Noureddine Boukrouh. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: Your book « Islam Without Islamism: Life and Thought of Malek Bennabi » is a relevant and necessary book to understand Islam and Islamism.According to you, can we say that Islamism is the negation of Islam?
Noureddine Boukrouh: There was a time, from 18th to 20th, where these two words were synonyms in the European languages because they meant one and the same thing, the religion of Islam. In the Arabic language, the word « Islamism » did not exist because it had no purpose. Islam was almost the same everywhere and, more importantly, Muslims did not kill each other for religious reasons, whatever their divisions: ethnic or doctrinal (Sunnis-Shiites, Sunnis among themselves …). Its emergence is recent under designations like « ouçouliya » (fundamentalism), « salafiya » (orthodoxy linked in particular to hanbalism, the most rigorous of the four best known Sunni legal schools), or « islamawiya » which is a term composed of the root « islam » and the Arabic equivalent of the suffix « ism » which reveals the tendency to hegemony, supremacy, totalitarianism…
The adoption of a consensual and unique term remains problematic, but Muslims have finally admitted the reality of the nuance between the two words and the real existence within them of a theological and political current tending to reduce Islam to himself, to enclose it in its original history, to make it almost an ethnic religion having its center of gravity in the Arabian Peninsula. Since then, they have sought to isolate this current from the rest of Islamic Islam, which is essentially open, enlightened, tolerant and oriented towards the good of the human race.
On the basis of this, we can conclude that Islamism, which wishes to inscribe Islam in a frontal opposition with the rest of the world, with other cultures, civilizations and religions, which rejects mankind’s contributions to history, science and the method of democratic management of nations, is a negation of the Koranic spirit.
I gave this generic title to my book on the Algerian thinker Malek Bennabi (1905-1973) to situate him straightaway in contemporary Islamic thought where all those who have written about Islam are involved, whether they belong to Islam or to its first opponent, Islamism, which today is embodied in all its horror by « DAESCH ».
Bennabi is the man who quoted in his early works in the late 1940s the book by Wendell Wilkie (1892-1944), « One World » and who, as soon as he began to write, placed the destiny of Islam in the process of globalization of the world, economy, knowledge and human values.
Why is there not a critical thought in the Muslim world?
In all periods of Islamic history, apart from the period of decadence and foreign occupation in which there was a sepulchral silence (from the 14th to the 19th centuries) have appeared in very small numbers, here and there in the Muslim world, brains who have had the courage to face the rigor of orthodoxy and called for the « re-opening of the Ijtihad doors », in other words the introduction of rationality and critical thinking in the reflection on the state of Islam, its intellectual, political, social, economic and cultural situation, and the prospects of its return to active history.
These men maintained the flame of freedom of thought in the time of the Mutazilites (8th-13th century), of the critical spirit in the time of Ibn Khaldun (14th century), of renewal and rebirth (Nahda) between the 18th and 20th centuries, until today with the currents called « tanwirist » (philosophy of Enlightenment) and Koranist (research on the fundamental signifiers of the Koran outside the traditionalist exegesis) in which I recognize myself.
At the beginning of the third millennium the context has become, thanks to social networks, in favor to the interconnection of intellectual efforts appearing in Arab-Muslim countries and to their amplification, which can give rise to the formation of a structured stream of thought, such as streams and rivers flowing in the same confluence.
The American intellectual, Dr. Kevin Barrett, told us in a recent interview that the Algerian thinker Malek Bennabi was one of the key thinkers of the Islamic revival. You who are his best known disciple, the one who wrote the most about him in the world and who received from the hands of his family and heirs his diary, manuscripts and unpublished works, what do you think of this statement?
I already knew two American intellectuals, Professor Allan Christellow of the University of Idaho who did me the honor to preface my book « Islam without Islamism« , and the Reverend David Johnston. I made them meet by correspondence. A curious coincidence is that both have discovered Malek Bennabi by chance, but in relation to me: Mr. Christellow, by buying a magazine in 1972, in which I published excerpts of Bennabi’s work, and Mr. Johnston, by purchasing in 1976 a book of Bennabi, which I had just edited, with a preface and notes.
