Association of the Ulema: a Tendency of the Algerian Political Islam (The Interwar Period)

Laszlo Nagy

Instytut Historii (Történeti Intézet) Uniwersytet w Segedynie (Szegedi Tudományegyetem)

Association des Oulemas : une tendance de l’islam politique algérien (Epoque d’entre les deux grandes guerres)

Association of the Ulema: a Tendency of the Algerian Political Islam (The Interwar Period)


The article presents how Algerians’ national awareness was born. At that time, the country was still a French colony (a department belonging to a metropolis). The author mentions two important figures: Abdelkader ibn Muhieddine and Ben Badis, both of them are important when the process of rousing Algerians’ Islamic and national awareness is taken into consideration. Abdelkader and Badis were ulamas; Islamic intellectuals who tried to rouse Algerians by restoring importance of their language and culture. They did not want to rouse political awareness in people, but rather identity coming from moderate Islam. Moderate Islam was supposed to be the basis of resistance against “making the country more French” and at the same time depriving dignity. The author quotes fragments of Ben Badis’ reply directed to Ferhat Abbasa (who represented Members of Parliament compliant with France). The reply is of a great value when Algerians’ national liberation movement is taken into consideration.

Key words: ulamas, Abdlekader, Algerian resistance movement, Islamic reformation movement, Ben Badis, Arabic, birth of Algerians’ national awareness

Słowa kluczowe: Ulemowie, Abdel Kader, algierski ruch oporu, reformistyczny ruch islamski, Ben Badi, język arabski, narodziny świadomości narodowej Algierczyków



Rapport général sur la situation politique et administrative des Musulmans algériens, mai 1928, Centre des archives d’outre-mer (CAOM) 11H47.

Statuts de l’Association des oulémas d’Algérie [in:] C. Collot, J.-R. Henry, Le mouvement national algérien. Textes 1912–1954, Paris 1978, p. 45.

Bencheneb S., Quelques historiens arabes modernes de l’Algérie, « Revue Africaine » 1956, p. 480–493.

Desparmet J., Le nationalisme à l’école indigène, « Bulletin du Comité de l’Afrique Française (BCAF) » 1935, no4, p. 220–230.

Desparmet J., La politique des Oulémas Algériens (1911–1937), « Bulletin du Comité de l’Afrique Française (BCAF) » 1937, no1, p. 355.

Etienne B., Abdelkader, Paris 2003. Hadjerès S., Quand une nation s’éveille. Mémoires, t. 1, 1928–1949, Alger 2015.

Merad A., Le réformisme musulman en Algérie de 1925 à 1940, Paris–La Haye 1967.

Saadallah B., The Algerian Ulemas 1919–1931, « Revue d’histoire Maghrébine » 1974, no2, p. 140–145.

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