 seats out of 389), along with the ruling National Democratic Union (NDO) and FLN parties, which form the basis of the presidential coalition in the NPA. As a result of the internal crisis in 2009, some influential members of the House, including 10 members of Parliament headed by Abdel Majid Menasra, resigned from its membership. They formed their own party, the Movement for Preaching and Change 8.

The third Islamist party represented in the NPA, the Movement for National Reform (DPR), is in opposition to the official course. It opposes the government's large-scale privatization program and advocates "Islamic social justice." The DPR, considered the most numerous and influential moderate Islamist party, has recently been losing confidence among voters. In the 2007 parliamentary elections, the party won only 3 parliamentary seats (in the previous parliament, the DPR had 43 seats).

Former members of the leadership of the Islamic Salvation Front are once again trying to enter the political scene in Algeria. In particular, they are seeking the annulment of the court decision on the dissolution of the IFS, adopted in 1992.Former leaders of the IFS Abbasi Madani and Ali Benhaj even declare their readiness to work together with the authorities to revive Algeria. In turn, Madani Mezrag, a former emir of the Islamic Salvation Army (IAS)9 who mediated with the current militants, announced that he would spare no effort to " return our deceived Algerian brothers to peaceful life." Well-known ex-leaders of radical Islamists who took advantage of the amnesty appealed in 2009 to members of extremist groups that continue the terrorist "jihad", with an appeal to lay down their arms, "return to their homes and contribute to the revival of Algeria." We are talking about such prominent figures of radical Islamism as the founders of the Salafi Group for Preaching and Struggle (SGPB) - Hassan Khattab, Abu Omar Abd al-Baer, Abu Zakaria, Mussab Abu Dawood, as well as Abd al-Haqq Layyada, who headed the Armed Islamic Groups (VIG) in 1992-1993. Moreover, the latter's speeches in support of the presidential course cost several failed attempts on his life by the active "Mujahideen".

RADICAL ISLAMISM IN ALGERIA

Radical Islamists are mainly represented by the two aforementioned groups-the SSPB and the VIG. They number, according to various estimates, from 650 to 1 thousand militants. Moreover, the VIG in the early 2000s broke up into several, often hostile to each other, armed detachments.

The GSPB was established in 1998 by Hassan Khattab. At that time, he was one of the VIG commanders who did not agree with the Takfiri doctrine of the then VIG Emir Antar Zuabri. He left with his supporters from the VIG and created his own group-the SSPB. Hassan Khattab was supported by bin Laden and his associate Abu Qatada, who published the Islamist magazine Al-Ansar (Companions of the Prophet) in London in the 1990s. Hassan Khattab declared his goal to be a return to "genuine Salafism". Along with its actions inside Algeria, the GSPB has since 2004 attempted to spread jihad to other African states that supported, according to Islamists, "the aggressive policy of the United States." These countries were Mauritania, the Republic of Chad, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso-


Takfir ( Arabic) - an accusation of disbelief. On the basis of the doctrine of takfiriism, professed by the WHIG leaders, everyone was accused of disbelief, including Muslims who did not share the WHIG concept.

** Salaf ( Arabic) - a righteous ancestor. Salafism is a doctrine that preaches as an ideal of the social structure of the Muslim community in the era of the Prophet Muhammad and the four righteous caliphs-Abu Bakr, Omar, Uthman and Ali.

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2. Two prominent leaders of the GSPB, Hassan Khattab and Abd al-Razzaq al-Para, led militant groups that attempted to "export" jihad outside Algeria.10

In 2006, the current "national Emir" of the SGB, Abd al-Wahhab Drukdel, announced the SGB's affiliation with Al-Qaeda and changed its name to the Al-Qaeda Organization of the Islamic Maghreb State (OCIGM). Between 2006 and 2008, OKIGM intensified its terrorist activities and carried out a number of bombings in various Algerian cities, including the capital. As a result, dozens of Algerians, both military personnel and civilians, were killed, in particular, 11 employees of the UN mission in Algeria.

