Graduate Center for Social and Public Policy
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Mary F. Antolini
In comparing the evolution of the current struggle between religious challengers and the ruling class in Algeria and Turkey, this paper examines why and how Algerians became involved in a civil war which has continued almost six years, and why Turkey was not like Algeria. In order to carry out this investigation, the following research questions are developed: What key factors favored or discouraged the use of violence in both countries?
Since religion in and of itself does not lead to intolerance, what are the key factors that nourished the deviant interpretation? What is the impact of the sociopolitical cultural heritage of each country regarding violence and how people behave and act in a conflict? And what is the Islamic perception on extremism, violence, and terrorism?
In the light of available evidence, the research deals with the reinterpretation of traditional Islamic concepts such as jahiliyyah, takfir, jihad, and separation that are the key terms in the explanation of the different responses given by the Islamic groups and movements in Algeria and Turkey. The findings show that the internal political conflict in both countries was the outcome of different re- interpretations and understandings of these concepts. In the reinterpretation of these concepts and in the response to secular repression, the sociopolitical cultural background of each country also has a considerable impact.
The paper also analyzes the Islamic perceptions on the extremism, violence and terrorism at this time. In the conclusion, the paper points out some possible considerations for policy makers.
Kirazli, S. (2003). Changes in Islamic Hermeneutics and Social Evolution: A Comparative Study of Turkey and Algeria (Master's thesis, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/749