As far as I’m concerned, I discovered the writings of Christellow in 1992, and met the pastor-academic in 2003 in Algiers. He sent me a year later a copy of his presentation at the annual conference of the American Academy of Religion entitled « The indistinct borders between the reformist and Islamist movements: the thoughts of Malek Bennabi and Rachid Ghanouchi on civilization ». Ghanouchi, whom I knew in Algiers in the early 1990s, holds his ideas on the civilization as a whole of Bennabi as he publicly claims.
I would like Dr. Kevin Barrett to look at Dr. Christellow’s publications, he will find there confirmation of his judgment on Bennabi who, a year before his death, had made a tour of conferences in the United States. Among the studies carried out by Allan Christellow I can cite: « A Twentieth-Century Muslim Humanist, Malek Bennabi » in « The Maghreb Review, » 1992; « Malek Bennabi and the cultural boundaries of the global era » (International Symposium on the Thought of Malek Bennabi, Algiers, October 2003: « Malek Bennabi and two Anglophone world visions: the cases of Arnold Toynbee and Wendell Wilkie », September 2005).
I would add to Dr. Barrett’s statement that Bennabi’s particularity does not lie in the « Islamic renaissance ». He is the only Muslim thinker of all time to exclude a revival of the Muslim world « in isolation » as a spiritual, human, cultural, political or economic entity, but by placing it in a historical dynamic that has not yet seen the world in its fullness, that is, a process of human integration on all levels, including spiritual, intellectual and cultural, which is more difficult to achieve than geographic, economic and political integration. This is what no one has yet grasped in this man’s mind and that I have tried to explain in my book about him.
Is not Bennabi an eternal misunderstood, a visionary who has outstripped his time?Why do the Algerians prefer the palace’s ulemas, the charlatans of the trash-cans TV, rather than the critical and clear-sighted thinking of a man like him?
I have just given you the reason why this visionary who has seen what human thought has not imagined anywhere in the world and at any time in history not has been, could not be understood, nor by the universal thought that ignores it, nor by Muslim intellectuals who can not imagine the perspective in which he is placed. For he is the theoretician not of the « Islamic renaissance », but of the human renaissance in its universality.
I believe that he himself was afraid of the magnitude of his vision and that he « softened » it, « camouflaged » it to not frighten his contemporaries and expose himself to ostracism. Myself, by discovering the extent of the notes in his diary (the notebooks), I felt dizzy. This man, who died almost half a century ago, has at least half a century ahead of human thought as a whole.
How do you explain that centuries after the advent of Islam, the Muslim world became the « home of war » (« Dar al-Harb« ) and that entire countries are threatened with extinction?
I believe that formulas such as « the Muslim world », « Islam » and « the Arab world » of which have used and abused the current language and academic and oriental studies so far are no longer valid and no longer correspond to the reality that is more nuanced than it appeared.
The « Muslim world » has hardly ever existed as a united, centralized, homogeneous or federated political and religious group, such as the United States of America, for example. On the religious level, it divided into Sunnism and Shiism a quarter of a century after the death of the Prophet.
Its political capital then not ceased to move during the internal struggles for power, passing from the present Saudi Arabia (Medina) at the time of the first four caliphs, in Damascus with the Umayyad dynasty, then in Baghdad with the Abbasid dynasty before fragmenting into several non-Arab caliphates and dynasties geographically remote and autonomous from each other (Mongolia, China, Egypt, North Africa, Spain, Iran, Turkey, Central Asia, Black Africa, Indian subcontinent…). Then, finally, in Istanbul with the Ottoman dynasty.
The Arab world is no less heterogeneous, including Arabs themselves in the Arabian Peninsula, Amazighs in North Africa, Kurds in Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq, Druze in Lebanon, Blacks in Africa, and also religions other than Islam (various branches of Christianity and other derivatives of Islam…).
Colonialism, imperialism and the two world wars gave to the former « Muslim world » the face it had at the end of the 20th century, that is to say, some fifty countries where Islam is the majority, but which are not gathered together by common positions on international politics or economic union projects like the European Union. The smallest common denominator remaining in these countries was the traditional religious culture, which had not been renewed for a thousand years and carrying an obsolete vision of the world. It was maintained by the Islamic universities of the Arab world, mainly Egypt (al Azhar) and Saudi Arabia.
It is from this cultural residue that Islamism was born in the first half of the 20th century with the writings of the Indo-Pakistani Mawdudi and the Egyptian Sayyid Qutb which gave it the appearance of a new world view applying to politics, economics and to « way of life » and able to restore the « Muslim world » in its former greatness. But for it, it was necessary to take the power.
