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News Posted on January 31, 2013

Professor Bennoune Interviewed by Algerian Media on North Africa's Struggle Against Fundamentalism

Professor Karima Bennoune was interviewed by El Watan, Algeria's leading French-language daily newspaper, on the history of conflict between the Algerian government and armed fundamentalist groups.  During the 1990s, fundamentalists fought unsuccessfully for control of the state, most often targeting civilians, and killing several hundred thousand people in the process.

Bennoune, who is at work on a book about such conflicts entitled Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight against Muslim Fundamentalism (forthcoming from W.W. Norton & Company in August), was interviewed by noted journalist and writer Mustapha Benfodil as part of a lengthy study on abuses in the 1990s, which Algerians call "the dark decade." In the full-page interview, Bennoune underscores the duty to document and remember the mass killings and rapes committed by the armed fundamentalist groups in Algeria the '90s because the country's experience is largely forgotten or misunderstood by the outside world. 

"It is a project of memory, but also an urgent question today," she told El Watan.  "Even if the contexts are not the same, the neighboring countries like Mali, or Tunisia, need to know what people lived through there so as not to have to live it themselves."

Karima Bennoune is an author, lecturer, teacher, and international law scholar as well as the first Arab-American to be honored with the Derrick A. Bell Award from the Section on Minority Groups of the Association of American Law Schools.  She joined the King Hall faculty from Rutgers School of Law-Newark in 2012. 

El Watan