A significant role in the OKIGM is played by "Algerian Iraqis", i.e. young Algerians (according to various estimates, several hundred) who received combat experience in Iraq, where they acted against the US occupation forces and their allies. After returning to Algeria, some of them joined the OKIGM and applied their "Iraqi experience" here. In this regard, we can recall the similar experience of the "Algerian Afghans". In the early 90's, the Algerian "Mujahideen", having returned to their homeland after the end of the civil war in Afghanistan, formed the core of radical Islamist groups that then launched terrorist actions in Algeria.

At present, the full restoration of national accord and the fight against extremism are among the most important tasks facing the Algerian leadership.

Due to the increased frequency of terrorist attacks in Algeria, security measures have been strengthened and regular measures are being taken to prevent acts of terror. For example, in March-April 2007 and in March 2008, the combined forces of the army, police and gendarmerie, supported by helicopter gunships, conducted military operations in the mountainous areas of Greater Kabylia (about 300 km east of the capital), where the main forces of OKIGM are concentrated. As a result, several OKIGM detachments, their strongholds, weapons and ammunition depots were destroyed. According to Algerian Interior Minister Yazid Zerouni, between December 2008 and May 2009, 322 OKIGM fighters were captured by the Algerian security forces, 120 were killed, and 22 11 surrendered to the authorities. Thus, it can be stated that the escalation of terrorist activity of radical Islamism in Algeria in 2006-2008 did not lead to destabilization of the internal political situation in the country. The main forces of extremist groups in Algeria are suppressed. However, it is still too early to talk about a complete stabilization of the situation 12.

THE ISLAMIST MOVEMENT IN TUNISIA

Tunisia, unlike Algeria, has not experienced such a large-scale armed confrontation between radical Islamists and the authorities.

In the mid-1980s, the Tunisian Islamist movement was structured into the Movement of Islamic Orientation (DIN) political party. Subsequently, the DIN was renamed Vozrozhdenie (Nahda), which was chaired by the well-known (including outside of Tunisia) ideologist of Islamism Rashid Ghannouchi. In 1986-1987, Islamist supporters held numerous anti-government demonstrations. At the same time, according to materials later published by the Tunisian authorities, the DEEN leadership was creating armed groups and preparing for an armed seizure of power. The difficult political situation in the country was aggravated by intrigues within the family clan and the entourage of the first President of Tunisia, H. Bourguiba, who, due to his advanced age (he was over 80), could no longer control the situation.

On November 7, 1987, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, Prime Minister and head of the ruling Socialist Dosturov Party (SDP), with the help of his supporters, removed H. Bourguiba from power. Explaining his actions under Article 56 of the Tunisian Constitution, Ben Ali announced the temporary assumption of the duties of the president and thereby prevented possible armed actions of Islamists. However, Ben Ali gave the Nahda representative the opportunity to join the National Committee that drafted the text of the National Pact13 This document was signed in 1988 by representatives of the main Tunisian political forces, including Islamists, which was supposed to mean ending the confrontation in society and achieving a political consensus.

However, in the early 1990s, Tunisian authorities announced the discovery of a plot to assassinate President Ben Ali, which was blamed on the Nahda Party and its supporters. 14 As a result, hundreds of Islamists were arrested, and the legal Islamist movement in Tunisia almost ceased to exist.

It should be noted that in recent years, Tunisia has made significant progress both in economic development and in a certain liberalization of social and political life. We managed to bring the country out of the crisis, significantly improve the economic situation, and also sufficiently raise the standard of living of the majority of the population. Thus, GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP) per capita in 2009 in Tuni-

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coe was $8,000 (122nd in the world). For comparison, Algeria - $7,100 (124th place), Morocco - $4,600 (147th place)15.