This is how was formed, growing like hurricanes and typhoons and sweeping one country after another, the ideological scourge that has precipitated the Muslim countries into a self-destructive cycle that has blocked the mental, intellectual and social achievements, hardly conquered during the 20th century. The return to the religious to interpret the present and to devise the solutions of the future could only awaken the religious quarrels that appeared at the dawn of Islam between Sunni and Shia, between Arabs and Persians.
So much so that the « Muslim world » has indeed become an area of civil wars where several countries have already been severely weakened in different ways but all aimed at destroying them: Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mali, Nigeria, and possibly again Egypt and Algeria in the future.
What do you think of this dialectic that establishes the obvious that it is the political leaders who are the creators of failure in Muslim countries, failure that paved the way for foreign intervention? Are not the Arab-Muslim leaders the objective allies of their enemies?
The first nation-States formed in history emerged in Europe and are the result of a process of intellectual mutations provoked by new ferments such as the Renaissance, Reformation, humanism, Cartesianism, the Enlightenment philosophy and the notion of « human rights » created by Thomas Payne (1737-1802) who was the instigator of the American Revolution and of the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century in which he personally participated. America owes a great deal to this man (a Briton) and to his book, « The Common sense« , while France owes him his famous « Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen ».
Muslim countries have returned to history in the 20th century without realizing any intellectual or cultural mutation contenting to cover their old culture with the liberal or Marxist ideologies that were then in vogue in the world. Retrograde monarchies and so-called progressive republics have undertaken to develop their countries on the material, economic and military level without affecting the psychology, the spirit and the social values of their peoples. Leaders, ruling families or military juntas, have improvised States by copying Westerners, without thinking of building the foundations into the souls of their peoples without forging in them the citizen’s rights and the civic values that would protect and immunize them against harmful ideological intrusions.
When Mawdudi and Sayyid Qutb for Sunnism, and Ayatollah Khomeini for Shiism, theorized Islamist ideology and made it a technique of taking power by all means, this latter soon carried away the false modern States built in Iran (1978), Afghanistan (1979), Somalia (1990), Algeria (1992), Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Yemen (2011), not to mention Iraq, Turkey and Lebanon. It is remarkable that it was the so-called progressive republics that were affected by Islamism, not the medieval monarchies.
The Islamist discourse has succeeded in discrediting and undermining the dynamics of national development which were followed in these countries by accusing them of going against the « Islamic values ». Unfortunately, these dynamics were driven by incompetent, despotic and corrupt leaders who ideally been open to the systemic criticism.
In order to better protect Islam and Muslims, should we not put borders between the theologians (the « ulema ») and the politicians and men of power, whether they are kings or presidents?
This is the problem, as we see in retrospect that neither the secularism advocated by the Baathist (Iraq-Syria) ideology, nor the Westernized liberalization policies in Turkey (Atatürk), in Iran (Pahlavi), in Tunisia (Bourguiba), nor in the « revolutionary » policies followed in Egypt (Nasser), in Algeria (Boumediene) and in Libya (Gaddafi) have not produced satisfactory results. Only the archaic and reactionary monarchies are survived. Is it a paradox?
No, from my point of view, the problem was wrongly posed from the outset, even before the accession of Muslim countries to the status of nation States, and it remains so until we discuss you and me.
It is a constant in the Arab-Muslim monarchies that power is divided between the reigning family and the ulema. The firsts are occupied with politics and the latter with the souls. This complicity between the sword and the « ilm » (religious knowledge) protected the monarchical systems from social and political contestation because they are supposed to be conforming to the Islamic archetype whereas in the so-called progressive regimes, religion has been removed from public affairs and abandoned to the street that has seized it and turned it against power.
Muslim countries had to produce their own « secularism », with their cognitive tools, taking into account the cultural and psychological resonances of ideas and words, but they have not done so because they have not yet found the intellectual path that leads to it, the mouse hole through which to pass.
You register in a line of reformers consisting mainly of Mohamed Abdou, Abderrahmane al-Kawakibi, Ali Abderraziq and Malek Bennabi. What should be understood about the recurring term « reform of the Islamic Weltanschauung » in your writings, and what does it bring?
