I said in a previous post that I didn’t care whether France apologizes or not for the crimes it committed in Algeria. I haven’t changed my mind and it still gets on my nerves to hear the Algerian politicians’ calls for an apology. Only recently, Ennahda and the Moudjahidines’s organisation insisted again on passing the law criminalising French colonialism despite the clear message of the APN’s president.
What I said in the past and which I still call for is to have the French pay financial compensations for their crimes. This would include the victims of the nuclear tests in the Sahara but also the victims of the anti-personnel mines. And this is really important especially for the latter for we still get new victims of these dirty mines.
Having lived under the occupation, many thought that France would understand the situation of its own colonized lands and people, and do something for them (at least to thank them for helping free her). But they were naïve for France wanted to recover its reputation as an international power, and what a better way to do it than reminding all those lowly colonized people that they are nothing but the servants of their French masters. The massacres of May 8, 1945 were the message France decided to deliver to its Algerian colony.
Luckily (and unfortunately for colonialist France), these bloody massacres led to the opposite result as they triggered the actions towards our War of Independence. And France had to face a military resistance which it had not expected and which caused the loss of its most celebrated colony.
In a recent program on AlJazeera, Algerian Djahid Younsi (from El-Islah party) and Libyan Elhadi Chellouf (a martyr’s son) debated over the “Why do Arabs request an apology? And are Arab rulers not worse than the colonisers?” question. As often with AlQasim’s programs, the debate led nowhere. Chellouf said that the colonisation was great and he would be happy to sit in a French or Italian tank were they to invade the Arab countries again. He added that the Arab populations should rather request an apology from their rulers instead of targeting the gentle and kind colonisers. On the other hand, Younsi admitted that the Arab rulers are the worst ever, but he said they should be faced on the political field. And this situation shouldn’t prevent the people from requesting the rightful apology for the confirmed colonisation crimes.
A poll organized by the TV channel showed that 68% of the Arabs think the colonisers were fairer to the population than today’s Arab rulers.