Australian Left Review

Article Title

Fundamental Problems


Rachel Bloul


The recent events which saw the victory of a Muslim fundamentalist party (the Islamic Salvation Front or FIS) in Algeria's first open elections, followed closely by a military coup and martial law cannot be understood simply in the context of a world-wide Islamic revival. It is yet another example of the failure of liberal politics in the Third World—a failure whose seeds, however, were already sown at independence. Dwelling on the inherently Muslim nature of fundamentalist bogeymen and the threat to democracy they pose, obscures the more complex social processes at work in Algeria today.