It should be emphasized that President Ben Ali is a staunch opponent of Islamism. Therefore, even moderate Islamists in Tunisia, unlike Algeria, are excluded from political life. They do not have political parties and cannot have any serious influence on public and political life. Sadok Shaaban, one of President Ben Ali's closest associates and a prominent public and state figure, stated that " fundamentalists are politicians who hide behind religion, and not religious figures in the usual sense of the word."16

At the same time, Ben Ali confirms that Tunisia belongs to the Arab-Muslim world. He regularly visits the mosque. All his speeches begin with the Muslim formula "In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Merciful", which was not the case in the time of his predecessor X. Bourguiba. In Tunisia, Muslim competitions are constantly held (for the best reciter of the Koran, etc.), there are Muslim public-educational and charitable organizations. However, they do not set political goals for themselves, but consider it their task to improve public morals through the promotion and dissemination of Quranic knowledge, Muslim moral and ethical norms, and charitable activities.

THE ISLAMIC FACTOR IN TUNISIA

In recent years, Tunisia, as in other Arab countries, has seen a certain increase in the Islamic factor. And this manifests itself in a variety of forms. So, for example, some Tunisians see girls in hijabs appearing on the streets of Tunis as " clouds that portend a thunderstorm." This phenomenon, most likely, cannot be called the "rise of Islamism". However, political scientist Professor Kalifa Shater, vice-president of the Tunisian Association for International Studies, called it "dormant Islamism"in an interview with the author. Moreover, this process is not only religious, but also civilizational and socio-political in nature.

To a certain extent, this phenomenon of the awakening of the Islamic factor can be described as a demonstration by the "Arab street" of its Muslim identity. At the same time, it is a peculiar response to the cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad published in some European newspapers, and to the Pope's unfortunate statements about Islam, as well as to the ongoing military and political intervention of the West, primarily the United States, in regional conflicts.

Against the background of external factors contributing to the growing attractiveness of Islamist movements, there is also a serious internal threat. The fact is that a significant part of the youth of Arab countries is sufficiently politicized. Young people are keenly interested in political events taking place in the world, which is facilitated by the spread of cable television and the Internet.

At the same time, it is young people who suffer most from unresolved internal socio-economic problems in the Arab world and, especially, unemployment. The leaders of terrorist organizations, hiding behind the slogans of Islam, use this situation for their own purposes, declaring the actions of the West a " war against Islam." In trying to increase their influence among young people in this way, they sometimes achieve their goal.

In January 2007, the Tunisian security services successfully eliminated a group of militants numbering 27 people (Tunisian citizens) in the border area with Algeria. The militants were armed with machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, and a large number of explosives. They were planning to carry out a terror attack-

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political actions in the Tunisian capital and a number of major cities. During the investigation, it turned out that the militants entered the territory of Tunisia from the neighboring region of Algeria. There they underwent combat training at illegal training bases of the Algerian OKIGM. Tunisian Islamists, according to Algerian law enforcement agencies, appear among the detained and destroyed OKIGM militants in Algeria. Dozens of Tunisian " Mujahideen "participated in an armed confrontation with the occupying forces of the United States and its allies in Iraq.

French President Jacques Chirac once described Tunisia as an "oasis of calm in the Arab world" and a "Tunisian economic miracle." However, French researchers M. Camot and V. Jeisser characterize Ben Ali's policy as an "authoritarian syndrome"17. Quite frankly and even cynically sounds the statement of the French political scientist Alexander Adler, who says that "it is better to support any dictatorship in the Arab world than the implementation of the principles of democracy here, which will only lead to unrest and violence"18. This is why the attitude towards authoritarian Tunisian democracy on the part of the EU and the United States is extremely pragmatic. According to Western countries that are extremely concerned about maintaining stability in North Africa, Ben Ali is exactly the kind of politician who is able to resist the pressure of Islamists and keep the opposition under control.

ISLAMIST MOVEMENT IN MOROCCO

The Moroccan experience is an example of the phenomenon of Islamism in the Arab monarchy. The royal dynasty here is represented by sheriffs, i.e. descendants of the Prophet Muhammad, revered throughout the Muslim world. Nevertheless, this factor did not prevent the emergence of Islamism in Morocco, including its radical direction. It should be noted that the development of the Islamist movement in the country also took place against the background of the socio-economic crisis. At the same time, unlike Algeria and Tunisia, Morocco had no political or ideological crises.