This is what I was referring to just now: the path, the mouse hole, the track that has not yet been found by ancient or contemporary Islamic thought to achieve the reform of Islam, I mean the transmutation of Islamic values and their adaptation to the meaning of the world, to the pursuit of human history.
In my book « Islam without Islamism« , I have shown the intellectual filiation existing between the four men despite the nuances in their thoughts. Of the four, only Bennabi is not the product of traditional religious knowledge, hence a greater audacity in him and a universal horizon. « The characters of despotism » written by al-Kawakibi certainly influenced Abderrazik in the inspiration that led him to write « Islam and the Foundations of Power« , as « Rissalat at-Tawhid » has marked Bennabi, who refers to it in his central work « Vocation of Islam« .
These four thinkers have suffered greatly, they have been persecuted, imprisoned, exiled, and one of them was murdered (al-Kawakibi) because they were fighting against a strong current, that of the alliance between the power and the ulemas who defend a common interest vital to them: the maintenance of the peoples in fatalistic conceptions in order better to instrumentalize them and to remove them from the critical spirit which can turn to the contestation of their power.
It was by studying their works for decades that I discovered the track on which I have been working for a few years and whose aim is to propose a method of complete renovation of Islamic thought, its representation of the world and its « weltanschauung ».
Mahathir bin Mohamad, nicknamed Doctor M, former prime minister of Malaysia and who was notoriously inspired by the thought of Malek Bennabi, once said: « When I want to pray, I turn to Mecca and when I want to develop the country, I turn to Japan ». Why are Algerian leaders turning to nothing? Why is Malek Bennabi respected everywhere except in his country and why, in Algeria, do we despise our scholars and intellectuals?
What I know of the link often made between the ideas of Malek Bennabi and the economic successes achieved by Malaysia, between April 1956 and July 1963 Bennabi lived in Cairo and hosted seminars attended by students of various nationalities, including a group of Malaysians of whom the future Prime Minister Mohamed Mahathir could have been a part, or close friends who would have spoken to him later, without being able to provide you with evidence in one way or the other. I also believe that a symposium on Bennabi’s thought was organized in the 1990s in Kuala Lumpur.
What I can say, too, is that the quotation you evoke perfectly reflects the viewpoint of Bennabi; references to the Japanese experience abounding in his work. He confronted the successful civilization revival of Japan (Meiji) to the desolating failure of the Muslim rebirth (Nahda) while they are appeared almost at the same time, in the 1860s, and drew conclusions from it in order to find a solution.
A fact that must be considered, that is why these countries, whether Muslim or not, have succeeded, whereas no Arab country (if the factor represented by oil was to be withdrawn) has succeeded its rebirth. They have certainly created certain appearances of wealth in their countries, but not human and sustainable development. It is not only Malaysia, as success has affected other countries in the region such as Singapore, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, Indonesia, etc.
Let us return to the question of Islamism. All western countries and their intelligence services are concerned about Islamic radicalism, and in particular by the jihadists returning from the combat zones in Syria and Iraq, as was the case in Algeria with the return of the Algerian jihadists gone to fight in Afghanistan against the USSR in the 1980s and who have spread terror in Algeria during the « black decade ». Is not the Algerian experience in the fight against terrorism a key for Western countries to better understand the returnees (Western terrorists fighting in Syria)?
It is possible, but on two conditions. Firstly, this experience and this key must serve first and foremost to protect Algeria and the Algerians who are far from having finished with terrorism since two suicide bombings claimed by « Daesh » have taken place in recent weeks in a city of the east and another in the west. Second, it is necessary that the Algerian intelligence services and other stakeholders (investigators, magistrates, lawyers, criminologists, sociologists, specialized journalists, etc.) be interested in the psychological and intellectual side of Islamist radicalism and terrorism and learned from them to refine their strategies and tactics to exhaust them from the brain of potential candidates. I believe that this aspect has been neglected by the counter-terrorism services around the world, which, of course, have to deal with the urgency, the effects, the operational aspect, but they will never eradicate it until they have neutralized its religious, intellectual, cultural, and incidentally political, social and economic causes. The solution in my opinion is in the track I mentioned; in the mouse hole where to pass to realize the transformation and the pacification of the Islamic vision of the world. We will talk about it together, I hope.
