Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Algeria’s capital and other main cities demanding the government’s ouster, mirroring protests in fellow North African countries Egypt and Tunisia.
A day after pro-democracy protesters drove Egypt’s longtime leader Hosni Mubarak from power, Algerians were in the streets demanding their own President Abdelaziz Bouteflika leave office.
Protesters chanting, “No to the police state!” and “Bouteflika out!”. News reports say crowds were in the thousands but far out numbered by riot police.
Protests also took place in other cities, including the Mediterranean hub of Oran, also against government orders.
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I’d sure like to believe that the anti-government demonstrations in all these countries, one after the other, represented a wave of Western democracy marching through the Muslim world, but color me skeptical. None of these countries has any democratic history and their populations are decidedly non-secular. Even the countries held up as models of Muslim “democracy”, such as Turkey or Indonesia, have societies heavily steeped in Islamic law, antithetical to Western values.
/one thing’s for sure, whatever becomes of these Muslim countries currently embroiled in various stages of popular rebellion, the end result, in the aggregate, is likely to be decidedly less secular and less friendly to the West
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