Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Algerian Independence Day is July 5

Nouri Lumendifi is the most articulate teen-ager I have found blogging. I continue to be amazed by his maturity, insights and grasp of history. I am not at all surprised at his passion, however. It is the passion of youth which has driven progress from the start of human history and continues to do so now. Those who ignore such passion do so at their peril. I find it inspiring, thrilling.

Today's post is the story of Algerian independence which came in 1962 following an eight-year revolution. Do take a moment to check it out.

The Revolution was a diverse one, claimed by former "assimilationists" fed up with the inability of the colonial system to extend the rights of man to Algerian Muslims, pan-Arab nationalists, socialists, Marxists, communists, Islamists wishing to reinstate the Islamic political order in a Muslim land, Amazigh Berberists wishing to bring equality and prestige to their people, the everyday men and women of Algerian wishing to finally know what equality and opportunity felt like, and many other interest groups. They may have disagreed on the particulars of the Revolution, but all agreed that their aims could not be met under the rule of France, and that the colonial order had to be torn down to achieve the betterment of Algeria and her people.

And yes, it was a jihad, in the best sense of that word. Those who defile the notion with neolgisms such as Islamofascists and use the word jihad in a pejorative sense only reveal the depth of their own ignorance.

How else to explain how this young man, this all-American kid with deep Algerian roots, can so clearly and openly make political arguments worthy of anyone wanting to advance the case for democracy? The current president of Algeria, like many manipulative leaders, is orchestrating an effort to extend term limits in order to continue past his constitutionally mandated time in office. Nouri finds this scenario reprehensible. The principled voice of youth will not be quiet.
The spirts of 1963 are present in Algeria to this very day, they can be seen everywhere one looks, from border to border in they eyes of Algerians young and old. President Bouteflika should take a lesson from Ferhat Abbas and withdraw his support for this shameful motion. The ramifications of this proposal are too great to ignore. The Algerian democracy is too young and too fragile to allow the egos of powerful men to manipulate the process at such an early stage. Never before has here been such an opportunity for Bouteflika to show his commitment to democracy and the rule of law as this upcoming Independence Day. If he shuns this chance by going ahead with this criminal plan, we will see his truest colors, and they certainly will not be red, green, and white.

On this Fourth of July I celebrate that the voice of freedom, revolution and emancipation from tyranny is alive and well. What better way to mark the significance of this day?

My own Independence Day post was published Saturday. Anyone interested link here.

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