Algeria has no president at the moment while it is in the midst of an economic crisis.Is not the money lobby around the president’s younger brother, Saïd Bouteflika, and his friend, the businessman Ali Haddad, a threat for Algeria? Especially after the dismissal from a prime minister a few weeks ago, less than three months after his appointment, who wanted to « separate money from politics ». The event shocked the country and prompted you to write several virulent articles against the Presidency and the Army about which you wrote that « it had become the Army of the President », this has earned you a media lynching and an official response from the Ministry of Defense…
Algeria is currently at the crossroads. It can go to the best as it can sink into the worst. The best would come from an alternative to the political and economic impasse that result from President Bouteflika’s insistence on not leaving power when he no longer has the physical and intellectual means to exercise it. It is by thinking of this issue that I have recently written a few articles in which I asked the former soldiers who brought this man and imposed him on the country for nearly twenty years to persuade him by the ways of wisdom to retire or, at the very least, not to apply for a fifth term in 2019. It was by observing the scandalous conditions in which he dismissed a prime minister because he had quarrel with a boss close to the presidential palace that I wrote precisely these articles. Since then, I am subjected to violent and filthy attacks ordered by the presidency and executed by the prime Minister and his party who has just publicly and formally asked the justice to pursue and punish me for silencing me.
You believe that the army which installed Bouteflika in 1999 have to be in the process of ending the crisis, and not cover a dying regime. Other members of the opposition believe that the military institution must pilot a transition period and thus begin an exit from the political impasse in which Algeria is currently…
The Algerian army represents the spine of the country and the State because the power has never wanted to emancipate the society and train it to participate in political and electoral life. In recent years, Bouteflika has carried out major reorganizations within the army and placed under his direct control the intelligence services to use them to remain in power when he no longer has the physical or mental means.
It has locked the country in a non-management and a lack of governance at a time when the State is weakened by the loss of more than half of its export resources from oil.
The new prime Minister has just declared that the deficit in the State budget has reached such a level that it will not be able to pay salaries in November. What would happen then? That would be chaos. And who will face this chaos? Inevitably the police and the army, as currently in Venezuela.
I am not and have never been a partisan of the military coup, but it is impossible to deny that the army has a great responsibility in maintaining the ending power of Bouteflika who persists in wanting to remain after the end of its mandate in 2019. It can not be unaware that the deterioration of the economic situation will have social and political consequences.
How do you imagine the political process that would lead Algeria to a rule of law?
Since its accession to independence, Algeria has remained constantly under the hold of a despotic power. Of the six Presidents who directed it, only one of them left of his own free will, two were dismissed by the army, one died of suspicious death, one was assassinated and the sixth lost its motor functions and intellectual but does not want leave the power.
The time has come for Algeria to free itself from despotism and rebuild itself on democratic values.Something is moving in the consciousness of the people who are tired of the failures of power and dream of a political and economic life governed by rational parameters.
If the president does not want to resign and give the Algerians a chance to take a new start, we are forced to wait until the next presidential election in April 2019. But this time, the election will have to be sincere and transparent.
Do the Western powers have an interest in continuing to support the regime of the Bouteflika brothers, which is increasingly unpopular? Do not they play with fire, endorsing the political deadlock in Algeria, a country that is in danger of collapsing with consequences such as migratory flow and terrorism without borders? Is there not a risk of destabilization of the Mediterranean basin, or even of the world?
The Western powers have important responsibilities in the destruction of several countries either because they supported the leaders against their peoples or because they wanted to impose leaders on these peoples. At home, they believe in people’s sovereignty and democracy, but in others countries they accommodate dictatorial and corrupt regimes with whom they do business until troubles or revolutions erupt. It has long been said that Algeria is the « preserve » of France in the sharing of zones of influence, what is not pleasing to Algerians who want to be independent of any external influence even if Algerian power does everything to satisfy the powers that matter.
Personally I am against any external influence to support the regime or to encourage a popular revolt. If Algeria would come to new troubles, of course there will be repercussions on the Mediterranean basin countries. I hope it will not happen because Algeria has all the assets to become a great nation. These are its leaders who have never lived up to their expectations.
Has your experience as a minister in several sectors been an added value in your career history or do you conclude that participation in a government in a country like Algeria is of no use, important decisions taking place elsewhere, in other spheres?
