The questions of identity and citizenship in Algeria are complicated as well as a potentially divisive and axes of self-identification run across different lines. Individuals and groups may have more than one alignment where one locus of affiliation may overlap with another – the Berber with the Islamic, for instance, or the Arab with the secular. Construction of identity is mirrored by a parallel process in the construction of ‘the other’, both of which are guided by framing processes that prejudice particular elements of distinction and identity over others. The Algerian civil war sparked by the intervention of the military to stop the 1992 elections in which the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) was emerging victorious brought this issue to the forefront. Islamist organizations influenced by the exclusivist thought of Sayyid Quṭb such as the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) in particular employed a framing process based on creed to define and either include or exclude Algerian Muslims on the basis of criteria typically by Islamist takfiri groups that foment social divisiveness rather than rapprochement or toleration of ‘the other’. This trend is extremely pernicious to both central government and a plural society based on multiplicity and diversity that admits multiple and different voices.
Research Article| January 01 2012
Schism and plurality in Algerian society: the struggle of identity in the sociology of ‘the other’
Contemporary Arab Affairs (2012) 5 (1): 68–85.
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Ali Semmouk; Schism and plurality in Algerian society: the struggle of identity in the sociology of ‘the other’. Contemporary Arab Affairs 1 January 2012; 5 (1): 68–85. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/17550912.2011.621382
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