Morocco is an outsider compared to its neighbors in terms of economic and social development. Corruption of the state apparatus remained one of the main problems of Morocco, which was mentioned in the report by experts of the World Bank (WB). (Although it is known that many regimes of Arab and Muslim countries are more or less susceptible to corruption and abuse of power. 19)

Morocco has not solved such acute socio-economic problems as unemployment, the housing crisis, the low educational level of a part of the population, and the underdeveloped housing and communal services in poor urban areas. Thus, according to the World Bank experts ' report on the state of education in 2008, Morocco ranks among the last (11th) countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The worst situation is only in Djibouti, Yemen and Iraq. In Morocco, only 52.3% of children under the age of 15 can read and write, compared with 69.9% in Algeria and 74.3% in Tunisia. 35% of Moroccan children attend secondary school, 66% in Algeria and 65%in Tunis20. It should be emphasized that the low level of literacy along with the low standard of living of quite significant segments of the population in Muslim countries are one of the main factors in the emergence of a radical Islamist movement. These negative phenomena give a win-win trump card in the hands of Islamist ideologues. They offer what they claim is a simple and quick solution to the problem - overthrowing the corrupt and "infidel regime" * and building an "Islamic state" based on the "just laws of the Koran and Sharia."

MODERATES AND RADICALS

In the 2000s, Moroccan moderate Islamists were represented mainly by two of the most significant organizations - the Justice and Development Party (AKP), led by its Secretary-General Saad Din Othmani, and the Justice and Benevolence Movement (al-Adl wa l-Ihsan), led by Sheikh Yassin. Along with them, there are other public and religious organizations, among which the Association of Islamic Youth (AIM), the Muhammad Group, and the Zeytuni Holy Brotherhood stand out.

The most influential party on the Moroccan political scene is the AKP, which won 46 seats in the last parliamentary elections in September 2007 (out of a total of 325 deputies in the lower house of Parliament - the House of Representatives). In the previous parliamentary elections in November 2002, the AKP won 42 seats. Moreover, the AKP leadership stated that the success of the party and the number of seats won could have been even greater if not for the use of administrative resources by the authorities.


* Radical Islamists, in particular the leaders of the OKIGM group, accuse the ruling regime in Morocco of " turning the rulers of Morocco into obedient puppets of the United States and Zionists." Morocco is known to be one of the United States ' closest allies in the region. In particular, Morocco's security services cooperate with the United States and Israel in countering the terrorist activities of radical Islamist groups in North Africa and Iraq.

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One of the most well-known and numerous radical groups is the Salafi Jihad (Salafiyya Jihadiyya). Its fighters carried out high-profile terrorist attacks on May 16, 2003 in Casablanca, which killed several dozen people. About 4 thousand people were arrested by the police. Islamists suspected of involvement in terrorist attacks (almost 3,500 of them were subsequently released). 390 of them were sentenced by the court to various terms of imprisonment, with 53-to life imprisonment and 16-to death.

In the early 2000s, groups such as "The Right Path" (al-Syrat al-mustakim) and "Accusation of Infidelity and Hijra" (at-Takfir wa l-hijra) also operated in Morocco. Salafist Jihad fighters operated in the north of the country, in the area of Fez, Casablanca and Tangier. Their number is estimated at approximately 1 thousand people, who were divided into underground cells of 10-12 people.

Along with terrorist groups, the Militant Islamic Moroccan Group (VIG-M) operates in Morocco, which was founded in the early 1990s by well - known ideologists of Islamism-Moroccan Mohammed Gerbuzi, Palestinian Islamist Abu Qatada (who lived in exile in London) and Jordanian Islamist Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, who is close to bin Laden. Its members were recruited both by Moroccans themselves and by Moroccan emigrants who mostly lived in Western European countries. It was VIG-M that became one of the main organizers of sending Moroccan "Mujahideen" to Iraq to fight the US occupation forces. Like the Algerian fighters, they are the most numerous contingent in the Al-Qaeda formations in Iraq.