I held economic positions in the Government during the five years I spent there and I am pleased with the experience I have gained and what I have learned especially about multilateral negotiations. As in all the governments of the world, I suppose, not all decisions are taken in council of government or ministers. But this is more true in countries such as Algeria where it is not democratic rules that are systematically applied to the management of public affairs.Too many shade areas promote abuse and aberrations.
You have an atypical career: economist, researcher in Islamic thought, prolific writer, minister… You have known characters such as Bennabi, Ferhat Abbas and even Ayatollah Khomeini, etc. and Redha Malek who was our common friend. At the age of twenty, you argued with Maxime Rodinson and many other anecdotes mark your life.This makes you the witness of a period.Are you satisfied with your experiences or does your intellectual requirement always push you further? Is the quest for light in the infinite in you?
My peculiarity in the Algerian political class is that I was at an early age an actor of intellectual life, first of all, then political, for Algeria was a country with a single party and an economy administered until 1989. My writings from 1970 to 2017 dealt with three main themes: Algerian politics, the role and place of Islam in the Muslim world and international events. This is what opened me doors and made me meet great Algerian and foreign personalities. I continue to write about these three areas of interest and I thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak to the Western and Arab-Muslim readership through your great newspaper.
Interview realized by Mohsen Abdelmoumen
Who is Noureddine Boukrouh?
Former Minister of Commerce, Noureddine Boukrouh is an Algerian intellectual born on March 5, 1950 in El Milia, in the region of Jijel. He holds a Graduate Diploma (DES) in Finance. He worked in the public economic sector and managed a private company. In 1989, he founded the Algerian Renewal Party (PRA), which he chaired until 1999. He was one of four candidates for the first pluralistic presidential election on 16 November 1995, which took place during the period of terrorism during the bloody decade. He has published in the press a large number of critical analyzes of the policies followed in the process of building Algeria. These writings have been grouped into four volumes: « Single Party Time Critics: 1971-1989 », « Algerians in the turmoil: 1989-1999 », « What to do with Islam? 1970-2013 » and « Reforming People and Power: 2011-2013 ».
Noureddine Boukrouh wrote several books including: « What to do with Islam?« , « Algeria between bad and worse« , « Islam Without Islamism: Life and Thought of Malek Bennabi« .
POLITICAL INITIATIVE OF MR. NOUREDDINE BOUKROUH
CALL TO ALGERIANS FOR A PEACEFUL CITIZEN REVOLUTION
Algeria is moving slowly but surely towards a critical turning point in its history which can lead to its salvation or its tipping into the unknown.
Both options are open in front of it and have an equal chance of winning, unless a powerful popular will decides resolutely, crying: « It will be salvation! ».
THE CURRENT STATE OF THE NATION
Half a century after the reconquest of its national sovereignty thanks to the Revolution of the November 11, 1954, triggered by 22 young Algerians, the Algerian people, renewed by the coming of new generations, is able to claim its status as source of all powers, and its constitutional right that has been recognized by the Algerian constitutions since 1962 but that its imposed leaders have never allowed it to exercise.
Algeria became independent without knowing what it would do with its independence, without answering fundamental questions such as identity, without involving the people and its enlightened elites in decision-making through truly democratic and operational institutions. It was subjected during all this time to a long series of tries and errors which led to the current economic and political impasse.
Our country and its economy have been placed in a total dependence on hydrocarbons, a non-renewable resource. The months and years that come are going to be difficult when the country is no longer governed on the basis of reason and general interest, but on a sickly attachment to power and personal interests.
Our duty is to react intelligently and legally to the drift that is leading us to catastrophe by having in mind fidelity to the ideals for which the « Chouhada » (martyrs) are dead. The time has come to give to these ideals the concrete forms of a « democratic and social » rule of law under the terms of the Declaration of 1 November 1954.
TO WHOM IS SENT THIS CALL?
This Call is sent to the Algerian conscience, to all the shareholders of the house Algeria who are in the national territory or anywhere in the world, to all generations of men and women engaged or not in the political or associative activity, in all institutions or in retirement, to all social categories, in all regions, of all languages and of all faiths.
WHAT IS A CITIZEN REVOLUTION?
A moral revolution is an awareness, when everything goes wrong and crooked, when we feel that we are surrounded by danger and we are on a bad road, that we have to change our vision of things and direction. It is a collective and simultaneous awareness. We then feel the need to do better, to go towards better, to build a model of life other than that which was sanctioned by failure.
