'Was There an Algerian Nation Before 'French Colonization' Macron Asks?

Published October 3rd, 2021 - 03:04 GMT
Macron (AFP File Photo)

ALBAWABA – Just what is it with the French President Emmanuel Macron? These days he seems to be putting his foot in it just about every other day?

What is it this time you might be asking? Will may be he didn’t mean it but he upset the Algerians this time, in fact the whole of the Algerian nation. How? Will, he asked and in a rhetorical kind of way if there was an Algerian nation before French colonization in 1830.

He posed this question to a group of 18 youths of Algerian origin who were visiting the Elysee Palace. Thank you kindly Mr President for this meeting upon your invitation didn’t go too well for shortly afterwards the Algerian government recalled its ambassador in Paris Mohammod Antar Dawood for consultation.

The Algerian government somehow saw the Macron question as a direct intervention in their own affairs because of the statements that went on to sour French-Algerian relations which are already tense. As a point of fact this is not the first time Algeria recalled its ambassador to Paris.

In consequence the social media had been going wild with comments denouncing Macron. It would be an understatement to say Algerians are upset particularly in the light of their martyrs who lost their lives in their acrimony with France. Macron’s comments were seen as “bizarre”, an “unacceptable insult” and a blatant disregard to the 1.5 million Shaheed fighting France for independence in 1961.

Arabs say they are bewildered by the comments made by Macron who knows well what the French did in Algeria. The French president certainly soured relations with the north African country as one says, denying the fact that Algerian nationhood didn’t exist before French colonization with the impudent implication being it was France which actually created this nation and identity.

But then he goes on to suggest that before French colonialism, it was the Turkey who colonized the area. What’s disturbing is the fact the idea of colonization is talked about in a liberal and logical manner, stripping out of its subjugation and occupation.

France will not apologize for what it did in Algeria. One posts suggest that Macron thanked the “Harkis” – those Algerians who fought with France against liberation movement and apologized for abandoning them and promised to compensate them.

News reports suggests this recent controversy between France and Algeria has resulted from the fact that Paris wants to cut by 50 percent its intake of people from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia simply because of the fact France wants to crackdown on illegal immigrants.

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