“If they lacked reasonable arguments, the French Parliament has just provided them with another argument by passing the law penalising any remark undermining the Harkis , the Algerian auxiliaries of the French army during the occupation. Moreover, in December, the French Right-wing had attempted to deposit the ashes of General Bigeard, former torturer during the Battle of Algiers at the Musée des Invalides in Paris. For their part, the Algerians have refused an entry visa to the pieds noirs , the former French colonial settlers in Algeria, who wanted to make a pilgrimage to their birthplace. These are small spikes to remind each other that one can be moderate but not amnesiac. Whether we like it or not, the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the independence of Algeria will not fail to crystallize all resentments and unspoken terms of the common history of the two countries that still continue to modulate memory
according to politic issues…………”
Until 1962 many Frenchmen insisted that Algeria was part of France, that Algerians were French. They also thought that some Algerians, the non-Muslim whites, were more French than others, with more ‘French’ rights than other Algerians. Just imagine how things would be now, if the Algerian revolution had failed. If France had won, it would have been a classic pyrrhic victory. Imagine how things would be now:
France would have a population of about 100 million, of which about 40 million would be Muslims of Algerian (and other African descent). Forty percent of all French would be Muslim, with the percentage growing. Just think of the possibilities. From a certain French point of view, they truly dodged a Muslim bullet, and they have Charles de Gaulle to thank for that. This is of course based on certain undeniable assumptions on how the French feel about Muslims in their country.
These French right-wingers who still admire the hardline colonialists of old Algeria would feel differently about them now had Algeria remained French. Wouldn’t you say?