A citizen revolution is the modus operandi that is adopted to change the state of things in a peaceful way. Communion in a common feeling is accompanied by the evidence that no one can alone create change, that it have to be the work of the greatest possible number, and that it must have as its end the good of all.
STAND UP AND NOT RISE UP
The challenge we must face is to act by circumventing the risks of exposing our country to a new tragedy, while the aftermath of the 1990 years is still visible. We have to wake up to our duty to our country and not wait for the catastrophe to be there to revolt us in improvisation and anarchy, attacking public services, forces of law and order or public and private property.
We can all act from where we are. Other ways and means than violence, disturbances to public order, demonstrations on the street or civil disobedience are proposed by the new information and communication technologies (social networks, electronic media, videos, emails, smartphones…). We can act together without knowing each other, without meeting each other, without getting together and through only legal and democratic processes. There are now more effective techniques than weapons, clandestine action or leaflets to make known its cause, to convince others of its correctness, to debate and mobilize around it.
STAND UP FOR WHAT TO DO?
We must converge towards a common goal which is to say « No! » to the current situation pending the moment to do it by the elections. The presidential election scheduled for the April 2019 deadline offers the historic opportunity to put an end to the « system », but it must not be excluded that it would be precipitated by some other cause. The period which separates us from it will barely suffice to give to this peaceful citizen revolution all its chances of success, for it is a matter of replacing one way of thinking by another to finally get to replace the « system » by a rule of law.
Any Algerian, man or woman, have to do a pause for reflection, make his or her examination of conscience and say: « I have to stop thinking like before! I have to do something for my country and my compatriots! My example will be followed by others! I will do it because the other will do it too and I will enjoy it! ».
To the feeling of resignation which paralyzed us so far, to the resigning attitude to which we were forced, to the passivity justified by the popular formula (“takhti rassi!”= I’m not concerned, I don’t care), let us oppose with force another popular formula (“rassi w rassek fi chachiya wahda!”= what affects you touches me, we have a common destiny).
We have to overcome our inertia because it is the main obstacle to our mental liberation. We have to free the Algerian will from the fatalism conveyed by the charlatanism and the spirit of the douar (village). Everyone has to do an outreach work in their family, neighborhood, place of work or study, on social networks to generalize the awakening and broaden the resolve to act to change our state and our State.
BY WHAT TO START?
A cause, a nation, borns from the moment when an ideal welds its members and puts them in motion towards a common goal. Let us focus in the first stage on these four slogans that each and every one must pass on through all the accessible means:
– No to the use of printing money to pay wages!
– No to a fifth mandate!
– No to a succession arranged from above!
– No to the instrumentalization of the ANP (National People’s Army), local authorities, security services and justice to perpetuate a power that has become illegitimate and harmful to the interests of the country!
Algerians who want to build a new Algeria must proclaim in their exchanges, their comments and their writings that the time of the cooption of a candidate to the presidential election by occult forces, then its « electoral consecration » by fraud is over. We will not accept it any more; we are mature enough to decide by ourselves, for ourselves and for our children. Together, and with the necessary expertise of which we must surround ourselves when the time comes, we will work to develop a device able of ensure total transparency and absolute sincerity of the ballot boxes results.
Finally, we will have to witness the world that in Algeria a struggle for freedom, democracy and the free exercise of popular sovereignty has opened and it will not cease until it has achieved its objectives: the conquest of our citizenship and our dignity.
PROTECT THIS INITIATIVE
The best way to keep a secret is to not have one. This initiative is public, its objectives are clear, its modus operandi is peaceful and its purpose is the interest of Algeria and Algerians. To protect it, it first has to share the material posted on my Facebook page with thousands of other pages and sites.
This Call is in itself a gathering place. It must be ensured the widest distribution in Arabic, Tamazight, French and English. It is also a place for reflection, debate and proposals on actions to be prepared from now on to achieve popular convergence in order to build a new Algeria with a renewed spirit and institutions. It will be followed by others, depending on the evolution of the events.
Published in American Herald Tribune: https://ahtribune.com/world/africa/1903-noureddine-boukrouh.html
In Palestine Solidarité: http://www.palestine-solidarite.org/analyses.mohsen_abdelmoumen.190917.htm