...................continued from part 34
Betrayal of Islam by the Nationalists: Algeria
Gordon (1966; pp52-53) and Joestan (1964; pp17) said that it was the ulama who woke the Algerian Muslim population to start a revolution against the French government and the pieds noirs (the French land-hungry mobs who forcibly grabbed land from the Algerian people) and the colons (the European settlers numbering about 850,000 in 1954). The Islamic faith in the people of Algeria had always resisted any form of colonization. The French 37,000 expeditionary force which landed at Sidi Ferruch some twenty miles west of Algiers never had an easy day since June 14, 1830. They eventually needed 100,000 soldiers and seventeen years of warfare before the country was finally pacified.
Abd Al-Qadir an emir in the region of Mascara fought and defeated the French several times until he was finally subdued in 1847, but resistance continued until 1871. Abd Al-Qadir waged jihad against the French.
In may 1945, the ulama heightened the political activity and demonstrations were held in Setif and Guelma. In Setif, the police and militia units of armed European colonists struck back with terror and carnage, massacring Muslim civilians with aerial and naval bombardments. 80,000 Muslims lay dead (Gordon; op.cit.;pp. 54)
The Comite Revolutionaire pour l'Unite et l'Action was formed from Ahmed Ben Bella's Organization Speciale (O.S.) in 1954, which was later to become Front de Liberation Nationale (F.L.N.). It was this nationalist organization which rode on the tide created by the ulama to launch the Algerian Revolution on November 1, 1954. Its declared goal was ..... the Restoration of the Algerian State, sovereign, democratic, and social, in the framework of Islamic principles (emphasis added).
The revolution continued with sporadic revolts, and on August 22, 1955, the French parachutists massacred more than one thousand Muslims, and in that year, the French army was enlarged from 120,000 to 400,000, and terrorist groups such as the Groupes Militaires de Protection Rurale and the Section Administrative Specialisee were formed.
To suppress the revolution, the French employed massive military action, extra-or sub-legal torture, terrorism and resettlement.
.............to be continued