VI. The World Wars and the Interwar Period, 1914–1945 > F. The Middle East and North Africa, 1914–1945 > 3. North Africa > b. Algeria
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
(See 1914)
b. Algeria
1919, Feb. 4
Extension of French citizenship to all Muslim veterans of World War I in Algeria. Under the previous law, French citizenship was unobtainable without conversion to Christianity. Yet this proposal affected few Algerians directly and became moot anyway when the French government, under heavy pressure from the colonists, later withdrew the offer.  1
Founding in France of the Étoile Nord-Africaine by Messali al-Hajj. The purpose of this organization was to coordinate the political activities of Algerian workers residing in France. It quickly assumed a nationalist character and opposed all forms of union with France.  2
Creation of the Association of Ulama under the guidance of Abd al-Hamid ibn Badis, a modernist (salafi) religious leader whose ideas owed much to the thought of Muhammad Abduh. The program of the organization had two main goals: the reform of Islam, namely the purging of Sufi doctrines, which were held to be superstitious corruptions of the pure faith; and the cultivation of the Arabic language in schools and the general promotion of Arabic culture throughout the country.  3
1934, Aug. 3–5
Violent Muslim attacks on Jews in Constantine caused widespread damage to Jewish property and the loss of 23 Jewish lives.  4
1936, June
An Islamic congress in Algiers. Following the electoral victory of Leon Blum's Popular Front in France, Algerian activists believed they could wrest key concessions from the new government. Among their demands were universal male suffrage irrespective of religion, the complete administrative absorption of Algeria into France, permission for Muslims in matters concerning personal status to live by Muslim law, and the abolition of all legal restrictions on Muslims. On the whole, the program of the congress represented the last attempt by Muslim leaders to take seriously French promises of full assimilation and equality.  5
Defeat of the Blum-Viollette Bill in the French Chamber of Deputies. The bill would have conferred full French citizenship on a minority of Muslim Algerians, namely former officers in the French army and university graduates. Conservative and colonial opposition to the legislation kept the matter from ever being debated by French deputies.  6
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.