Attempts to continue the terrorist "jihad" in Morocco were made by Islamist extremists in 2006-2008. In July-August 2006, the Moroccan security services neutralized the group" Mahdi Warriors " (Ansar al-Mahdi), operating in the suburbs of Rabat and Marrakech. Its plans included the physical destruction of leftist-democratic politicians, foreign Christians and "bad Muslims", as well as the organization of terrorist attacks in restaurants and hotels where foreign tourists lived, and at the air base in Sale21.

In February 2008, a terrorist organization associated with the OKIGM group operating in the Casablanca, Rabat and Nador areas was eliminated. She had an underground arsenal of weapons and large sums of money (more than 2.5 million euros). The leaders of the Civilizational Alternative Islamist political party (al-Badil al-Hadariy) and the Movement for the Ummah association (al-Haraka min Ajli l-Ummah), which had been operating legally since 2005, were implicated in links with the terrorists. Moroccan police in 2008 arrested about 40 people with links to the OCIGM, who were accused of plotting and planning terrorist acts. Most of those arrested were residents of Bidonville and the poorest neighborhoods.

It should be noted that the Moroccan leadership is taking measures to eliminate the underlying causes of extremism, that is, to solve socio-economic problems. In particular, it is planned to create social infrastructure, open educational institutions, create new jobs and gradually eliminate bidonvilles. To this end, a program to combat poverty - the "National Initiative for Humanitarian Development" was developed, and a special coordinating state body "Umran" (Urbanization) was created, capable of building up to 70 thousand units of social housing per year. A project has been developed to eliminate Sidi Moumen, one of the largest bidonvilles in the vicinity of Casablanca. This area, which is home to about 300,000 of the poorest residents, is known as a hotbed

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islamist extremism. In its place, it is planned to create social infrastructure facilities, including a stadium for 70 thousand people. seats 22.

The strategic plans of the Moroccan leaders are aimed at modernizing the economy and the country as a whole, in particular, the further creation of "free economic zones"is planned. In one of these zones, located in the Rif and Tangier area, 254 enterprises were opened and 26 thousand jobs were created. At the same time, the socio-economic situation in the country remains quite difficult.

* * *

Islamism, including its radical trend, continues to operate in the Arab Maghreb. Moreover, the degree of its activity is inversely proportional to the level of solving socio-economic problems in these countries. This is confirmed by the Tunisian experience. It is known that Tunisia is the most prosperous country in the Maghreb in terms of socio-economic indicators. Accordingly, Tunisia has the least activity of radical Islamists in comparison with Algeria and Morocco.

However, it is impossible to see the socio-economic factor as the sole cause of Islamist extremism. There is a complex of reasons, both internal and external. Internal-largely specific to each country. They are related to its history, national and cultural traditions, the level of literacy, economic and political development, and national characteristics.

The external factor is caused by the general trends of political and economic development in the world and the growing interdependence between the development of national economies and the activities of international financial institutions (WTO, IMF, WB, etc.). A vivid example of this situation was the global financial crisis that began in 2008 and exacerbated socio-economic problems, including in the Arab world.

The consequence of such a situation may be the continuation, and possibly strengthening, of the influence of Islamist ideologues among the poor (and not only) part of Muslims, who offer their own "Islamic" solution to socio-economic problems and present themselves as defenders of "Islamic values".

At the same time, the continuation of political crises in the world, in which the "Islamic component" is somehow present, is perceived by some Muslims as a "war against Islam". In our opinion, this trend of global development will not change significantly in the near future.


Dolgov B. V. 1 Islamist Challenge and the Algerian Society, Moscow, 2003, p. 49.

2 http://www.elmoudjahid-dz.com, 10.04.2009.

