KABYLIA (TAMURT) – Some political actors link the destiny of Kabylia to that of Algeria. The cited postcolonial historical imperatives are, in my opinion, more complex than they would lead us to believe. It has been verified on many occasions that Kabylia expresses the wishes of a nation in its own right. The Kabyles want to achieve a universal project of a society at odds with the Arab-Islamist project in all its multiple conceptions adopted by all the political currents that cross the Algerian society.
The proponents of this sacred union put forth two types of proposals: Regionalization and federalism to get Algeria out of the multidimensional crisis in which it has become entangled since 1962. These two proposals carry great risks for the Kabyle people who, in reality, want to emancipate from the guardianship of Algeria to flourish in their own framework as a nation, a people and a society that are independent of other Algerians with whom they do not share the same societal project.
The two peoples’ approach to religion is diametrically opposed. For the Kabyle, respect for all religions and creed is a fundamental principle. For Algeria, Islam must be lived as religion and culture. It naturally follows that the way of life of the Kabyle is different or even in contradiction with the dogmas of the Algerians who refer only to Islam to settle all the existential questions. Their overwhelming majority denies our founding myths as Kabyles and tries to impose on us a conscience in defiance of our Vision of the World. Our culture is permanently belittled in their recurrent speeches and in the entire spectrum of political opinion in Algeria. Worse, denialism is opposed to our history by the Algerians who recognize themselves rather in Arab-Islamism than in the values of the historical Amazigh civilization of several millennia.
As for those Kabyles with an Algerianist political leaning who offer us an end to the crisis via regionalization and federalism, it is clear that their proposal will only dissolve us in the rest of Algeria to form a nation with an Arab-Islamist majority. We will remain forever a minority in an Algeria that will oppose us the rule of the democratic veto; the majority decides, the minority abides. Regionalization and federalism are, in reality, projects that can be realized in the framework of an independent Kabylia. There is a symbiosis and a match-up between this type of organization and Kabyle society. While we believe that these two projects are viable in independent Kabylia, we think that they are unlikely in an Arab-Islamist Algeria.
We are not a cultural and linguistic minority or a specific region belonging to Algeria. We are a nation open to universalism that works to respect and apply the principles of international law, including the right to self-determination.
We are neither a region or a minority that is ready to dissolve into the Algerian Arab-Islamic Nation or to regionalize / federate with Algeria in order to exist. The Kabyles are a nation in their own right like other nations in the world. With our own culture, our own language, our own way of life, our own societal values, our own history, and our own territory. We have the right to establish an independent Kabyle State independently of all other States including the Algerian State. All the known definitions of “Nation” are suitable to Kabylia but not not so much to Algeria. Our political, legal, social, economic and cultural status can only be realized within the framework of the right of peoples to self-determination.
Our right to build an independent Kabyle State on our own territory is a requirement of history. In many ways, it was the same imperative that drove the Yalta conference which provided the framework for many nations to liberate themselves from their colonialist executioners, just as it was an imperative of history for the peoples of the former Yugoslavia, just like History brought to reason the people of the former USSR and the peoples of former Czechoslovakia. In all of these regions, peace finally defeated war by the force of the rights of the peoples against the right of the force of the colonialists.
Despite the hesitation of men, History will eventually settle the Kabyle question. The nobility of our struggle will restore our people to full sovereignty. On this difficult path, we will stumble, but we will succeed. Honor and glory to the peaceful Kabyle pro-independence activists.
I invite the Kabyle elite to “reprogram” its relations with Algeria in a peaceful framework in which we can secure our freedom and thus live our ideals of freedom and dignity in our own homeland.
Hocine Azem, founding member of the URK
Translator : Mastan