Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Algeria and the Shirt of Nessus

    Tuesday, May 14, 2013   No comments


Yasmina Khadra emerged as a writer in the 1980s, at a time when Islamic extremism was taking root in his native Algeria. Economic suffering gave an opportunity to the Islamists, some of them inspired by the example of the mujahideen in Afghanistan. Women were accosted for dressing immodestly, bars and restaurants attacked for serving alcohol, and traditional imams driven from their positions. The Islamists called for a Muslim regime, and succeeded in forcing the government to accept elements of Sharia law. A drop in Algeria's oil revenue drove further unrest, culminating in the violent protests of October 1988. Hundreds of people were killed in the government crackdown, and outrage at government repression gave more power to the Islamists. Understandably, the question of Muslim extremism became the core of Khadra's work as a novelist.


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