3 In accordance with the amendments to the Algerian Constitution adopted in November 2008, the incumbent President was granted the right to run for a third term. Along with A. Bouteflika, 5 other candidates put up their candidacies for the highest state post. Namely: General Secretary of the Workers ' Party Louise Hanoun, who took the second place after A. Bouteflika (4.22%), Chairman of the National Front of Algeria Moussa Touati (2.31%), General Secretary of the moderate Islamist Movement for National Reform party Jahid Yuney (1.37%), chairman of the Ahd 54 (Oath 54) party Ali Fawzi Rebain (0.93%) and Muhammad Said, who was nominated as an independent candidate (0.92%).

4 http://www.ffs 1963.unblog.fr/2009/02/15

5 http://www.liberte-algerie.com, 20.05.2009.

6 Al-Barnamaj at-taqmiliy li-d-daam an-numuw. Fatrat 2005-2009 (Supplementary Development Support Program. Period 2005-2009). Alzhir, 2005. p. 10.

7 http://www.liberte-algerie.com, 29.01.2009.

8 http://www.jeuneafrique.com, 29.04.2009.

9 The Islamic Salvation Army (IAS), the military wing of the IFS formed in 1994, was involved in an armed confrontation with the authorities. In 1997, a truce was concluded between the IAS and the Algerian army, according to which the IAS, together with the Algerian security forces, conducted operations to suppress the Islamist groups VIG and SGB. In 2000, Madani Mezrag announced the self-dissolution of the IAS. See: Dolgov B. V. Islamist challenge and the Algerian society ... p. 168.

10 Abd al-Razzaq and his team managed to infiltrate neighboring Mali and began recruiting local people to join the CBSS. Then he tried to enter the territory of Niger. However, his unit was discovered, and ar-Razzaq was forced to change the route and moved to the territory of the Republic of Chad. Here, Abd al-Razzaq tried to persuade the anti-Government group Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad (MDC) to take joint action. However, the negotiations were not successful, including due to ideological differences, since the DMCH was created on a secular basis and did not share the fundamentalist doctrine of the GSPB. Abd al-Razzaq did not abandon his intention to create a fortified area on the territory of Chad, like Afghanistan's Tora Bora, and proclaim himself "Emir of the African Sahel". To this end, he intended to enter into negotiations with radical Chadian Islamists. However, Abd al-Razzaq was killed in an accident on his way to the place of a secret meeting (falling into a precipice on a mountain road). See: Dolgov B. V. Islamist movement in Algeria after the presidential elections of 2004 / / Middle East and Modernity, Moscow, 2004, N 24, p. 128.

11 http://www.jeuneafrique.com, 17.05.2009.

12 Between February and May 2009, a number of terrorist attacks were carried out in eastern Algeria (approximately 100 km from Annaba), resulting in the deaths of dozens of civilians and gendarmerie soldiers, including senior officers. Responsibility for the attacks was claimed by the extremist group "Confident Victory "("Al-Fatah al-Mubin"), which is part of the OKIGM.

Mohamed Elhachmi Hamdi. 13 The Politisation of Islam. A Case Study of Tunisia. USA Colorado Westview Press. 1998, p. 63.

Vidyasova M. F., Orlov V. V. 14 Politicheskiy islam v stranakh Severnoi Afrika [Political Islam in the countries of North Africa]. Moscow, 2008, p. 92.

15 www.cia.gov/Hbrary/publications/the-world-fact-book/16.02.2010.

Sadok Sha'ban. 16 Tunis: The Path to Political Pluralism (translated from Arabic), Moscow, 1996, p. 77.

17 L'Express, 23.10.2003, p. 24.

Burgat F. 18 L'Islamisme a l'heure d'AI-Qaida. P., 2005, p. 5.

19 Jeune Afrique/L'Intelligent, 2004, N 2284, p. 56.

20 http://www.itar-tass.com, 29.08.2008.

21 The investigation revealed several new aspects that were not previously common to Moroccan extremist groups. The first is the participation of military personnel (private and non-commissioned officers) and even one police officer in the group, and the second is the participation of women in cells, most of whom were widows of dead Islamist militants.

22 Jeune Afrique/L'Intelligent. P., 2008, N 2453, p. 56.


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